Thursday, July 22, 2010


The easiest way to skin a hedgehog

is to use a bicycle pump to inflate it
(gutted and cleaned, of course)

over the fire, and scrape away the remains
of its charred quills. A man can eat

three, four in a sitting, the grease
he flicks into the fire burning brighter

for a moment or two, and we will
drink ourselves welcome

to sampling the spineless
creature, for the sake of invitation,

politeness, perhaps a bite of skinny rib,
a tiny foreleg. Like trying tripe in Florence,

because the wine was at hand to wash
my palette clean and the vendor

looked on expectantly. His grin says
he's seen it before, the moment

of knowing and pushing away,
the act of swallowing truth

after truth, the grease of it
covering my foreign hands, my smile.

Join the circus:


Anonymous said...

"the grease of it"


Anonymous said...

I wish I could give you an award for this. Wonderful.

gautami tripathy said...

Great start, wonderful ending!

cut and dried

Anonymous said...

What a gourmet "treat!" I kept saying, "oh, oh, oh..", then laughing out loud. You, my dear man are definitely going on my ever expanding list. Love it and thank you,


Anonymous said...

I'd say you come quite close to being indirect
(don't think you can actually inflate the little guy after you've gutted him)

Nathan Landau said...

They are inflated via the same incision used for cleaning. You've gotta hold it closed, but the expanding 'hog quickly releases most of the quills.

Tumblewords: said...

The wine would be wonderfully tasty. Love this poem.

Anonymous said...

three, four in a sitting!

a very inventive and delightful piece. unless you're a hedgehog, then i suspect it's a tad disturbing.


Wayne Pitchko said...

loved dthis poem Nathan.....thanks for sharing

twitches said...

Love this! I like how the poem unfolds from familiarity to unfamiliarity.