To Hell With Marcel Proust

To hell with Marcel Proust and his kvetching.
Lying in bed all day with his Madeleines
Dreaming fuzzily-yards-long pages of memories
waiting for his end somewhere atop his feather-down pillows.
Crumbs of the refined Madeleine’s litter his bed.
Pickle pricks my memory--
far more pungent and lively.

At lunch I bite into the Mount of Olives kosher dill pickle
To go along with my ham sandwich smothered in mayonnaise
And Avenue P in Brooklyn looms large.
On one corner the pickle palace of the world
Its wooden barrels crowding the street
with garlic and dill aromas and thousands of pickles
swimming lazily for weeks in the briny waters
concocting crispness and tanginess.
I open one barrel and the whelming odors
grab my soul uniting it with the
mustard seeds, pepper and horseradish.
Spices like crackling ice snap and pop their scents,
As pickle purveyors around me bite into the chosen ones.
My arm up to the elbow fishing for the best one,
the first bite a trip aboard a luxury liner
adrift on a sultry, salty sea.

The day is warm in my fermented Avenue P flashback.
Dad is chewing on a twenty-five cent slice of pizza,
ropey mozzarella cheese lassoing his lips.
He points silently to a bag lying in the street
and cajoles me into revealing its contents.
I chomp my pickle and consider his proffer.
He flicks his hands at me and in the direction of the bag.
Ultimately, tepid steps bring me to it.
Pickle held between my teeth, the
bag reveals a discarded diaper.
Its odor consumes the pungent pickle odor.

The Mount of Olives kosher dill pickle for lunch
Resurrects dirty diapers and the
wooden barrel-pools of floating pickles. 
Perhaps that’s why Proust languished in bed.
Dad dripping in laughter. 


After retiring as a teacher/school administrator, Sy Roth spends his time writing and playing his guitar. He has published in many online publications such as Toucan, Wilderness Interface Zone, Red Ochre,  Bong is Bard, Danse Macabre, Mel BraKe Press, Larks Fiction Magazine, Exercise Bowler, Otoliths, BlogNostics, Every Day Poets. One of his poems, Forsaken Man, was selected for Best of 2012 poems in Storm Cycle.  Also selected Poet of the Month in Poetry Super Highway, September 2012.  His work was also read at Palimpsest Poetry Festival in December 2012. He was named Poet of the Month for the month of February in BlogNostics. Included in Poised in Flight anthology published by Kind of Hurricane Press, March 2013.  A Murder of Crows named Poem of the Week in Toucan.

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