Sandra Beasley: The 2018-2019 Bacon Poet Laureate

I'm proud to of the most coveted awards amongst poets world wide...The 2018-2019 Bacon Poet Laureate Is:

Sandra Beasley


There seems to be quite a few debates and differing opinions about poets and poetry.  But I'd like to pose one fundamental question:  can you be considered a great poet if you never, ever reference bacon?  Did Philip Larkin ever mention bacon?  Did T.S. Eliot ever mention bacon? Philip Levine, Patrizia Cavalli, Pushkin, Sappho, Anna Akmatova?  Did they?  What about Shakespeare?  Well, Sandra did and has and will.  What's more poetic than bacon?  What rhymes better than bacon?  What rolls off, and on, the tongue better than bacon?  Sandra Beasley knows.  She knows both metaphor and curing.  In fact, she wrote two poems just for me and you can read them below.  And, a couple more after that. The jobs and duties of the Bacon Poet Laureate are still being defined as is the cash award but stay tuned.  



First, we must strip it of its easy name—


No one ventures into a summer storm

for the sake of holding an umbrella.


Each pack an act of transubstantiation,

the profane returned holy in heat,

body gone kinetic in the pan

& damn, who would call it comfort food


This flesh, this fat, this sizzle?

Let it be anything but comfortable. Let this


be the permission you’ve been waiting for.


Sandra Beasley



Rubbed in cayenne. Rubbed in cinnamon.

Rubbed with white sugar, then with brown.

Rubbed in capers, in great Muppet capers,

by animal and vegetable, mineral-rubbed.

Brined in dill that thinks it is coriander.

Brined in maple syrup. Brined in coffee.

Brined like the Pennsylvania Dutch do:

oak-barreled in brine for five weeks

before hung by a chimney with care.

Hung by the rafters. Hung in the locker.

Hung by sawhorse in the best friend’s lot.

Hung like a firework in the July sky—

until the pellicle forms, that unsung

tease of protein that hugs the smoke—

Smoke from hickory, from applewood,

from cobs smoldering in their harvest crib.

Smoke from a roadside roadhouse flare.

Smoke smuggled stateside by mouth.

Smoked later in the rind, Szalonna-style,

fat dripping into mitts of bread and radish.

Like fingerprints, the catalogue promises.

Each one different. They come to be confit

in the cast-iron, slow and low, or microwaved

to a crisp in their swaddle of paper towels.

They come for company of greens and eggs.

They come to our kitchen, singing with ghosts.

and hunger is the palm that gathers us all.


Sandra Beasley



You charge a buck to see the blind tiger;
I’ll pay a quarter to see the blind pig.
Here’s to the laws shimmied up and over—
Here’s to the hosts who match swig for swig—
Gin at the door is served complimentary;
two more, we’ll be complimenting the gin.
Give me an address where no cops can find us.
Call me a rover, and pour us again.


Sandra Beasley



For six months I dealt Baccarat in a casino. 
For six months I played Brahms in a mall. 
For six months I arranged museum dioramas;
my hands were too small for the Paleolithic
and when they reassigned me to lichens, I quit. 
I type ninety-one words per minute, all of them 
Help. Yes, I speak Dewey Decimal. 
I speak Russian, Latin, a smattering of Tlingit. 
I can balance seven dinner plates on my arm.
All I want to do is sit on a veranda while 
a hard rain falls around me. I'll file your 1099s.
I'll make love to strangers of your choice.
I'll do whatever you want, as long as I can do it
on that veranda. If it calls you, it's your calling,
right? Once I asked a broker what he loved
about his job, and he said Making a killing.
Once I asked a serial killer what made him
get up in the morning, and he said The people.
— Sandra Beasley


Osiris Speaks




I left my heart in San Francisco.

I left my viscera in the Netherlands.

I left my liver on the 42 Line, headed

from Farragut Square to the White House.

I left my occipital lobe in Reno.

I left my corneas in Tangier.

I left one foot in a courthouse,

and one in a traveling circus. I had hoped

to find you, Isis, before the fish swam

between my legs and swallowed,

but now I navigate the Seine,

sharing a scaled belly with the ashes

of Joan of Arc. So I left my pride in Paris.

I left a vertebra in Venice. On Murano,

my clavicle became the mouth of a bowl.

I left my mouth on Mount Everest,

holding every apology I had meant to offer

and while they chattered in sad fury,

I sowed my teeth in an arctic field.

Now there is little left of me: Fingers

with nothing to tickle. Hands with nothing

to grasp. The small bones of my ears

do their xylophone dance while the small

cusps of my wrist bones pretend to be

ears. Every king, in the end, is his only

audience. Every queen picks up the pieces.

Isis, every fish in that river is a child

of mine. You are my net. Hold me.



— Sandra Beasley



The Piano Speaks

After Erik Satie

For an hour I forgot my fat self,
my neurotic innards, my addiction to alignment.

For an hour I forgot my fear of rain.

For an hour I was a salamander
shimmying through the kelp in search of shore,
and under his fingers the notes slid loose
from my belly in a long jellyrope of eggs
that took root in the mud. And what

would hatch, I did not know —
a lie. A waltz. An apostle of glass.

For an hour I stood on two legs
and ran. For an hour I panted and galloped. 

For an hour I was a maple tree,
and under the summer of his fingers
the notes seeded and winged away

in the clutch of small, elegant helicopters.

Sandra Beasley