you’ve not idea how hard i tried but//can’t forget the taste

Sketch by Danny Gregory

Sketch by Danny Gregory


it’s like when circles close
&i so want them //open, sesame seeds
slipping in cracks between the teeth,

she’s in a frame now, fragile
“that’s what art should do” i type “provoke certain emotions”

i feel proud&desperate&small
all at the same time

knead dough, cut with a schnaps glass
a small hole into the bagel’s heart,
let it glide into a waterpan,
i’ve baked thousands of them in a life,
lightyears from here

“that happens when you paint” he writes
“and people hang them”
sweat runs in small trickles from my forehead
&the snow throws tiny crystals in my face
as i run past the fields, the rail tracks, cross the bridge to–

back into the city

“creamcheese would be nice” i say,
coffee to go&i walk down 6th avenue
to starry night on blue jeans,
scent of snippets of a thousand lives in crowded subway trains,
a crazy wind&how the sun sank when–

“i had no bagel since” i say
for the fear of copying when there’s no way to–
&i carve
all her fragility onto my wrist
to carry it–

“one day” i type “you’ll find the glass cracked
&–  “ i mean, ya know,
things like that// can happen easily

with paintings


today at dVerse, Gabriella has us writing to the artwork by Danny Gregory


27 responses to “you’ve not idea how hard i tried but//can’t forget the taste

  1. Ah memorable yes. However, next time you are in NY, head over to Katz’s Deli on Houston St. You won’t be sorry. Try the Whitefish, or perhaps some pastrami or corned beef… Don’t forget to wash it down with a celery soda. It’s been a few years but I can still taste it.

    Certain foods are like an app for the time machine.

    Now that you have whetted my appetite, it is lunchtime.

  2. Ah, you have written to the bagel. I like bagels, but not necessarily onion bagels. Smiles. And, oh how those sesame seeds slip between the teeth! Cream cheese with bagels is good; and I find myself wondering WHICH 6th Street? All big cities have them…..and yes, I believe ‘things like that can happen easily with paintings.’ With painting, so much IS possible!

  3. I too enjoyed the journey in time, and you made me wonder whether I’d bake good bagels. I like them too for breakfast with cream cheese or cheddar. I agree with you that poetry, and art, in general should “provoke certain emotions”.

  4. what happens when people hang your paintings…do you start to think you are something…do you fear when people find out different…what voices run around in the head…and which will we believe….

    and what is sacred? what do we keep special…unwilling to go there again, or taste, knowing it will never measure up again…or just to hold that moment in our hands…until it can happen again….

  5. Love sesame now,specially now, but on my crackers, no bagels for me…but also can recall eating them with cream cheese in the past…don’t like frames…but we all use it, other people use them….’fragile emotions’ really from this particular bagel…smiles

  6. WOW! A fantastic reflection, beginning with a lowly bagel. Such a good read, though I worried about the carving of the wrist and the cracked glass.I most loved the starry night and blue jeans stanza!

  7. I specially like: “that’s what art should do” i type “provoke certain emotions”- I agree with this sentiment ~ Positive or negative, art should resonate with people ~

    I specially like cream& cheese with that bagel ~ Now I am hungry ~

  8. Thoughts are buzzing in my head. I think of New York and how one can NEVER imitate its bagels, the line about carving your wrist, the emotions of a painter. Too much. You’re too much. But just enough for me to read and reread this. It’s fascinating.

  9. Grand treatise on art & artists & terrific take on Danny’s sketch. If you sell your artwork, do you lose something–can you no longer claim legitimacy as to the creative act, like when the child leaves the nest? I like your lines /I feel proud&desperate&small/all at the same time/.

  10. That bagel triggered emotions. Amazing how smells or sounds or tastes can do that. “she’s in a frame now, fragile”. As if you or people you knew became part of some kind of collection. Running the same route to and from everyday. Very sad poem, almost a suppressed desperation. Like Thoreau’s “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.”

  11. cut with a schnaps glass
    a small hole into the bagel’s heart… that glass – sassy – ha… feelings of, “oh gosh, I can’t believe it” and “very awesome” when people buy your paintings, huh? I bet… smiles… A lot from a lil bagel, Claudia 🙂

  12. You are on a roll (pun intended). This metaphorical poem is delicious and the wedding of the bagel with art works so well. And we actually have some plain bagels which I will have for breakfast with lactose-free cream cheese and lox. Yum!

  13. Dalai preaches Peace … Hitler preached Hate … the bagel is a perfect example … of making us going round and round … with cream cheese on top … let’s choose wisely before biting into it …

  14. I’ll take my bagel with cream cheese, there is something inviting about the bagel, sort of adventurous. It is nice to have your artwork sold..I imagine it would be a bit of a many emotions.

  15. Oh! That wandering mind… I like how you think of the painting, and the personification is so well done. The imagery of the bagel slipping in between added into the good humor and sweet flow of this poem.
    I particularly liked these two bits: “she’s in a frame now, fragile” and “&i carve/all her fragility onto my wrist/to carry it–”.


  16. This makes me want to try baking bagels…thanks, Claudia, for sharing the “scent of snippets of a thousand lives in crowded subway trains”…your poem is delicious!