Unable to Tire of Sandwiches

So I had a Reuben at Grendel’s in Cambridge, MA today. Not as good as Mike’s Deli in Brookline, but the sauerkraut was quite tangy.


“Too few people understand a really good sandwich.” — James Beard


A really good sandwich is a journey, not

A destination, a relentless pursuit of perfection,

Of smooth and rough, crispy and soft, of sweet

And salt and tangy. The sound your teeth make


When you chew, the way your eyes close,

Unintentionally, and just a hint of the drip, but

Never too much. The really good sandwich is

A golden rectangle, with one-half b on either side


Of the filling, a, whether tuna salad, say, with lettuce

And frozen peas, or roast beef, tomato, horseradish,

Carmelized onion… Myths of this ratio’s appeal

In nature, in the Parthenon, are overstated


Of course, if not completely fabricated, but what

Is a sandwich or any temple to the senses

But a fabrication? What separates humans from

Other animals? Our ability to measure and layer.



Poetry, Food. Food Poetry


After living in the Boston area for more than twenty years, I finally went to Michael’s Deli in Coolidge Corner of Brookline and had their storied Reuben sandwich. That sandwich was bloody inspirational and when it is me that is talking, you know I mean that literally. So:

Ode to the Michael’s Deli

Reuben Sandwich

How perfectly heavy this

Pile of sweet corned beef,

How sour the kraut, how

Rough and soft the brown rye

Bread, the bed of this old marriage.

Even the cheese knows

Its perfect place, dripping out

On the dark edges, soft and

Hot, so utterly prodigal.

And the pickles? They

Keep their own secrets.