Monday, April 27, 2015

My Secret Recipe

Take a beautiful,
unique child
and unfavorably compare him
to everyone else.

Buff out his unfinished edges,
sand off his spiky angles.

Paint him ghastly colors
(because those are the colors
that are on sale),
and dress him not for
but rather
because they fit
his bulky girth.

Feed him daily
three squares of
shame, guilt and self-loathing.
He’ll balk at first,
but he’ll get used to it.

Make him a bookworm,
call him a sissy,
give them a ringside seat
at the glorious childhoods
of his joyous, unworried

[Extra Spicy Option:
Make him Mexican,
but don’t make him
that would be
too obvious.
Make him
light skinned
so that he thinks
he’s one of his
white classmates,
until they start
telling Mexican jokes.]

Let this concoction
stew for 15-16 years,
and then
when he’s 5 foot 2
and 210 pounds,
with greasy skin,
an erupting face
and tumbleweed hair,
make him suicidal
after the girl he’s been
writing love poems for,
tells him that she only
likes him as a friend.

don’t let him die yet.


Give him
a pen,
some paper,
and the loneliness
he’s known for years,
stretch him into
a full-grown man,
and whisper in his ear:

“It’s ok to be angry.
Now, write.”

Teach him how
to deny
everything he
used to shove
in his mouth
(because he’s so
orally fixated)
and teach him
to begin running

Awaken him
so he can
write his own destiny,
paint his own paradise
and then enter it.

Guide him
through college,
through losing
his virginity
(wherein an angel of mercy
took pity and
deflowered him
a month shy
of his 20th birthday,
just so he could say
he had sex at least once
as a teenager),
through college
and into adulthood,
where he will become
a nervous-stomached,
130 bpm pulse pounding
faceless, over-achieving
college dean.

he’ll crank out
these poemonologues
to miniscule acclaim,

never really triumphing over
his guilt, shame and self-loathing,

the secret ingredients
in the recipe of his success.


  1. Whoa.... this is pretty intense.. although I agree with the idea of toughening up a child to face troubles on the path to success :D
    Loved it!

  2. Whew, this one really gives me a punch in the gut, Mosk!! Makes me sick, but excellent writing.

  3. Wow. I had to read it a few times. It has a great rhythm, almost like a train. And just when I thought it was coming to a close, I would scroll down and find more. Sad, but some goodness in there, too.

  4. There is some of that in all of us I suspect. So hard to overcome. Great write on a harsh topic.

  5. This hits hard, Mosk. Hard and true.

  6. This is gut wrenching, good writing; nice response to the prompt

    Much love...

  7. First I wanted to cry, then I thought i could feel pleased after all at the determined turn-around ... but the ending ... maybe it can be seen as a triumph, but to me it's still sad. I like the uncompromising writing, which is just what this poem needed.

  8. Oh no, this really hits in the spirit. I have lived some of it. I was an overweight child who was constantly the target of jokes and meanness, but hey we survived and thrived. :)

  9. You captured this so skillfully, Mosk...really effective and emotive...thank you for writing and sharing this poem.

  10. A recipe where I certainly recognize a few things.. Though small and skinny,, I think growing up is a terrible thing.

  11. Anonymous9:44 PM

    I can't help hoping this is not about actual events... But the power of it all tells me there might be at least a trace of truth to it and it saddens me. This is an edgy and wonderfully raw write that really hits home. I hope you stop feeling faceless and find a way to truly move on and realise that you are awesome regardless of that past. And even more awesome because of surviving that past.

  12. damn. glad to read this, Mosk, because though my recipe is different.... it's pretty damn similar ~

  13. oh GAH this made me weep. well done... and thanks for the warning.

  14. Well that's a painful way to make an outstanding poet. That's a ferociously honest poem, Mosk, a great write.

  15. Wow! The power of this poem is that one young boy's journey could stand for so many. You built up the picture stanza by stanza and then provided the best poetic anti-climax I've read in a long time:

    he’ll crank out
    these poemonologues
    to miniscule acclaim...

  16. What a recipe! I think parents cook that way.