Paul Lester

Down At The Greasy Spoon Cafe - Poem by Paul Lester

There are those who dream their lives away
Down at the Greasy Spoon Cafe
Where the tea's like mud the spoon stands up in
And the coffee leads to an early coffin.

Herein, with my nostalgia for smells, I'd
Happily get high on all things fried;
For what's on offer here's rasher than bacon,
There's always some ingredient to egg you on.

Oh, ketch-up smeared like blood across the meal
That's something undefined but ready to congeal.
Oh, cholesterol-clogged up stuff; but then who cares
When you can die far sooner climbing up the stairs?

So what if the cutlery's here's less than clean?
At least the servings are never mean;
Health fiends might say it's much like hell
But the Greasy Spoon Cafe suits me well.

I love that tolerated tramp who sits all day
With a mug of tea for which he'll never pay.
And the baglady, whose past is all her wealth,
Who spends all night here talking to herself.

I love the rough-daubed edges that convey
Squalor - that's the Greasy Spoon Cafe -
The stodge, the leftovers and the fat,
The gristle and rind fit only for the cat.

And, of course, it is the grease, the fame
Of which lends the place its memorable name:
It coats the walls, floats on all you drink,
It lubricates the mind and helps you think,

It smothers all you chance to eat,
In pools it gathers at your feet,
When you come and dream your life away
Down at the Greasy Spoon cafe.

Comments about Down At The Greasy Spoon Cafe by Paul Lester

  • (11/22/2005 5:10:00 AM)

    Thanks for the positive feedback, Max, though I can't grasp the objection to the use of the word 'chance'.The Greasy Spoon Cafe is a great British national institution being, alas, destroyed by the spread of the clone culture of corporate fast-food interests.But examples of the Greasy Spoon Cafe do continue their heroic resistance here and there. (Report)Reply

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  • (7/8/2005 8:47:00 AM)

    It's very readable and paints a strong portrait.
    Some really good lines. I like,
    'The stodge, the leftovers and the fat,
    The gristle and rind fit only for the cat, ' for exampe. Can really see/smell it.
    When you say, 'all you chance to eat? ' are you using 'chance' consciously? I don't see where the 'chance' comes in, exactly, and I think every word needs to be conscious. (not sure if I do that myself, but I try) .
    Did someone really name a restaurant 'The Greasy Spoon Cafe'?

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Poem Submitted: Friday, July 8, 2005

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