Alternatives to Coffee

coverOne of my favorite poets, Jim Harrison, also wrote an excellent book about eating. “The Raw and the Cooked” proved to be too potent for continuous reading. Consequently, I got disgusted with it and put it down for a while. But at some point I put it in my bag and made it part of my morning commute reading: a few poems, a few prayers, a few pages of Jim Harrison. And it seems like just the sort of material to start my day with — a strong jolt of Pure Living, better than coffee.

This morning I ran across for the umpteenth time what is probably my favorite passage, titled “Principles”:

…In geologic time everyone now present on earth will be dead in a few milliseconds. What a toll! Only through the diligent use of sex and, you guessed it, food can we further ourselves, hurling our puny “I ams” into the face of twelve billion years of mute, cosmic history. With every fanny glance or savory bite you are telling a stone to take a hike, a mountain that you are alive, a start that you exist.

A few of you of a critical bent and a firm memory of third grade are asking, “What about shelter and clothing?” Not at all an interesting question, and to which I pose another: Would you rather camp in a pup tent at Lutece with Elle Macpherson or spend your pathetically short time on earth with real estate agents and haberdashers?…

And from there on out the next three pages were full of food and chuckles, making me hungry for French cuisine, ribs, and bear meat, despite the fact I’ve never had bear meat.

So I guess that makes it time for lunch.

2 Responses to “Alternatives to Coffee”

  1. The News & TeleGraff Says:


    I got the breaking news alert from today at 3:28 p.m.: Steam Seen Erupting From Mount St. Helens. I’ve been watching the impending signs of eruption carefully all week, particularly given my four-month odyssey through Bill Bryson’s “A Short…

  2. Thus my life draws fuel ineluctably from triumph. Says:

    […] and given my love of poetry I feel compelled to post something about poetry. I have always been a fan of Jim Harrison. I’ve often quoted his writing on this blog. But a few weeks ago I saw on Poetry Daily one of […]

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