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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 23: 28 April 2024
Poem: 121 words
By Marcus Elman

Tagine (Or, The Art of Cooking)

At the restaurant in your heart: Hunger. 

Not easy to be chef and fresh meat. 

Turn up the funk! Snap a cinnamon smile, 

peal off a Bird-Pepper hoot, grind 

cardamon like dance-floor desire. 

Blow on the crimson sauce, spoon a sip 

of craving that flows racy down to your pride. 

Your rendezvous knocks. It’s open, you say, 

your mouth twisting in flavor. Try a bite? 

Hmmmmmm, your amour-to-be hums then says, 

This curry is pungent as sex; this sambal steams up my sails. 

For the night’s meal, why not be the red-hot coals, 

be a slow curry that sings for its bed, be the spoon 

that tempts tasting while dancing in its own clay pot. 

Marcus Elman
Issue 23 (April 2024)

is a yoga and fitness therapist working mostly with the elder-sage population in Southern California. He is curious about energy, how things work and get repaired, and the idea of redemption. His poem “The Boulevards of Los Angeles” received an honorable mention in Beyond Baroque’s 2017 annual poetry prize and was published in the textbook Method & Mystery: A Research-Based Guide to Teaching Poetry (The Poetry Salon, 2019). “The Crossing” was shortlisted for the Into The Void Poetry Prize 2020. His poems have been published in Cultural Daily [see links below], and in three volumes of Sunbeams: The Joan Ramseyer Memorial Poetry Anthology (2018, 2019, and 2020). He is a graduate of American River College, UC Davis, and Pepperdine.

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