Amanda Smeltz

Rhymes For A Pizzaiolo



Twinkle, twinkle, little stove;

900 degrees for even dough,

Today’s forecast is a whisp of snow

And blooming zygocactus.


Pizzaiolos tripping balls,

Rubber and other folderol,

Many a manager’s arms will trawl

Beneath a co-worker’s habit.


Basil, soppressata, mozz.

I’m done with the priesthood’s dirty thoughts.

Many a holy migraine’s crossed

An art student and her rabbits.


The Catholics in their papal furs

Would like to make you one of Theirs.

Here are indulgences, His and Hers,

With monograms on the fabric.


Pack your bags and grab your dreads

From the box beneath your bed.

You kept them when you shaved your head,

A stab at practical magic.


Japanese girls in Ushanka hats,

Parisians gaping at subway maps,

Echo pulls on her tights and snaps

Flour out of the fabric.


Courtside seats at the Brooklyn Nets.

Bitches be toting their pocketsized pets.

No matter how sordid the going gets,

Don’t dawdle in oncoming traffic.


Hand me your phone and passcodes, please.

Fever 103 degrees.

A scar formed over your gravelly knees

When you got pushed into traffic.


Pelati, Christmas cactus, snow.

The Chinese speculate on Bordeaux.

You’ll travel to the great châteaux,

Where the wine is made of plastic.


A city full of sommeliers,

Doing exactly as master says.

Those boys got Burgundy for days,

But their home lives are spastic.


Poppers, Fernet-Branca, weed.

Your topless pictures post instantly.

REVENGE PORN is the title we’ve

Given this kind of tactic.


Ulises Benítez, breaking bread,

Far from Mexico, family, his bed,

The barbershop lines adorning his head?

Consider this ekphrastic.


A crackhead in the garbage can,

A Hasid in a minivan,

A diplomat’s mission to Alderaan,

All part of my Park Jurassic,


My beautiful park with its primeval birds!

Flitting velociraptor herds,

Jeff Goldblum and his ruff of curls

Riding in on a mastiff!


Mozzarella, basil, sauce!

Get out with your priestly dirty thoughts!

You, Ulysses, the dentist, my boss:

We’re all caught playing in traffic.


AMANDA SMELTZ is the author of Imperial Bender (Typecast Publishing), her debut poetry collection, which was mentioned in the Chicago Tribune‘s Printer’s Row and on The Poetry Foundation as one of the notable poetry titles of 2013. She is the assistant poetry editor of Forklift, Ohio. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Prelude, [PANK], The Best American Poetry blog, Phantom Limb, Barrow Street, and others. Smeltz lives and works in Brooklyn.