Naomi Guttman

Naomi Guttman 2014

Naomi Guttman’s first book of poems, Reasons for Winter, won the A.M. Klein Award for Poetry. Her second, Wet Apples, White Blood, was co-winner of the Adirondack Center for Writing’s Best Book of Poems for 2007. The Banquet of Donny & Ari: Scenes from the Opera is her third poetry collection. Raised in Montreal, she now teaches creative writing at Hamilton College in Clinton, NY.


Feast and famine

Donny can remember when Ari ate it all: pad thai
and paella, pulled pork and posole, veal stuffed with apples
and paté de fois gras. Now she rejects his meat and all the rest.
From their plush days of courtship, he recalls melon slices
rolled in slivers of prosciutto followed by couscous,
osso bucco or cassoulet, menus he’d spend days devising.

When did it change, what broth must he feed her, what seed,
how temper his own gut’s twisting as he waits?

He blanches pearl onions for palak paneer and roasts
a baby pig on a spit until its skin crackles.
When, when will she feast with him again?

  • Naomi Guttman from The Banquet of Donny & Ari: Scenes from the Opera, Brick Books 2015