« new york pizza (poem) »

grabbing a slice in new york for the first time 
whenever that is whoever you are 
is a transcendent experience 
a life event with details you may or may not remember 
but know this 
to me it means freedom.

endless pies 
who could try them all who would try them all 
even the average spots they still make me smile 
at least momentarily they fulfill my yearning 
to relive that virgin slice experience 
and to reach higher plateaux along my trail toward pizza heaven.

you can go nearby or venture somewhere by train or car 
follow up on a review utilize a tip from someone you know 
find yourself feeling hungry in an unfamiliar area 
pizza is there.

in excess not so healthy but shit it’s gotta be better for you  
than fast food hamburgers 
myself i try to limit it to 1 slice at lunch 
dinner is another story.

must check out super thin cracker crust or thick square sicilian style 
naples plate-size circumference fork and knife focaccia sfincione 
brick oven staten island bronx gas oven coal-burning wood-burning 
900 600 500 degrees 
bubbly charred bottom original famous rays stracitella robiola truffle 
it’s only a matter of time 
before the 5 inch foie gras caviar pie will debut at $79 a pop 
or perhaps it already has 
the food writers and gourmets will talk it up 
wealthy people love pizza too.

must check out the classics 
places that claim to be the first 
families that have known cheese for decades descendants churning out pies 
sometimes at odds over whether the business should expand 
to accommodate all the cousins 
first they must remain true to the ideal the quality and the history 
and to that framed picture of grandpa and great uncle up there on the wall 
men who wore black bow ties fedoras and white baker’s aprons.

neighborhood joints where owners still work dough 
remind me of old town bars only the counter is formica not mahogany 
the bartender is spreading sauce baking pies not straining vodka 
and the habit of course 
is pizza 
cheesy saucy crunchy chewy dime-saving Italy-beckoning all-empowering pizza pies.

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