Click to see the following: (1) my web page, (2) my publication list in Judaic studies and literature, (3) my publication list in mathematics.

 

 

 

Beer Poems from the Winter of 2002

by

Richard S. Ellis

 

Every Friday afternoon my colleagues and I meet at a pub called Rafters to discuss the past week’s events over beer.  In conjunction with this custom, during the winter of 2002 I wrote five beer poems.  The first is a ditty; the second celebrates our favorite brew, Otter Creek Copper Ale; the third is postmodern; the fourth and best poem, entitled "Brewed in an Abbey Near Antwerp," is based on true events; and the fifth is a verse-cum-quiz.

 

 

 

 

Why We Love Beer

 

Beer is a drink

That won’t help you think.

Nor will it open your eyes

To what is true and wise.

 

Beer is a brew

That helps you get through.

Drink, and you’ll rise

Above UMass to the skies.

 

Forget the true and the wise.

Isn’t this your deepest desire:

To rise above the muck and mire?

If so, join the guys.

 

 

 

 

          The Origin of Otter Creek Copper Ale

          During the Biblical Week of Creation

 

            On day six, when God did man create,

            God sought for him the perfect mate.

            Soul, flesh, heart, bone God did interweave

            To form the woman man called Eve.

 

            On day six, when man did celebrate

            The gift to him of the perfect mate,

            Joyously man did crown the week

            With the perfect nectar, Otter Creek.

 

 

 

 

                       Friday Lament

 

                        It’s Friday. Throat dry.

                        Chalky hands. Why do I

                        Work so hard? Email overflowing.

                        Where am I going?

 

                        The world is rushing past

                        At the speed of light.

                        Did last week last

                        An hour? It’s nearly night.

 

                        Ah. Escape is here.

                        Rafters. Friends. Beer.

 

 

 

 

Brewed in an Abbey Near Antwerp

                       

The beer danced on my tongue. 

But the mussels were rancid.

Their jagged hook of nausea

yanked me from sleep.

After a few hours it passed.

 

The beer, brewed in an abbey near Antwerp,

danced on my tongue like light on ice.

But the mussels were rancid.

Their jagged hook of nausea yanked me from sleep.

I lay in bed.  My wife read to me from The New York Times.

After a few hours it passed.

 

The beer, brewed in an abbey near Antwerp

that harbored 3 Jews and a Communist during the war,

danced on my tongue like light on the ice thawing from my window.

But the mussels were rancid.

Their jagged hook of nausea yanked me from sleep.

As I crouched over the toilet bowl puking,

my wife held my hand and stroked the back of my head.

I lay in bed.  She read to me from The New York Times.

After a few hours it passed.

 

That afternoon, just before the movie began,

a man wheelchaired into the theatre

a woman, all bones, no hair, coughing.

His mother or his wife - it was too dark to see.

He lifted the woman, her arms clinging to his neck,

and placed her on the seat in front of me.

And kissed her.

 

That too is love.

 

 

 

 

                         Bach’s Best Beer

How many times does “beer” appear in this poem? 

 

Before I write another verse,

expressing, via beer, the universe,

everyone forgive me.  I must

rest.

 

But Bach arouses me from slumber,

expressing, in e-flat minor,

episodes of my secret life.

Rapture.  Emptiness.  Strife.

 

Before I write another verse,

expressing, via beer, the universe,

excellent Bach, I rejoice with thee.

Rejoice in discord and in harmony.