We gave four pieces of Savannah’s finest pizza
To a hungry, homeless man tonight
For which people wait in line
Vinnie, Vinnie Van Go Go’s-
What a gourmand’s name delight!
Watched the hungry, homeless man shuffle away from East Bay Street
Just minutes later
After abandoning the pizza into the road
And tossing it with such nonchalance,
A drunken discus hurling,
Looking at us with a twinge of embarrassment (maybe?)
I asked him was it good?
A mumbled answer oh yeah, yeah,
Well God bless you and good night.
Pizza having tasted so good to us
Washing it down with a cold local brew IPA
After half a day of driving up 95
Slowly warming up to each other’s company
In the more relaxed cadences not afforded in everyday home life
And the drive, the drive of always getting there.
Symbolisms, stories, streets to be explored
Bull Street down to Forsyth Park tomorrow
Cathedral of St. John the Baptist
And Flannery O’Connor’s childhood home
Sauntering square to square,
Sharing ideas for new tattoos
He, an endless circle undivided around his bicep
Father and son joined over literary devices
Me, a chimera’s bold lion head arching over my shoulder
Its snake tail down the middle of my lower back
Inspired by a Baudelaire prose poem-
We all have our own.
The hungry, homeless man gave us so much more than
We gave him tonight-
More than we could have imagined,
For we laughed and laughed with the biggest belly laughs we had shared
In a long, long while
For several hours posthaste,
Him tossing that half eaten beloved pizza into East Bay Street for the pigeons
To enjoy upon awakening next morn
Us going back later to snap a picture of its lonesome, under appreciated remains
Lying forlornly in the street with an improper buriel.
O’, how had we sold the hungry, homeless man so hard
On that half-eaten NY style pizza,
Hand tossed and hand carried to its final resting place-
Sausage, Ham, Onions, Mushrooms and Peppers,
(It’s not too spicy hot is it? Oh, no, no)
On a delicious true as truly genuine NY-style crust,
Having carried it with us to LIVE MUSIC at Molly McPherson’s Scottish Pub
Down Congress Street to Bull
To East Bay looking for someone in need with whom to share its glorious deliciousness.
All he asked for was a sandwich.
Handcrafted poetry by John M. Hines, July, 2016
Just days after this episode with our youngest son, I rather coincidentally read Baudelaire’s prose poem “Beat Up the Poor” in Paris Spleen. I’ll be a long time chewing on that one as well as our shared experience in Savannah and our reactions to it. The title for this poem is thus derived. Hope you enjoyed. Thank you for reading.