Two Poems by Mark Dow



Our briskets all
go on the grill.
The others use
We only put
sauce on the ribs,
dry-rub the meat.
The others cook
five hours, or six.
We cook for eight.
That was before
my time but, yeah,
Smitty and Kreuz,
the family split.
Nothing to do
with us. Try this.
Even our end-cuts
are juicy inside.
Thing is we just
use better meat.



Five parts per thousand
salinated chlorine
will ruin the gypsum,
which gets to be an
expensive proposition.
It works a lot like
plaster. Talk about
a lost art, laying
plaster’s a lost art.
It’s in the chemistry,
moisture, temperature,
that’s how it holds. It bonds.
Each part has these parts
that interact. They grip.
It’s alive, live action,
where, say, with glue
it’s adhesive. It sticks.
But take say that
brand new driveway
they laid next-door.
Concrete’s like plaster.
With the salts in it
the inside dries faster
than the outside does.
Put another layer
over that one that’s
already dried and done
interacting, it’ll just
lay there on it but
it won’t bond for shit.


About the Author:

Mark Dow is the author of Plain Talk Rising (poems) and American Gulag: Inside U.S. Immigration Prisons (California). He has other recent work in PN ReviewPlume and Mudlark.