Cincinnati Poem

June 6, 2009

We're in Cincinnati and it's good to be here
In a city of pork and a city of beer.
Old beer signs everywhere you walk:
“Good Old” Brucks, Brenner's XL Pilsener, John Hauck
Barbarossa, King Gambrinus, or Crown.
You eat you some Pork hocks with leeks and garlic cloves, you need beer to wash it down.
Similarly, to go along with a pint of beer, you need more than a pretzel
You need Pork Meatloaf with brown gravy and spaetzle.
A big pork sandwich and something to drink,
Geisbauer, Bierbrauer, Linck.
Nothing chintzy
Here in Cincy.
Like it or not, Cincinnati was not vegetarian.
It went for pork shanks with bread dumplings and a pitcher of Bavarian.
No lemonade, no cranberry juice, no apple cider,
But a big mug of Weber's, Lackman, Jackson, Mohawk, Gerke, Burger, or Foss-Schneider.
And all of the pig was used, even the snout
To make Bierwurst, Mettwurst, Bratwurst, piled high with sauerkraut.

Beers with distinguished names like Butcher & Weidmann and Windisch-Muhlhauser
To give a sense of dignity to the drunken carouser
City of suds and city of swine,
Some greasy goetta sausage and a glass of Christian Moerlein,
Or Little Kings cream ale

Beer by the bottle, the barrel, the hogshead, and the pail,
Golden brown glasses of beer with nice big heads
And Hudepohl-Schoenling, Cincinnati's finest, hu-dey “Hu dey think gonna beat them Reds”
It was the national capital of beer.
In 1890, they produced a million barrels a year.
Old breweries along McMicken Avenue on the hill north of Liberty Street,
Making beer out of water, yeast, sugar, plenty of hops, and wheat.
Oh in Cincinnati there was lots to do:
You had a Hudy and a Pork cordon bleu.
Cincinnati was a regular culinary riot.
How sad to be on a diet.
What a terrible loss.
To miss out on the roast pork loin with beer sauce.
And it is politically incorrect
And you may object
To my saying so, but I suspect
Something joyful and boisterous and profane
Was lost when we decided to abstain.
A man sitting down to pork braised, roasted, fried, boiled, battered, with a glass upraised,
A man who is a little fried himself and his eyes are glazed.
That may have been the night he became your daddy
Here in Cincinnati.