The Iceberg Theory by Gerald Locklin

The Iceberg Theory

all the food critics hate iceberg lettuce.
you’d think romaine was descended from
orpheus’s laurel wreath,
you’d think raw spinach had all the nutritional
benefits attributed to it by popeye,
not to mention aesthetic subtleties worthy of
verlaine and debussy.
they’ll even salivate over chopped red cabbage
just to disparage poor old mr. iceberg lettuce.
I guess the problem is
it’s just too common for them.
it doesn’t matter that it tastes good,
has a satisfying crunchy texture,
holds its freshness,
and has crevices for the dressing,
whereas the darker, leafier varieties
are often bitter, gritty, and flat.
it just isn’t different enough, and
it’s too goddamn american.
of course a critic has to criticize:
a critic has to have something to say.
perhaps that’s why literary critics
purport to find interesting
so much contemporary poetry
that just bores the shit out of me.
at any rate, I really enjoy a salad
with plenty of chunky iceberg lettuce,
the more the merrier,
drenched in an italian or roquefort dressing.
and the poems I enjoy are those I don’t have
to pretend that I’m enjoying.

© by Gerald Locklin

6 Responses to “The Iceberg Theory by Gerald Locklin”

  1. I like the way his mind works, over and above the wonderful quality of his writing!

  2. Love the last line of “The Iceberg Theory.” Gerald’s poem, as his poems often do, put me in a good mood to start the day. Nevertheless…go romaine!

  3. Linda Lerner Says:

    I liked this poem when I hear you read it at Pop culture, and like it as much reading it here. I started to read the interview, but classes intervened; found it interesting and will get to read the read later on.

  4. Nice one, Gerald. What actually is solid & true doesn’t make a difference to the critics of which you speak.
    They want whatever accords with the status quo, or latest trend, or “movement,” tastebuds BEDAMNED!

    I think this is pretty much what happens:

    “Now this is a peculiar dish. What did you say it was called?”
    “Well it’s local to Svalbard, Portugal, Greenland…”
    “And the name?”
    “It’s also part of the esteemed fucaceae family, and host to proteins widely used in agriculture. In fact, in Ireland and Scotland there’s a pataguim…”
    “THE NAME!”
    “Ascophyllum nodosum.”
    “You mean algae?”
    “Blue cheese anyone? How ’bout a breathchaser?”

  5. I was very fortunate to be able to publish The Iceberg Theory and Other Poems by Gerald Locklin in the Little Red Book series #18. Over the years Gerry has proven to be the exception rather than the rule when it comes to “known” poets…that is to say, he is generally very supportive (rather than dismissive) to up and coming poets and not egotistical or aloof, as is often the case with the “old hands” of poetry. He has been very encouraging to me over the years. Basically, he’s a good guy and I’m glad to have gotten to know him well enough to call him ‘friend’.

  6. Yummy…

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