Ale & Cakes

Lee Upton Click to read more...

uptonLee Upton’s most recent books are Bottle the Bottles the Bottles the Bottles from the Cleveland State University Poetry Center and The Tao of Humiliation: Stories, winner of the BOA Short Fiction Award, finalist for the Paterson Prize and named one of the “best books of 2014” by Kirkus Reviews.  Another collection of her short stories, Visitations, is forthcoming in 2017.

“Dost thou think, because thou art virtuous, there shall be no more cakes and ale?”
Twelfth Night

 It’s not all cakes and ale.
Sometimes it’s ale and cakes.
At least one of us knew his ale and cakes.
He could poach your deer
to accompany your ale and cakes.
He could hold up his side
in a knife-in-your-eye tavern fight.
Ale will give you courage.
Cake will give you cake.
So have some cake.  With ale.
Sing happy birthday
to your birthday cake
Your virtue’s not meant to span
from cradle to grave,
not when you’re made of cake,
and not when you’re made of ale.
It’s not all cakes and ale.
It’s not all suffering.
So much is made of cake.
The ale takes care of itself.
It’s not all cakes and ale.
Sometimes it’s ale and cakes.
Virtue is often faked. You ought to know.
There are more things in a bar or a bakery,
than are dreamt of
in your theocracy.

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