EZ Bake [poem] by Catherine Doty

A pie the size of an eye patch, cakes like checkers:
the EZ Bake oven starts you out so small
what you make is a sniff and a bite and barely that.
What drives it is a light bulb: a mere idea,
but you want to bake, want to fist and wrestle dough
and slather frosting, want to wobble the first fat slice
to the plate of—whom? The world has not got
its hands out. Joe Rice, the drunk upstairs, fills
his kids’ wading pool, sprawls, then snores in a foot
of tepid water, his jutting feet for the rugged only
to see. You want to be baking bent at the waist
from the car with that glistening pie, ferocious cake
pink-frosted in peaky licks. When you turn and they
see it the world will ooooh like at fireworks.

Image of 1930s Switchboard Operator

[Refer: This poem put the editors in mind of Bernard Cooper’s poem “A Toast to the Cook.”]

Born in Paterson, New Jersey, Catherine Doty is the author of Momentum, a volume of poems, and Just Kidding, a collection of cartoons. She is widely published in journals and anthologies, and has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and The New York Foundation for the Arts.

Image by Alexander Svensson