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“Homage to H & the Speedway Diner” by Bernadette Mayer

Homage to H & the Speedway Diner

It’s alot like a cave full of pictures
& black & white checked flags
you may overdose on caffeine
it’s the closest restaurant to our house
maybe five miles, it’s very cheap
you can go there when you have almost no money
they let you use the telephone
I can get steak tartare there for $2.25
but I’ve never called it that
just raw hamburger with an egg yolk,
pickle relish & garlic powder plus
the celtic salt I bring along
the owner, h (after whom the h-burger is named)
is loquacious, surprising, has a santa claus belly & wears suspenders
there’s ashtrays everywhere & a great old pinball machine
it’s like east nassau but it’s in west lebanon I think
you can always talk about the weather & hunting
the clientele is open-minded as are the waitress & waiter
who kneels when he takes your order
during hunting season it opens at 4:30 a.m.
it’s for sale but that’s not quite serious
h’s wife thinks he spends too much time there (which he does)
so she started calling him by their dog’s name, peaches
h is a big fan of northern exposure, oh & I
forgot to mention the biscuits & sausage gravy
which are genuine, greyish & great. recently
h got a smoker & this year we’ll go to the new year’s
eve party & eat stuffed shrimp and/or lobster

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Bernadette Mayer, 1945-2022

“Homage to H & the Speedway Diner” from Scarlet Tanager
© 2005 Bernadette Mayer

Photo by Amel Majanovic on Unsplash

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