“Days of Hand to Mouth” by Dennis Cummings

25 September 2020 on Poetry   Tags:

We worked until dawn back then—
Afros and longhairs on the loading dock,
mocking the small paychecks that came
each Friday at shift’s end, the last truck

now hollowed out, the bass metal thud
of a loose pallet smacking the side
as it turned down Federal
to Highway 94, while spoonfuls of lard

splattered into the big frying pans
at Real Tamale Factory, the cook Albert
straight-faced, joking about uncleaned
skillets being Real’s flavor secret

and the tacos wrapped in waxed paper
dripping with shiny orange grease,
as the stone-faced pigeons gathered
outside the door to make their case.


Dennis Cummings lives in Poway, CA with his wife. He has sold flowers for commercial growers and shippers for the last 45 years and continues to do so. He recently rediscovered poetry after a hiatus of 4 decades. That being said, he wishes his output of writing would pick up speed.

Darrell Black is an American visual artist. He was born in Brooklyn, New York and presently lives in Frankfurt, Germany. He works in a variety of formats that include pen and ink drawings and acrylic paintings on canvas, wood, and mixed media objects. His creative process involves paper, acrylic paint, found objects, and hot glue; his work strives to create a three-dimensional effect and thereby give a sense of realism and presence in his artwork. 

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