Rick Lupert

Poetry • Spoken Word • Jewish

Photo by Alexis Rhone Fancher

Donut Famine: Poems written in New Orleans, Louisiana by Rick Lupert


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Rothco Press
December 2016
232 Pages
Donut Famine: Poems written in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, Louisiana

“…a poet at the height of his powers. Lupert further refines his singular travelogue style with a delicate balance of reportage, recollection, and lyric introspection. More than an anthology of latest work, Rick Lupert has given us something rare: a complete experience. All aboard.”

~ Brendan Constantine, author of ‘Dementia, My Darling’

“As someone who has been living in New Orleans for ten weeks now, I can say with unwavering conviction that master wordsmith Rick Lupert came to New Orleans, wrote these poems here, and avoided arrest throughout his visit. “

~  Jonathan Penton, Editor of ‘Unlikely Stories’

Rick Lupert’s 20th collection of poetry and latest travelogue installation takes him to Louisiana, Baton Rouge and New Orleans, where you could peel the weather off you with a butter knife, if you had time to think about that amidst the food, jazz, voodoo, and seamless blending of cultures. Have a cocktail every night with Rick (it’s where they were invented) as you make your way through the bayou with his signature style of humor and awe.

Poetry from Donut Famine

May, 2016

I tell Addie in New Orleans
you can pay to have an alligator
eat you.

We are a month away from
our trip and in, of all places,

She is not ready to
comment on this as we
walk up the Milwaukee River

looking for locally sourced
cheese. I tell her this book
isn’t going to write itself.

She is not ready to
comment on that


I order a Sazerac
In The Sazerac.
It’s my first time
having one and my
first cocktail in New Orleans.
So don’t skimp on the perfect
I tell the waitress who laughs
and hopefully takes me as
seriously as I need to be taken.


Those horns and drums. Those
horns and drums. Those horns and drums.
Those horns and drums. Those

Bourbon Street at Nine A.M.

is not Bourbon Street.
A hosed down daytime
tourist purgatory
Cars can drive in the
street for Godsake!
Only one guy with a beer
for miles. The remnants
of voodoo nights washed
into the drains.

Cafe du Monde

I’d like to describe the experience
of beignets and chicory coffee at
Cafe du Monde.

Our waitress is a hundred years old
and the queen of Asia. I see a man
open his mouth wide to take a beignet

in there, leaving residue of powdered
sugar when he’s done. Our beignets come
and I become the man

whose face is covered with sugar while
people less experienced than I look on.
Look, there’s a baby

having his first beignet.
Or maybe it’s hers. Who
can tell these days?

Jazz Wind

The way those Preservation Hall boys
Blow wind out of their mouths

They’ve got the cheeks of a hundred men.
The Jazz cat Sweets in the entry way

is as cool as a cat. He won’t complain
if you pet him, but he’s not going to

let you know how much he likes it either.
I’m going to feel this wind on the other

side of the Mississippi, on the other side
of the Rockies, on the other side of the desert

all the way to the Pacific where the orange trees
fight off the ocean. Jazz. New Orleans.

Away with me.



The shampoo brand
in our hotel shower
is Tuscan Soul
so you can imagine
what I’m going through
right now.

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