Poem of the Month: Recipe for Perfect Solitude by Ron Koertge


My parents insisted the barber come to dinner
because he did not have a family.  Where I
grew up, living alone was the worst thing
in the world besides cancer.  That someone
liked it or could be solitary by nature
was as heretical as the idea that God had big
feet and took baths.

Today I have a pork chop marinating
and a bottle of good wine.  I should eat
on the patio.  It’s beautiful and so quiet
it’s almost like the world is waiting for God
to finish bathing, to put on the secret music,
and to finally dance with the enormous jury
of His peers.


Ron Koertge lives in South Pasadena, California, where he is the current poet laureate.  He taught at the community college in Pasadena for 35 years and now teaches only at Hamline University in their low-residency program.  His latest books of poems are Yellow Moving Van (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2018) and
Olympusville (Red Hen Press, 2018).

“Recipe for Perfect Solitude” was published as part of Terry
Wolverton’s What’s Cookin’ postcard project, Los Angeles, 2005.


  1. God dancing with the enormous jury of his peers. Wonderful.


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