welcome to the haikutimes

Issue #75, October 25, 2003: Haiku Staff writers Patrick Lynn and Jonathan Machen, conscripted by the young Julian Mechels (and his father Steven) to help produce his very first batch of beer, also bring you this haikutimes report of homebrewing. As well, pictures from a climb to Twin Sister's peak near Estes Park.

the worp, the grains, the hops
that evanescent matter
bottled and prepared in advance
by one very-young,
already-to-be-beer connoisseur, little imp
of the mechels household,
called forth from a year long
romantic yoga courtship,
his parents not realizing
they would create a master brewer
instead of
a master yogi.

little julian, already equipped
with his father's DNA, drawn to ale
like a college physics graduate student
hovering close to the keg;
a patron of the brewing arts,
able to craft with deep knowing
even at his precocious young age
the fine variations of ales
without ever consulting a book:
steams, lagers, pilsners and the like -

now unnecessary
the wrinkled beer notebook
detailing keen-eyed
and aborted brewing attempts from years past,
scientific clarity mingled with
a few too many brewskes,
master brewer julian
directs by instinct

back to the present batch,
an attempt at ESB,
the recipe for which
the red-bearded hop 'n' malt
sales guy amends twice at the store,
suggesting at first
a strong hoppy twist
enhanced by one small
packit of irish moss
later suggesting
the first malt mixture be scrapped
for one of more bitter characteristics

we decide on ingredients
under the beeriodic table of elements
in one corner,
a rock star 'three j's' poster
jerry, john and jimi
hovering above glass beakers
carboys, flasks, pummels,
scouring agents for washing,
bulk bins of dark roasted
almost chocolatey brown malt
waiting to be rough-ground.
a gaggle of beer-drinking
home brew customers
all enter the shop at once

at this young age,
julian is cute enough in front
of his father to manipulate him
into making an early start
in his beerexperience.
cute enough also
to will those extra workers
in the form of late 30's guys,
still able to hoist
heavy brewing paraphernalia
to come to his assistance -
his father too tired, it seems

sensitive already to
the fine malt variations
hoppy notes of distinction
first step; requesting
his father and friends to hop to it
so to speak

to raise the barley
to a certain temperature,
rest when needed
with refrigerator brew,
strain and boil
again for malt,
with plugs of hops
when things have cooled.

julian tempts his uncles
with another brew
while encouraging them
to pay attention to
the whole procedure,
prodding them to wash
the carboy,
laughing when packit
blows into its wide top
sounding like a great anchor steam whistle,
laughing so hard he starts crying,
a true and pure reaction
by a sensitive beer soul -
brewmaster from birth,
swaggerer of the ale,
quaffer of the tin.

later, at dot's diner -
aisles crisscrossed
by busy waitresses
weaving matrix of motion
leaving a grid
in my inner eye,
cooks totally focused:
dave willey cooks like he drums
highly coordinated, syncopated
almost musical the way
he grills and garnishes
sends plates of eggs and potatoes
to the full house

later again I am looking at
paige's profile against twin sisters
across the from the shadow of longs peak
and I have forgotten the breakfast,
the beer, the yeast and sugars,
the wort, the suds,
the social beer-parties with friends
all sitting around a table
cartoon images of ourselves
making everyone laugh,
that we are all so the way we are
around the table
beer drinkers and socialites
captured in cartoon

solo/group kukai
jonathan machen