The Pegasus Awards

Grill Fire

Bob Kanefsky

Pegasus Nominations

Year Category Sample
2023 Best Adapted Song

Bob has created a 'how the sausage is made' file, available at!

Grill Fire

Lyric Copyright ©2018 by Bob Kanefsky, All Rights Reserved
Can be sung to "Hearthfire", Copyright © Ada Palmer

Ohio Valley Filk Fest has a dinner run as the penultimate programming item, between the Farewell Jam and the Dead Dog filk circle.

Used by permission

Filk fest. Dead dog on the way,
When the toast guest barged into the fray
Yelling "Meal quest! The con's nearly done.
But the wisest fans dine now unless they have gone."

So I signed up for food and I ventured outside.
And I emptied of papers the seat beside mine.
For a stranger rode shotgun, as I was no fool:
With the world growing warm we were wise to carpool
To the

Grill fire. Grill fire. Eat what you will fire.
Thrall fire. Mall fire. Throngs.
Heat fire. Meat fire. All you can eat fire.
Faux-Mongol circle of scrapers and tongs.

Tight space, between chairs and benches, by
Slim waist, slipped one of the wenches; cried,
"Ask me, I'll answer for customers
Anything a server at a restaurant should know."

She recounted the foods, and the price of all this,
And recited the drinks on the alcohol list.
And she gave us instructions and this was the gist:
"You may choose any food, but it all becomes grist"
For the

Grill fire. Grill fire. Eat what you will fire.
Plate fire. Grate fire. Plume.
Nice fire. Spice fire. Discounted price fire.
Smoking black circle of scrapers and tongs.

And I answered at once that I'd vowed not to eat either fowl, beast, or fish.
A vow I had made myself when I was young.
I would therefore be choosing a vegetable dish.
"So I hope you have broccoli, carrots and beets,
And some spinach and squash, not just nine kinds of meats.
I'll choose fiery chili and tiny tomatoes
And chopped baby corn and a piece of potato.
I trust you have tofu or kale at the least.
And from these I will make my Mongolian feast."
On the

Grill fire. Grill fire. Eat what I will fire.
Spend fire. Friend fire. Songs.
Gas fire. Fast fire. Sauce goes on last fire.
Sizzling circle of scrapers and tongs.

But she sighed as she asked
"Are you sure that a barbecue's where you should be?"
I noticed the smell now and heard in the grill crackle
All that I'd been so reluctant to see:

Sizzling and fizzling were pork parts, dismembered,
And flesh from a chicken just recently dead.
The juices roamed free, rose as smoke from the embers,
And scrape as they might, they can't clean every shred.
From the

Grill fire. Grill fire. Splatter and spill fire.
Root fire? Fruit fire? Wrong!
Feast fire. Cease, fire. Giblets and grease fire.
Oozing past wards of clean scrapers and tongs.

Tongs clashed. And the smell burned away
All illusion I might entertain.
And I faced now the longstanding fact:
There are no sanitation laws covering that.

Here I used to make fun of my ancestors' ghosts for
Insisting on keeping a whole kitchen kosher.
And the waitress who waited said finally, "Sir,
In back there's a microwave you might prefer
To the

Grill fire. Grill fire. You're looking ill fire.
Your fire, pure fire, yon.
Alternate tech fire, if you reject fire
Inside our circle of shared grill and tongs.

And at last through the smokescreen,
I thought of a thing that had always been plain:
Hot entrees I'd eaten before this-
And by them were blood-covered spareribs awash in the flame.

I felt sick to my stomach. Thought "Why do I bother?
I can't understand why I ever eat out.
Sure, a shared grill is fun. But it's sort of gross too.
It's a farce to believe it's been cleaned through and through.
But you want to feel close, and more friends have arrived.
If you wish to break bread you must somehow contrive
To like"

Grill fire. Grill fire. Brotherhood, battle zone.
Campfire. Bonfire. Alienation prone.
You fire. Me fire. Grill that I see fire.
Surely no worse than the grills that I don't.

Grill fire. Grill fire. What-shall-we-kill fire.
Choice vegetarians face.
Quarantined food from Mongolian microwaves?
Just get me ice cream with
Coconut crumbles and bring me the check.


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