MISSOULA – Public outcry over a poem that appeared recently in the FLATimes reached new extremes this week when Boss Griffith demanded an apology and revision from the poem’s author. “Beans Beans Beans!,” written by FLAT poet-in-residence, P.J. Donough, appeared in last week’s Special Wednesday Poem Edition, sparking vigorous debate over the value of vegetable-related verse. “This is not some artsy-fartsy publication where sell-outs like Donough can make fun of real issues,” said Griffith in an exclusive interview Friday.
The piece, written in a post-modernistic limerician style, romanticized the efforts of local gardener Kate Stanley to sprout beans in a jar. “There’s more to it,” added Stanley yesterday. “It’s not just about sticking beans in a jar and waiting – it takes a lot of effort. For instance, you have to wash the beans before you put them in the jar.” Stanley says she is “more interested in the process” than in the debate over the poem’s shortcomings.
“After you wash the beans, you have to put them in a jar with a screen top and tilt it so the water can drain out. Then you keep rinsing twice a day and letting it drain until the beans start to sprout. It’s really hard work; I think I spent at least a full minute each time.” After a few days, says Stanley, the beans are good to eat. “They’re best when the sprouts are about a quarter inch long.” When asked where sprouts come from, Stanley declined to speculate.
Randomwebsiteaboutbeans.com reports that, in fact, sprouted beans are healthier all around. A report from the National Bean Sprout Research Commission shows increased digestibility, vitamins and minerals, protein content (by up to 30%), and reduced carbohydrate content in sprouted beans. “They even make me less gassy!” reported Stanley. “And that’s what Donough really missed when he wrote that poem.”
Donough resigned Monday night as poet-in-residence following public ridicule. “That’s justice” commented Griffith. Donough was unavailable for comment.