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Hal Sirowitz was recently awarded the winner of the Noir Con 2012 Poetry Contest, selected by Robert Polito, Director of the creative writing program at The New School. Garrison Keillor frequently reads Sirowitz's poems on his NPR radio show, The Writer's Almanac, and he was interviewed on that show's website called Bookshelf. He was awarded the NEA and the New York Foundation Fellowships in Poetry. He was appointed the second Poet Laureate of Queens, New York. His term was for three years.


Why I Liked Root Beer

My favorite beverage was a glass of root beer. I would go to the local candy counter and order it by adding, “Please put a lot of root in the drink.” That was code for syrup. I liked my drink sweet. If I was feeling very intellectual that day I would order a Sarsaparilla, a variation of root beer. There was a lot of fizz in it. What I also liked was it had real fuzz like beer. I waited for the fuzz to dissolve and become soda again. If I poured a little salt in the root beer, it would fizzle even more. I felt like a Peter Pan who didn’t want to grow up. Why drink Budweiser, I said to myself, when root beer was more fun? Why get an alcoholic high when I could get a sugar one that brought me back to earth without a hangover.