Houston native Amir Safi is an accomplished poet with a successful poetry festival and the critically acclaimed “Brown Boy. White House” to his name. But it’s a different kind of poem that’s getting him major attention — his “An Ode to Whataburger.”
Safi performed the tribute to every Texan’s favorite fast food burger place at the recent Texas Grand Slam Poetry Festival to raucous applause and a 2nd place finish. The festival tweeted video of Safi’s performance and Whataburger wrote their own poem of sorts in appreciation.
Safi’s slam poem was quickly shared all over the internet, with Texans in particular taking delight. “We come to receive your honey butter chicken blessings,” Safi says in the poem. “Arby’s has its own problems…and Wendy’s wants to be you when she grows up.”
Safi told the Houston Chronicle that Whataburger got in touch with him immediately to share their appreciation for the poem. “They are accessible, which is what you want from a restaurant and they take that accessibility to the internet as well,” says Safi.
While he didn’t expect all of the attention from the poem, Safi believes it comes from writing poetry that is “real.”
“I’ve been trying to push myself lately to write about everyday things we often overlook,” says Safi.
He hosts an open mic for slam poets in the Houston area every week. His post-slam meal of choice? You guessed it. Whataburger. Check out the homage to the greasy masters of meat below.