Friday, December 28, 2012

Shells. Can a poem be contained?

Oysters, mussels, clams, abalone -- consider their shells. What gifts contained on the half-shell.

Consider the voice as a shell offering fresh, sweetmeats.

Food and words are ever so personal. Indeed aren't they?

Yes, the last blog for 2012 begins & ends with oysters, as in While Eating Oysters.

Tea. How does making tea interweave with a poetry reading?

Leaves, of course.

Add the essential to tea (aka H2O) and leaves unfurl, expand. Tea's essence -- it's gift -- invites you in.

Give voice to a poem and words leave the page, inviting the audience within.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Cranberries. What question do cranberries instill in a poem?

Cranberries inspire an investigation into the tart vs sweet in poetry. Perhaps, inspiring a remedy. In poetry as well as food, I prefer the tart to the overly-sweet. And you?

Black pepper. What does black pepper and a poem offer?

A welcomed surprise to the taste buds. Please remember, a poem is not only seen and heard. It is tasted.

Hold on, I'm thinking. In this way, black pepper is much like the perfect amount of punctuation in a poem. Don't you think? With or without the "?."

Persimmons. How do persimmons inspire a Solstice poem?

Persimmons are like words.
They come when the season is ready.

Winter Solstice, 2012

Light crackles dark, dark gathers
whispers at the rim.

Season assumes perfect
shape. Pomegranates/persimmons persist

in cerulean bowl among the unseen, calm.

Why now does she recall Grandmother saying,
“More circles than boxes in this world, child.”

Striking a match
what does she now know?

Light/dark inseparable,
one actress plays all roles.

Certainly the ripe curves.
Perhaps, new pages to be turned.

Medjool dates. Why do Medjool dates remind us of blank poetry notebooks.

It's a number-thing. Sitting on the counter are two unopened boxes (one substantial,
the other more-so) of Medjool dates. How to consume?

All over the house in various places, blank notebooks.

Until the blog entry is complete, this is a page of a blank notebook.

Please excuse me. I'm breaking here to grab a date. Will return shortly.

Flatbread. How is crispy flatbread similar to a page of poetry?

Both are canvases, sometimes wide open for interpretation, for play.

Flatbread w/Smoked Salmon

broil flatbread (gently)
smear Creme Fraiche (how can you go wrong?)
add slices of smoked salmon (again, how can you go wrong?)
on the side, an offering of capers/red onion

Do most of your poems arrive before or after a meal? Or during? I'd like to know. Perhaps, with any of these time slots you can't go wrong.

Royal Riviera pears. How does RRp resemble haiku?

Both are huge.

Some say haiku are petite poems, but they are misguided though well-intentioned.

On a personal note, pears (in general) and haiku (specifically) remind me of women. Yes, I realize there is no scientific explanation for this, although when the cat awakes, I will be discuss with him.

Risotto. How does risotto resemble a poem?

In the making, of course.
Risotto requires much stirring. A poem requires much reading. Reading is the classical form of editing. Who would wish lumpy, unappealing words?

In the enjoyment of left-overs.

heat broth to which you add left-over risotto
give a few good twists of black pepper
drizzle olive oil
top with curls of parmesan

Read the poem (again!) you wrote this morning. Out loud, of course.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Green garbanzo beans. What's the bond been GGB and a poem?

Consider the ordinary as anything but. Be it young. Be it mature.

Consider a 2 garbanzo bean salad. Toss young and mature beans with olive oil, splash balsamic, twists of pepper, tomatoes, nuts (but which kind?), a snip of fresh herb.
Perhaps add cooked chicken. Perhaps not. The same goes for shrimp.

Where did you place the poem to accommodate?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Eggs. How is cracking eggs emblematic of a poem.

One word? Enjambment.
Two words: Delicious enjambment.

As in eggs, poems should have a practical yet fragile exterior and a nutritious inside.

Mixed fresh herbs. What is the equivalent in a poem?

Surprise & delight for the unexpected. Yet, this unexpected is known. Is familiar. Common as the letters in an alphabet.

Soups. Are there more soups made on a winter's night than poems created?

First, when is a dish a soup and not a stew?
When is a written piece a draft? When, a poem?

It all goes into the pot and what is shared is either soup or stew and always the makings of a poem.

Simple tomato sauce. Can a simple tomato sauce be a poem?

Minimalist Epic: On the addition of almonds to a winter tomato sauce

Melt butter
add chopped tomatoes (1-2) as in those dark red/green ones from Trader Joe's
black pepper
lemon thyme
pitted black olives

heat. serve over spinach pasta

yes, almonds

yes, the winter solstice poem will come if meals be colorful

Dried fruits. What do dried fruits share with poems?

With dried fruits, concentration of flavor.
With poems, compression of language.

An auditory/edible memory of the ripe. Be it known, memory is always in season.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Shortbread. How is shortbread shorthand for a poem?

In two words -- buttery & sweet. Some poems are like that. There is sweetness in the bitter, even in the minimal as readily as shorthand to a poem's gesture.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

haiku. How will tomorrow's special meal honor haiku?

haiku, of course, being the precocious & handsome tuxedo kitty. haiku moved in with me 9 years ago tomorrow.

And the food? Either cracked crab or sushi. haiku will have neither. Extra treats will be given. Hats will not be worn. And probably a poem begun -- celebratory for sure.

Winter Fruit Salad. How does WFS inspire a poem?

Color & naming. So let's name -- kiwi, fuyu persimmon, raspberries. Add sliced avocado. Yes, avocado -- I'm not joking.

What a riot of color & taste. Much what an engaging poem provides.

Healthy, too.

And surprise -- seeing the inside of a poem. Cut into the kiwi -- surprise & delight.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Longest line of poetry. How is the longest line of poetry you've ever written akin to the longest meal you've enjoyed?

Let's assume both positive (as in enjoyable) experiences. & how is enjoyable so much like enjambment? Thus, a seemingly short line grows long and perhaps circuitously interesting.

A line of poetry becomes long when one syllable added to the next. Words beget words.

Once I wrote a line consisting of 21 words. &, no, it was not a one line poem.

I have frequently enjoyed meals of 3 hours or more when the conversation was akin to enjambment.

Sweet. When is a poem unexpectedly sweet?

When it resembles a multi-rice salad with persimmons, roasted pecans, and cranberries infused with pomegranate juice. Savory & sweet. Poem like the salad whose name it bears, yummy & shareable.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Green beans. Do green beans inspire a straight-forward poem?

Depends upon how the green beans are prepared. Steamed & nude, green beans inspire a straight forward poem. Although it might be one of those quirky internal landscape pieces. Stridently short.

So, on this Thanksgiving green beans were eaten thus plain and there was celebration for WHILE EATING OYSTERS.

& the table extended hardy gratitude to Bob Heman of CLWN WR BKS, Brooklyn.

Turkey. What connection between turkey and a grateful poem?

How many pounds is the turkey?
How many people around the table?
How many didn't know each other well before this gathering.
How many changed their opinions? Their truth?

Here's a truth all (well, most) can agree -- leftover turkey results in meals for least 2 days.


turkey cubed
pumpkin seeds
1/2 avocado diced
roasted tomatoes
TJ's corn & chili salsa -- some
queso fresco cubed
black pepper
corn tortillas -- roasted

Thanks, Ann!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Piquillo. What does this pepper & poetry share?

In one word -- surprise. Need more?

Not what you were expecting.

Then again, perhaps you didn't know what you were expecting.

Perhaps, the poem didn't either.

Perhaps, neither of your knew it took roasting to make what happened, happen.

Thanksgiving food. What is a grateful poem?

Which came first?

Food or the poem grateful for?

Pomegranate. Are the seeds in a pomegranate akin to the punctuation in a poem?

In terms of numbers, unlikely. Unlikely there would be 613 marks of punctuation in a poem. Unless an epic. Unless a ballad. Unless one gigantic poem spilling an entire book of more than (say) 24 pages

and yet, I do think
a pomegranate
with seemingly
613 seeds, mostly
edible, mostly
does indeed
as all fruit
to wings

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Roasting tomatoes. While roasting tomatoes what did she discover about poetry?

The common becoming uncommon. Smitten by the simple -- somewhat plotless. Somewhat alluring. Braiding the opposites -- ripe & minimal.

Growing up in Jersey, she thought she knew all she needed to know about tomatoes -- bulbous, fleshy, juicy. Then, she came upon the petite zebra stripe. Oh my. Green & ripe. No need to batter & fry.

Tomatoes. Tomatoes are ubiquitous and grand much like poetry, no?


So many varieties to the varietals -- shape, size, color. Some painted as a Bonnard sunset/sunrise.

Poetry is a kind of legal, ingestible nightshade.

Habit forming.



Roasted persimmons. Are persimmons the perfect fruit to roast in anticipation of writing a poem?


Any questions?

Answers can be found in multiple places. Beside the kitchen, the constellations are a fine & ripe jumping-off place.

Sake. How is sake akin to a fountain pen?

in the pursuit of pleasure -- poetry & libation.

But let's begin with definition. Do I mean sake the drink? Or sake the Japanese salmon which I have enjoyed for dinner & lunch recently.


& the pleasure of writing with a fountain pen while remembering the taste of sake.


Cooking. How is cooking similar to writing a poem?

Both come down to process. & discovery. Take the known and make a little something heretofore, unknown.

Simple as roasting persimmons. Roasting pears. Actively pursuing the ripe, she picks up the well-worn fountain pen.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Pumpkin curry. Why is poetry scary to some?

I eat pumpkin curry but the making of intimidates me for some unexplored reason. Perhaps, the cutting up of the heavy, recalcitrant, bulbous body.

Why do some announce: I don't read poetry; I don't get it.

Perhaps, they make pumpkin curry on a regular basis. I could learn much from them.

Am I suggesting fear is a teacher? The unknown a mentor?

Sunflower seeds. How do sunflower seeds teach one to read a poem?

I think of sunflower seeds as commas straightened to appear as apostrophes. In either view, sunflower seeds are punctuation marks that allow silence into a line. Much needed. Even in the midst of drumming, silence is welcomed. When the chant ends, silence prevails and no breath, lost.

Think where these seeds get their origin; their meaning.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Roasted walnuts. Can a poem be roasted as walnuts can?

Take this under advisement. A true conundrum, similar to the inconvenience of an empty bowl?

The much loved & recited poem is akin to roasted walnuts. The mouth experiences warmth and release of satisfying oil.

On the eve of Halloween, a cautionary tale. Never allow a hand-crafted pizza to go un-topped with walnuts. Well, almost never.

Pumpkins. What kind of poem resembles a pumpkin?

The carved into allowing light or the perception of.

Words are seeds. Pumpkin or otherwise.

Wrapped food. Are poems wrapped food?

Of course. Language is skin holding together that which is within. Within the within? Energy -- thought & gesture.

Color. How does color inform both food & poetry?

At this moment in SF, it is a fine time to be feasting on persimmons with their giant like orange color.

Can there be an absence of color in food -- black licorice or dates? Have we moved
into a discussion of Halloween? What's a terrifying poem? The one that went unwritten.

Minimalist epic: Persimmons masquerading as apples

the crunch

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Champagne. Which poems are written when Champagne is sipped?

Sparkling & bubbly ones, of course. And poems which pare with smoked salmon & creme fraiche. Celebrations with old & new friends.

Who said read a poem enough times to hear the laughter, the joy in it? Joy is akin to effervesce. Welcome it coming & going.

Giants. What poetry do Giants eat?

Celebratory words and perhaps, in a few days, all in San Francisco will be seated at the festive table. Or perhaps in the street raising voices as in a slam.

Odes to the Giants! For those who wish to be exact, there's a school of baseball poetry. Not quite like cowboy, but more akin than not.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Refrigerator. What language does the refrigerator and poetry speak?

Language of left-overs.
Language of bits & pieces.
Language of surprise (both pleasant and otherwise).
Language of question.
Language of too much.
Language of too little.
Language of the ripe.
Language of the over-ripe.

Some refrigerators are covered with magnetic poetry. Some poems are vehicles for menus.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Grapes on the vine. How are those grapes similar to published poems?

They both have their natural affinity; their necessary community. Go so far to call it home. Confused? Grapes off the vine are still grapes as poems unpublished are poems. Grape & poem crave a home -- modest as it might be.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Asparagus. How does roasted asparagus mimic lines of poetry?

By form, asparagus is linear. Line-like. Roasted asparagus is sweet and soft -- unexpected. Poetry frequents the unexpected even when it looks mild on the page.

Chicken soup. What's the kinship between chicken soup and writing a poem?

Well if your grandmother never told you, perhaps, I should. A poem in its most culinary form is chicken soup. And, yes, chicken soup is always poetry. The ladle, the pen welcome leftovers to the stock pot. Remember, the page is often such.

Peaches. How are peaches & poems related?

Necessary indulgences especially when peaches roasted (yes, that's what I meant) and poems read aloud.

Recipe to accommodate a poem being itself & read aloud

400 degree oven
slice a peach
arrange on baking dish
roast as you would a poem
until finished

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Pears. What does the appearance of a pear teach us about poetry?

And what it doesn't.
First the affirmative. The physically of both pear and poem should please. Not much of a leap to draw the similarity between the shape of pear and woman. All to the good.

Second, there is more than one varietal of pear. Same with poetry. As my grandma said, "Nothing singular to nature."

We speak in generalities (pear or poem) cognizant of the subtle variations.

pears do

Fuyu persimmons. What do Fuyu and the last line in a poem share?

A lineage of anticipation. Anticipation through the first bite to the last lingering word. Crunch of the ripe -- you can hear it, smell it, taste it.

Soon, soon Fuyu persimmons will be as plentiful in the market as words. Yummy.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Fiesta salad. How does a fiesta salad anticipate a poem?

First, what's a fiesta salad? All that is ripe & colorful & tossed on a plate or a white shallow bowl with an accompaniment of great music. Creative, health-loving, and eye & ear snapping. Much like Fiesta on the Hill, Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center's annual fundraiser. Always the third Sunday of the month, October 21 10-6 along Cortland. Always a ton of great music. Free.

Poetry is music & food & meant to be shared.

A Fiesta Salad for Lunch to Anticipate Fiesta on the Hill

heirloom tomatoes, chunks
avocado, cubed
Persian cucumbers, cubed
Welch cheddar, cubed
Fuji apple, chuncks
peppers, twists of
basil, fresh & torn
olive oil

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Late harvest salad. What connects a l.h.s. with a fine poem?

Let's place a late harvest salad in context. It's the beginning of October and the heirlooms (tomatoes, of course) are a superb marriage of color and juiciness. So fresh & exquisitely sunset-ish. Just what a fine poem does -- startles gratitude.

Late harvest salad to accompany an avocado

two heirlooms
handful spinach
small handful mix of currants, sunflowers seeds, bits of almond
a fat & flavorful avocado
twists of pepper

cheese would complement
sometimes going without (did she mean going minimal?)makes the dish and/or paper happy

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Saffron rice. How does saffron rice anticipate poetry?

The delightful surprise of color. Celebratory & royal hue with sweet gesture of raisin & pistachio. Why haven't I thought of this before -- paper is bowl for words.

The saffron a gift. The next word also a gift.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Petitie potatoes. What is the contribution of small potatoes to poetry?

It's obvious. Petite potatoes contribute heft to a poem. Consider, without a belly can a poem be?

Pork belly.
Fish belly.
Tomato belly.
Pumpkin belly.
Brie belly-belly.

Good to be silly on the cat-haiku's 9th birthday!

Light. What is the connection among, light, meals, and poetry?

Let's zero-in, shall we, and articulate that one word which connects this trinity.


Two words? Simple joy.

What's for breakfast? Bernal Plus One book club meets -- always a festival of food, laughter, conversation. All of which is poetry.

Nine. What is the significance of 9 and poetry?

haiku the cat turns 9 today. Every poem has a bit of birthday to it, don't you think?
Every meal shared with a friend (say, Boulder-based Dorothy) is a fiesta and the conversation is a poem of sorts.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Raspberries. How do raspberries mentor a poem?

By color.
By timbre. Yes, sometimes raspy.
By design. Recalling the work of honeybees and their hives.
By taste. A poem must feel just so in the mouth.

By example. Exemplary of the ripe.

Breakfast soft corn tacos

mix: raspberries, golden cherry tomatoes, snippets of basil, cubes of queso fresco, a twist pepper

warm the corn tacos over stove's flame (electric? out of luck)



the poem will soon reveal its color, timber, physicality, and above all, ripeness

Figs. How is adding figs to a caprese salad akin to a fine edit of a poem?

To surprise with the simple benefits both food & poem. When eyes see the ensuring good weight the mouth is encouraged.

By the way, olives will harm neither caprese fig salad nor poem.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Creme fraiche. What poem does a dab of creme fraiche most resemble?

A dab of well-appointed creme fraiche mirrors what the occasional poem attempts. Proclaim and celebrate an occasion. Example? Nancy's 70th birthday. Perhaps, there will be smoked salmon, creme fraiche, and madly happy poets.

Nancy's b-poem? On the Nature of Red, of course.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Menu. What attributes do menu planning and poetry writing share?

Menu planning and writing a poem share the love of adventure, good ingredients recycled, and the pursuit of fun. Gratitude in both does no harm, either.

Eat a poem daily is not too shabby a mantra.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Figs again. How are figs an inspiration to any poem?

Simple, the poet is happy while eating figs knowing these fruit will not last forever. Figs embody how the ripe is necessary yet transitory. One could get quite biblical about figs, but it's already been done.

So eating a fig or two she asks, "Are poems transitory by nature?"

Chard. How does chard inspire the poem?

The sound of crunch. Sound of the definitive. And oh so green & curvy. Just what a woman wants in a poem, wouldn't you say? Especially when it comes freshly picked from writer-friend Rich's garden. The late Early Girl tomatoes are so exquisitely up for chard's companionship, too.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Finger limes. What similarities exist between finger limes and haiku?

Both beg other questions.
Q: What are finger limes? A: Tiny, the size of small pinkies.

Q: Which haiku? A: Not my cat.

I'm confident I'd like finger limes as much as I do baby carrots. But not as much as haiku, the cat.

I'm contemplating a minimalist epic on finger limes.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Chicken soup. When we cook chicken soup, are we writing a poem for healing?

Healing & praise are essential ingredients of chicken soup. No doubts. Write that down. & so begins the line.

Minimalist Epic: Equal to the chicken as in soup

dried lemons

close to the end of cooking, carrots

and most recent French string beans

First put down generous tablespoons cooked farro then add the chicken soup. Top with pepper, fresh basil.

Always, always the small dish of olives -- green & black. This, equivalent to the pen which fits your hand.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Tomatoes. My friend Kim says tomatoes are the best fruit and what does this have to do with poetry?

Nothing less that silhouette of memory. So fresh. May I say deliciously stark yet juicy. Nightshade never sweeter. Oh, so kind.

MINIMALIST EPIC: Contemplating heirloom tomatoes, she boils petite potatoes


simple math of color
and yet, she never saw such purple
especially potatoes


and, oh so willing

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Strawberries. Which two words both describe strawberries and the poetry I've been reading?

Unseasonable ripe.

If you allow 4 words -- Unseasonably ripe. Luscious. Plentiful.

So you ask, what am I reading? Our Lady of the Ruins by Traci Brimhall. How Things Are, James Richardson. As I mentioned a day or so ago, Anne Carson's Antigonick illustrated by Bianca Stone. Tell me, do you believe you become what you read? Hope so. Tell me, do you become what you eat?

Minimalist Epic: Recipe for ripe strawberries

No adornment.
Eat often.
Lick fingers.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Atypical breakast. How is an atypical breakfast the perfect invitation for a poem?

A poem is never business as usual. What's an atypical breakfast? Probably isn't when you take into account all the cultures. Soup or salad or cheese or meats or fish.

When someone says they heard or read a typical poem, inquire what they ate for breakfast.

Picnic Breakfast to eat while feeding a friend's cat

small hunk sharp cheddar (Dubliner)
a few small prune plums
rice cake (donated by that friend)
3 brown figs

add hummus & carrots (minus rice cake) and you have picnic lunch

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Golden cherry tomatoes. How are G.c.t like a perfect last line of a poem?

Memorable. Unexpected & full taste. Although you've tasted (or heard) this before,it is ripe & deliciously so fresh that it almost takes your breath away and gives it right back.

Today's buzz is that golden tomatoes are extraordinarily good for you. Please be reminded, so is poetry.

Golden cherry tomatoes & figs (brown & green)

add feta
twists of pepper
drizzle olive oil

Read Anne Carson's latest Greek translation illustrated by Bianca Stone.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Plated food. How does plated food mirror the edited poem?

What you see is what you get. What you taste. What feeds you. A trinity of questions masquerading as answers.

Un-plated food? Chips from bag. Golden tomatoes from green plastic lidless box. Ice cream eaten directly from container. Foregone tonight in pursuit of sushi.

Sushi might just be the pinnacle of editing. Perfectly fresh. Cleansing. Invigorating. Nothing more than need be. Everything it must.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Limes. Is there a lime in every poem?

Yes, I didn't mean "line." Limes are small, unexpected pleasures that makes a dish special. Or drink.

Never be without a lime nor pen/paper.


the most
& I
at your

Shrimp. Does shrimp have history with poetry?

Shrimp is familiar as a comma. Poems love their commas almost as much as I am devoted to shrimp.

Avoid boiling shrimp; avoid the overcooked poem.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Oolong. How is oolong like a flight of poems?

Let's remember all is story and story is meeting place. Red Blossom Tea ( on Grant St in San Francisco is the place for tea-lovers of which I am. Later today, I'll be happy & grateful when I walk into their sweet & pure place to purchase a flight of oolong. To be precise, 5 oolongs and all different. So like a collection of poems. Perhaps, we should say, a flight of poems.

Soon, I will make green tea noodles with shrimp. But not today.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Raspberries. What can raspberries teach the reader of a poem?

Slow-down. Each sound matters as it pays homage to the ripe. Even those which over time are a hair's breath away from silence.


not audible
and very
red in
of scarlet
hive, bee
that is

Brown rice, plain. What is the connection between brown rice and a poem?

Simplicity. Nuttiness if one tastes carefully. Perhaps one grain/one letter at a time. Nutritious, too.

Snap peas. What is the quickest way to make a poem snappy?

The short answer, feed the cook.

The longer version goes thus:


snap peas sliced
apricot, sliced
cherokee tomato, cubed
almonds, handful of
Trader Joe's Brown Rice Medley, cold (see posting 8/24 Daikon Radish Seeds) spoonfuls
queso fresco, small (very) cubes
olive oil

Friday, August 24, 2012

Daikon radish seeds. What's the connection between daikon radish seeds and poetry?

Surprise in the taste. Trader Joe's offers Brown Rice Medley, "A delicious Blend of Long Grain Brown Rice, Black Barley & Daikon Radish Seeds. Here with a few ingredients we have the making of a poem. We have expectations of our food, of our poems. That they be good. That they be tasty. If they are better than expected, so much the better-ing. Grab your favorite pen; snag a bag or two of TJ's poetic mix. Won't the day be over-the-top poetically-speaking.


will take
a minimum
of 35 minutes
an additional

Pears. What's the connection between pears and a poem?

Pears are womenly-shaped poems.


Didn't she mean the eating of?

Basil with tomatoes. What is the equivalency of basil and tomatoes in poetry?

Rare is the question that can be answered completely in 3 words -- pen and paper. Yes?



Prepared food. What is a prepared poem?

Is a prepared poem one which has been tampered with? As in overly edited? Or so slim and stark that it's astringent to the mouth, to the ears? Can you say, what is the echo's girth of a prepared poem? Is this regional? Is this seasonal?

Considering, some foods are atonal what is the offering for lunch?

Cantaloupe. What's the connection between cantaloupe and writing a poem?

Sorry, that was misleading. We're really speaking about cutting up fruit, cantaloupe in particular. Also, it's more about editing than writing. Though editing is writing, isn't it? Like a poem, you don't know what you have until you cut into it. Sometimes you find the center full of seeds. How practical is joy! Salt and roast them. Reread the poem. Did I mean pumpkin?


the seeds


the seeds

Friday, August 10, 2012

Donut holes. Is it their sugar that remains me of some poems?

I can admire a well-written, lyrical personal narrative; although I try to find its impersonal core. Usually with slim success. Too much sugar does not inspire me. A line here or there, yes. The same with sentiment. I'm looking for the actual hole in the donut, which doesn't sell and, as they say, is illusive.

Duck. How is making duck like trying something new in poetry?

Embrace the unfamiliar. Break the old patterns whether food or lines. Perhaps a day without enjambment would be beneficial. Write a long poem. It can always be whittled down to the minimal. There is a safety net; don't confuse with a spider's web.

Savor the anticipation of both -- duck and words.

Washing dishes. How is washing dishes similar (but not identical) to editing a poem?

Without the clause ("but not identical") this would be an ambiguous question. Perhaps all questions are site lines on perspective and therefore open to interpretation. Nevertheless, washing dishes and editing are common, repeatable functions. This is one time when it's advantageous to multi-task. Of course, you can walk and edit but that's another topic. Did I mention washing dishes and editing poems are necessary for good health & the feeding of friends. Most don't think that poems are edible. This is a common misunderstanding. Simply ask your ears which poems they prefer to munch on.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Lunch. How was today's lunch no different from editing the the poem I wrote this morning?

Let me set the context. I've joined a virtual group of poets, committed to writing a poem a day from a received prompt. Great fun. 38 days = 38 poems = 38 lunches.

My lunches are following the shadow of the poems. Never know what will occur on the plate or bowl until I open the refrigerator. I'm beginning to see the refrigerator as
well as the cupboard as a food-prompt.

Today's lunch (which was not yesterday's and won't be tomorrow's).

sliced avocado
sliced peach
sliced Asian pear
blue cheese
sliced radishes
mixed salad greens with edible flowers (mostly bits of nasturtium & corn flower petals)
olive oil

And the poem? Pulverize the granite & who are you? Pull the twig from the crow's craw & who is the crow? (Yes, that's the title). It goes on from there.

All in all, a fine day for shaping words & eating the ripe.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Salmon tacos. How are salmon tacos like a poem?

Both are versatile once you begin with the essential ingredients. Salmon and soft tacos for lunch. The alphabet & clear ears for the poem. The insides can startle in a good way, offering the unexpected.


No one is looking, so add a sliced pluot to the salmon taco.
Be wild, add sliced avocado. Small grape tomatoes.

The telling of this to another is the short & delightfully slippery road to a poem. Munch the yummy.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Ugly shiitaki mushrooms. How are these mushrooms like the poem?

These ugly shiitaki mushrooms are the edited versions of a poem. Short though it may be. Necessary and full of flavor and essence. And much more than itself when combined. Those unruly 26 letters each a small ugly (yet beautiful) shiitaki mushroom.

Language, like mushrooms, is enhanced in the sauteing of.... And the sauteing often results in an edible poem. Though, truth to tell, not all poems are edible.

Culinary dictionary. How is a culinary dictionary like a cookbook for writing poems?

End results are for the mouth's pleasure.
Never forget that.
Never forget most dishes as most poems improve with a twist of pepper.
She's said that before.

The Internet is essential to the cook and to the poet in equal measure. Especially, when the cook is writing poems in the kitchen. Especially when the poet is eating with friends.

Pluots. What does the hybrid stone fruit have in common with poems?

It shares a magnificent and often unexpected color when sliced into. Did she mean when read?

Pluots as the New Seasonal Reference Salad

sliced plutos (several types)
feta or queso fresco cheese
fresh basil
twist of pepper
sliced avocado are permissible
& it goes without saying, olive oil

an accompaniment for grilled chicken or grilled shrimp
or as a bruschetta topping

Unfamiliar herbs. What does an unfamiliar herb share in common with a poem you're reading for the first time?

Encountering the unfamiliar by root, stem, leaf or smell. How to use said herb. How to read said poem? This I know for sure, both are essential ingredients and the finding is the journey. The plate, the page where the journey begins & ends.

Dahlias. Who said, "Dahlias are the showy heart of a poem?"

I did at 10:58 AM today.

White ones in a crystal vase. The candle nearly spent. And later a clear glass bowl filled with fresh sliced peaches, queso fresco, small grape tomatoes, fresh basil, olive oil, pepper, almonds, and black olives. Perhaps, diced avocado, as well.

Heirloom tomatoes. How does a poem inspire heirloom tomatoes?

Its physical appearance is taken in and you know something special about tomato & poem. The physicality is a language both heirloom (as in tomato) and poem speak. Although their dialects might differ.

Also, both are fond of fresh basil.

Purslane. What do purslane and the poem you wrote this morning have in common?

Both are green. Both contain a ton of Omega-3.

Don't believe me? Get out the saute pan. Olive oil, garlic, chopped onions. Saute then add purslane and fresh tomatoes.

Now, where's that fountain pen?

Black abada dates. How are Bad similar to haiku?

You know it's a date but it surprises. And the seasonal reference is imbedded as is the pit.

Where's the pit in a poem? Punctuation, perhaps. Perhaps not.

How to eat black abada dates?

simply, with no adornment
or with white or yellow cheeses -- feta or Irish cheddar, in particular
or with small grape tomatoes & fresh basil & walnuts & cheese

as many ways as the implements to write a poem

Squash. Are poems as varied & seasonal as squash?

Yes, various colors, shapes, and taste. Yet, highly recognizable sometimes with a crooked neck. Sometimes more like a crisp cucumber, but appearances deceive. One other comparison is worth noting. Squash can be eaten raw, steamed, sauteed, grilled, roasted, or a combination, thereof. Poems can be tasted as many ways.

Squash plays especially well with garlic, onions, tomatoes and host of herbs. Goat cheese, of course.

Although it is a poetic fact that squash do not generates as many poems about as do tomatoes, peaches, figs. Or lemons for that matter. When as the last time you read a bowl about a bowl of squash?

Friday, July 27, 2012

Stone fruit. Why is stone fruit a reliable source & inspiration of the ripe in poetry?

The pit is an antidote to the overly-sweet.
It delights the senses. It makes the mouth hum.
Even their names inspire -- apricot, pluot, peach, nectarine, cherry.
Let's not forget plum.

Sliced into, those colors give way to words.

How many times can I write a peach poem.


One should be as greedy for love
as one is for the ripest of peaches.

Eggrolls.How is an eggroll similar to a poem?

With an eggroll the surprise comes from the inside out.

With a poem the surprise comes from the inside out.

However, this is not to suggest that eggrolls & poems are synonymous.


I've just beginning to experiment with baked eggrolls.

Begin with an eggroll skin (store-purchased)
to which you a add healthy dollop of sauteed mushrooms with garlic
fold according to the instructions on the eggroll package
place on an oiled baking sheet; brush lightly with olive oil
perhaps 8-10 minutes in hot oven

Think of an eggroll skin as a practical container for the 26 letters of the alphabet in the pursuit of making a poem.

Yummy but very, very hot.

I've written poems for decades and I'm just beginning to experiment. So much those 26 little things can tease and teach.

Peach pizza. How much sweetness can a poem tolerate?

Depends whether it's breakfast or later.

Life can be touched by honey; so can a meal; so can a poem. Not gratuitous or false sweetness.

Or to rephrase the question: How much ripeness can a poem contain?

Anyway, here's the peach pizza

pizza shell of your choice (flatbread or corn-crusted crust)
a rub of olive oil
mozzarella or feta or queso fresco
sliced tomatoes or cherry tomatoes
fresh basil

in preheated 400 degree oven for 8-15 minutes, depending on crust.

can be served morning, noon or night -- just like reading poetry

Pepper. How do certain words pepper a poem?

With a ping
and something a pang.

Have you seen pepper mixed with flowers: rose, calendula, lavender & cornflower petals. More of curiosity than a sentence.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Salad. How does salad relate to writing yet another poem?

You know what's ripe.
You know what's in the refrigerator.
You know what's in the cupboards.
You can cut.
You can slice.
You can mix.
You can be practical.
You can be pragmatic.
You can recite the 26 letters of your alphabet.
You can always find your go-to words.
You can be smitten by the doing.
You can be charmed by the tasty unexpected.


cube watermelon
cut an apricot
cube 2 Persian cucumbers
slice several radishes
add a bit of Bulgarian feta
black olives
fresh tarragon
olive oil

mix & do as your friend Nina does. hum when food is right

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Company. How is cooking for company similar to pulling together poems for a reading?

Both adhere to deadlines.
Both revel in surprise.
Both use common ingredients in uncommon ways.
Both take the enigmatic and try to fashion it tangible.
Both offer tastes.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Roasted eggplant salad. How is preparing a Res good practice for writing a poem a day in the month of July?

Keep flexible. Don't measure outcome before the work is done. Let it sit.

Don't taste the eggplant until you're roasted it.

Minimalist Epic: On preparing a roasted eggplant salad while writing a daily poem

Slice lengthwise small Italian eggplants
Drizzle w/olive oil
Roast @400 degrees until soft
Mix with olive oil & pepper (lemon, if you wish)
Arrange on plate & top w/cherry tomatoes, feta, black pit-less olives, cut basil, pine nuts optional
Drizzle with olive oil
Crown with basil sprig/bouquet

P.S. Add fresh cut apricots or figs. Or both. These in moderation but write voraciously.

Cook & write everyday. Confuse them. Don't confuse them.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Marinated olives. How are Mo a role model for poems?

Some poems could benefit greatly from brining. Curing.

In the meantime, here's a poem-friendly culinary activity:

jar of good green olives (with pits)
lemon zest & a squeeze of juice
2 bay leaves
3-4 slices of garlic
fresh lemon thyme -- a few sprigs
olive oil

to which can be added:
chopped tomatoes
or almonds
or feta
or roasted onions
or carrots (raw or roasted)
MIX (Serve as tapas or on top of leaf lettuce, making what might loosely be called, a salad)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Bhutanese Red Rice Salad. How is Brrs aligned with poetry?

It's a matter of not having but having company arriving in a few hours. You are out of Bhutanese red rice. So you make the recipe with a 6 grain rice mix (Kagayaki). You leave out the rice vinegar but maintain walnuts, soy and edamame. You add more ginger. No one complains.

This is akin to reading poetry before an audience. Perhaps, you substitute one poem for another because you have the audience's best interests (and your poem's) at the forefront. No one complains.

Who stops to think of the powerful (palpable?) link that rice salads and poetry readings share?

(An aside: Highly recommended: Marie Simmons' The Amazing World of Rice (Morrow Publishers, ISBN 0-06-093842-0)

Potluck. What is the connection between potluck and a poetry reading?

Consider the 5 elements:

element of surprise
element of similarity
element of diversity
element of nourishment
element of the sweet & the savory

And what is the 6th element, you ask?

element of gratitude that one left behind a paper sack with 4 peaches

Friday, June 22, 2012

Casual food. What is casual in poetry?

There is no definition of casual food although there are too many examples to name.

For instance, goat cheese on crackers with a small bowl of mixed pistachios, walnuts, raisins, sliced dried apricots. Leftovers are sometimes said to be synonymous with casual food. However, I don't agree. Leftovers can lead to quite the uncasual. Each situation must be considered situationally. That you know.

& poetry? Well, elements of prose. Not natural speech; written prose. In poetry.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Breakfast salad tacos. How does a Bst inform a small poetry collection?

Both accommodate a loose structure relying on what is at hand & ripe. That is the sum.
The individual ingredients might include the following:
Persian cucumber
black olives
fresh basil
pistachios (oh, those again)
baby lettuces
lime olive oil

Think outside the shell, include fresh apricots.

Cohesive & unique. As in signature. As in voice.

Pistachios. How is editing a poem like enjoying pistachios?

Work is necessary to get to the sweetmeat.
You have something tangible (as in taste) when you finish.
The resulting color surprises (delightfully).

What might not be evident --pistachios & mangoes are in the same family. Both are vitamin-rich sources for editing & enjoying a poem.

Mango, tomato & avocado. How does mta relate to poetry?

If you assume as I do that food and poetry share love of the ripe and joy in color, then the connection isn't farfetched. The combination of mango, tomato & avocado serves as a colorful springboard for a salad either opening or closing the meal. Similar to an apt arrangement of words accommodating silence which can occur at the beginning or end of the poem. Throughout, actually.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Sake. Why is sake perfect to accompany the short poem?

Culturally it infused the Japanese short form as well as the poet. It offers clarity and then develops into a soothing fog.

It translates mighty well to the American ku.

And if your mind isn't turned to poetry, sake does sashimi proud. By the way, sake, sashimi and poetry are wasabi friendly.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Tea. How does the taking of tea leach energy from writing a poem?

Or put another way, do coffee drinkers squeeze more angst from each word?

Try an experiment. Drink several pots of tea in the early hours. Pick up a pen. Edit, if you can. No doubt, you'll be grabbing for toast.

And why, is angst necessary? Why squeeze words? Calm, the hurricane's eye.

Split pea soup. How does Sps and clarity relate to poetry?

One of my favorite soups is an adage for clarity in a poem. The fog is thick as slit pea soup.

Poetry & cooking adhere to laws of physics. A body (whether it be carrot or word) moves towards or away from. In this conversation, "from" denotes clarity. Same can be said of a line.

Now, what we haven't discussed is whether clarity good or bad. Or for that matter, fog.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Picnic food. How does picnic food mimic the editing process of a poem?

The genesis of perfect picnic food is what's in the refrigerator in real time. Here you go -- open said refrigerator (take notes as a detective would), take something out, put the remainder back. You have more; you have less. You are no longer clueless.

The page or digital screen is the refrigerator. Take something out; put something back (sometimes even the same amount). You have been editing that sweet, dear or spicy poem all morning and now you are ravenous.

Begin at the beginning -- open the refrigerator.

Chef salad. How is a Cs akin to provisional poetry?

First, let's define Chef salad. Left to the cook's whim & larder, a Chef salad does not need to include chicken or turkey or roast beef. In fact this morning here's what this cook presented:

baby lettuces
Santa Rosa plums
Persian cucumber
queso blanco
shelled pistachios
fresh basil
olive oil
a generous splash of soy

So to get back on point. A Chef salad is finished when the chef says so. It may not have the look and taste of something academic. Provisional poetry speaks of and to the same language. Necessity.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Hand-crafted pizza. How is an H-CP a paradigm for editing a poem?

The ingredients are at your fingertips. For a poem this means the alphabet and all the sounds which it creates. For last night's hand-crafted pizza a fiesta of leftovers including sauteed Crimini & white mushrooms, fennel, roasted garlic, cheddar, fresh lemon thyme, pepper, olive oil, small flatbread. Baked @ 400 degrees. Cut with scissors and arrange the slices on a bed of organic lettuces.

Sipping red wine, you know when the editing works, an arrangement of leftovers. You can hear it; you can taste it. Yummy.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Edamame. What do edamame and haiku have in common?

Surprisingly, more that size. A weighted compactness. Of course, there's the ah-ha moment when the edamame is shelled and morsels popped into the mouth. Seasonal reference? It's in the genes.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Cobb salad. How is the Cobb salad quite like a Shakespearean sonnet?

Both are inventions to beguile the tongue.

The Cobb has almost 14 ingredients: Boston lettuce, Romaine, watercress, chives, bacon, eggs, Roquefort, chicken or turkey, avocado, Brown Derby's Old French Dressing which includes sufficient ingredients to swell the number to 14.

Both depend upon the eloquence of a line.

Make a Cobb (in honor of Robert Howard Cobb) and re-read Shakespeare's sonnets and contemplate whether William's wife wrote them. No doubt, she did the cooking.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Tuna fish casserole. Is Tfc a poetic form?

For five months we've explored poetic terms and forms. (Did she mean exploited?) Now we'll turn attention to foods and how they relate to poetry. Or how they don't.

Yesterday, a humongous bowl of tuna fish pasta salad was placed on the table by a poetic hand. This gesture of hospitality invoked the memory of tuna fish casserole with cream of mushroom soup. Simply, some foods are more epic than ku. Perhaps, Tfc is akin to bombastic language.

Kindly weigh-in on this matter and hold the mayo.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Color. What is your favorite color in a poem?

A bright hue or subdued? Perhaps, matte? Does it depend upon the mood of the hearer? Definitely, the emotional disposition of the poet comes to play.

Food is a palette of light and ensuing color. No one sees precisely the same. Nor tastes.

Bouts Rimes. Is poetry a game of rhyme and syllable?

Ah, how the French sport. Turning poetry into game and contest. In a parlor, sort of way. Unlike a slam. Both valuable.

Cooking with celebrity chefs is pure slamming,isn't it. Knives ready: go!

Beat. What did the Beats do to beat?

Beat it, of course. Expanded it to conversation and condensed and made it howl raggedly so.

Beets, how I love them. Roasted and drizzled with olive oil. Adding blue cheese, walnuts, tarragon or basil. Twist of pepper. All manner of beets, too. Once in a New Orleans Restaurant (Bayona?) I feasted on a trio of beets. A beet rose w/blue cheese. Memory is a taste bud.

Bar. Is that the poetic answer to single or double but never plural?

One separates feet and double ensures a modest snooze.

Applied to neighborhood and liquids, bar is never singular. Perhaps, consecutive is apt to crawl into the imagination.

Arsis. To stress or to unstress. Is that the query?

The answer depends upon whether you are Greek or English. Those who wish to speak Latin will side with the English, I am told. The larger question is, how much stress can a poem handle?

Stressed food? Does chopping, blending, mixing, roasting, baking, boiling cause stress in food. What of the microwave? Come to think of it, I recently heard poems which have, in retrospect, been overly nuked.

Amphibrach. Is the rare in English, worthy of the quest?

How is a trinity of syllables like the holy grail? At the end, was the journey worthwhile: that relationship to syllable and silence?

With global markets & shifting population, the once exotic/unknown is now simply pricey. The definition of the ripe is under scrutiny. Is frozen corn, corn? Are tomatoes with little or no taste, tomatoes? This food curmudgeon wants to know.

Alliteration. Does alliteration seduce a poem?

Or shall it be said, poet? With either poem or poet, is thought derailed? Of course, sound moves to a different track.

Food and alliteration, you ask. Of course, on the color plane. Observe cherries and apricots with avocado and blue cheese on romaine. Add walnuts and sliced Persian cucumbers, carrots. Crunch is a subset of alliteration. Ponder the carrot. Crunch and carrot being on point.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Telestich. When is a poem's stanza not forming another?

Beginning and ending. Sounds beget sounds; we label these words. They beget.

We label tastes in cooking. Have our favorites. Piling (imposing?) one flavor on another. We declare our new favorite: Persian cucumber

smoked salmon, creme fraiche or
radishes, oranges, olives or
apple & Irish cheddar or
tomatoes, snap peas, almonds or
more tomatoes, hummus, tahini

Truncation. Is truncation the underlying tool of a minimal poem?

Things that should be there can go missing in a poem. Equals confusion. Edits of prose structure can lead to the minimal style of poetry. Petite eloquence. Petite starkness. Echoes across ravine.

When food is truncated is that the equivalent to snacking? Or, trail mix?

Versification. How is versification like cooking?

Blending sound & color, the result can be tasted.

When is a meal complete? When the proper balance of ripe, simple, color, savory achieved. And company to accommodate. Let's toast.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Plurisignation. Can there be but one meaning to a poem?

What do words love more than to mean? To live by meaning. And to multiply.

Leftovers mean much & many things differently (all tongues being different as signature and snowflake). How they multiply a meal.

Pleonasm. How do you identify excessive words in a poem?

Perhaps, the smile was on the face of the poet while she edited the words. Words, of course, are not restricted to the page -- excessive though they may be. In particular, airborne words are cited as carriers of the excessive gene. Often. Frequently.

Can silence in a poem be considered as pleonasm?

In cooking, cream & butter & creme fraiche can be dabbling in pleonasm. Perhaps, too much of a good thing. Isn't.

Sigmatism. How many sibilances are too many in a poem?

Seriously, can this be quantified, per line? Is it to be determined by the mouth of the poem; the ear of the hearer? And if too many be so, what is the outcome?

Can a dish contain too many heirloom tomatoes? Of course, at their peak of ripe.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Virelay? Do any poets writing in virelay come to mind?

No. Not even in French.

Sounds like a sophisticated sauce for fish. Requiring attention in its preparation. A tad of cream. Most likely appointed with fresh tarragon.

Epodic. What can be assumed from a poet who writes in an epodic style?

Takes the middle road? Playing safe with rhythm? Or perhaps, indecisive? Wants it all?

When the cook makes a salad by slicing the radishes lengthwise and chopping the Persian cucumbers in small bites, is she preparing food with epodic flare?

Breakfast salad (fashioned in an epodic manner)

Persian cucumbers
largish radishes
honey tangerines
blue cheese
olive oil
fresh herb of choice

An aside: if you have long legs, will your stride reflect such? If you be a poet with long legs, will you avoid writing short lines?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Rhapsode. Does each poem long for a rhapsode?

If a poem is not vocalized, is it a poem in the full measure?

If a meal is not consumed (perhaps, only photographed) has it lived up to it's full measure? If the picnic had gone uneaten?

smoked salmon w/roasted asparagus & honey mangoes & avocado
pita & tahini & hummus & tomatoes & carrots
roasted Brussels Sprouts
Persian cucumbers, radishes (unfortunately, the olives left on the counter)

Now, think of a publisher as one who rhapsodes? And perhaps, she cooks, too?

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Minor subgenres. Who decides the major genres of poetry?

The same who relegated some to the minors. It's been said confessional, rap, cowboy poetry and performance poetry are examples of the current subgenres. More discussion is required; even the page says so.

Food has its minor subgenres. Mayo cooking leaps to the forefront as does jello, and canned creamed soup sauces.

Magnum Opus. How does one recognize a poetic magnum opus?

The same as with a fine (and finely crafted) meal. The bowl again becomes empty. Perhaps an intake of breath at the first and last bites.


Dialect rhyme. What rhyme does dialect play in a poem?

The poem is at the mercy of the hearer's mouth and what can rhyme or reason make of that.

Perhaps, out of that comes the salad. Tomatoes and potatoes are related by botany and song (as in the Great American Songbook). And here's a salad to go with --

sharp cheddar
cherry tomatoes
Persian cucumbers
cooked & cut red potatoes
sliced honey tangerine
black olives or green or both
fresh cilantro
olive oil

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Metapoem. Are poems truly about being a poem?

Self-referencing? The mirror always at the ready? Are meals more than the arrangement of food, ingredients? Yes, conversation -- actual and/or remembered. Even imagined. Imagine that!

Logorrhea. Can a very short poem suffer from logorrhea?

One sound too many is too many. One too many grains of salt, the dish gone woefully bad. Not to be confused with salty poetry, please.

Cliche. Does every poet invent her personal cliches?

Of course. Thus or it is perhaps, the poem wobbles into being. The parallel with the cook might be a heavy hand with pepper or persimmon or snap peas or pomegranate. Thus, the signature hue to the meal.

Majusculation. Are capital letters out of poetic favor?

Perhaps, poems are not sentences in the pure sense. In the impure sense, yup. Each sentence (except poetry: see above) begins with a capital letter. What begins every meal? Hunger and then those ingredients to satisfy.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Anachronism. Is everything but a question an anachronism in a poem?

Except or but -- that is the question.

Does the cook question the season that offers up the ripe? Does the bowl object?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Aphorism. How wise and pithy is poetry?

Yup. & Nope.

A soft-boiled egg in a bowl of steaming soup in which a potato has been languishing. Yes, both.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Abstract syntax. What is the meaning of the poem with abstract syntax?

Think abstract art. Think non-representational. Think sound as meaning.

Take for instance the sound of a salad (being made). Chopping, slicing, perhaps, cooking. The hand arranging a salad & the happy nod (& perhaps sigh) of the cook. For what is a salad if not abstract art. If written as recipe, please note its abstract syntax.

Friday, April 13, 2012

License. Is poetry all about license?

and the taking of. As with liberty of space & silence.

The license of breakfast; remember to occupy the mouth. Salads. For instance, today's.

Compelling Breakfast Salad for an Auspicious Day

sliced radishes
blue cheese
pepper, olive oil
fresh thyme

If it were lunch, take the liberty of adding shrimp to the above.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Pure poetry? So, what is impure poetry?

The short & precise answer: non-lyrical.

Try this for pure taste:

Pure poetry w/cabbage (red)

shredded red cabbage
honey mango
mandarin splices
toasted pecans
olive oil
a ton of fresh mint

mix purely but not, necessarily, precisely

Monday, April 9, 2012

Double talk. Is poetry aswim in double talk?

Aswim being the case in point. Perhaps, double-talk is two reading the same poem at the same time. Language, after all, is the speech of tongues.

There was a time when you thought a thistle, barbaric. How you gravitate toward artichokes. Steamed and sometimes chilled. Always pulled through teeth. Spring is aswimming in green.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Ethopoeia. Is the poem a mirror to the poet's ethopoeia?

Or is this a matter of physics? Never the parallel line shall meet?

Morally, I favor tapas. As in tapas salad. What is that, you ask. Small dishes added together until the color wheel spins. The mouth is no longer morally responsible. Yet gleeful. Tonight I will scrutinize the intersection of tapas salads with the prose poem. Will keep all findings to myself.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Confessional. Does poetry tip toward the confessional?

What is being confessed - grammar grievances? Seriously (though grammar be of weight & import), no matter how cloaked in the impersonal, can a poem be devoid of the poet's experience & feeling?
Robotic poetry? Artificial intelligent poetry? Science is being confessed.

From a meal can you derive a hint of the cook's joys. Of her sins. Sinful food; sinful poetry. The seesaw, stalled and, yet, the balance of the ripe weights impartially. & kindly

Monday, April 2, 2012

Lettrisme. When does nonsense make poetic sense?

Just like the French to laugh at words into non-words and the form so literary as to make you thirst for the reason of mussels & fries.

Dada in the kitchen? More than past & fancy. Mac & cheese. Frankly, mustard. Dogs & gods.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Iteration. In poetry what is the one sound that needs to be iterated?


In the enjoyment of a meal, there are 3 such sounds?

the word "yes"
snores from the big, beautiful cat

Curling. When to indent and when not?

That is the conundrum. When is a line too long? When cannot the ear hear & take out from the top shelf its sharp scissors. Know this, a line can never be too short.

As the best meal is the length of memory and it curls the tongue, deliciously.

Glossolalia. Does each poem sport a bit of babble?

Speaking of (& in) more than one tongue as an audience hears with multiple ears we come to question, "What exactly is nonsense?"

Nonsensical food? Junk of course. Hesitantly, I whisper, "mayo."

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Polysemous. When does ambiguity make meaning in a poem?

Words too close to a precipice?
The memory of what the mirror saw?
Snapshot left in a drawer for two decades. No names, no dates on back-of. What to make of?

When the story needs to be told, to be written.

Small dishes with irregularly-cut savories placed in hand's-reach of the hungry. A trace of salt; no trace of ambiguity.

Cacemphaton. To what good end are vulgarities in poetry?

Should poetry reflect the times? Will the cattle prod replace the pen? Is texting akin to street-speech? Are no words, no subjects off-limits? And who still holds open the door for an old word?

Heat & fire. Chile pepper flakes. Wasahi. Fresh ginger. Garlic-breath.

Hypotiposis. Do poems catalog reality?

Are they vehicles to transport the real? Specifically, the reality of objects. What is truer,words on or the page blank? How is reality best set-upon? Best expressed? How many views does the apple have of the poem? Of the poet?

How real is the chef's knife when unseen in the drawer? Yet, visually experienced by everything in that drawer. Does the chef's memory create the knife?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Equivocation. Do poems mean to mislead?

Or is it inherent in each poet to mislead and/or is the poet inherently an ambivalent creature?
Words aren't neutral, and I don't subscribe to neutral colors. Weigh in on this, please.

In culinary matters, I've heard it said that tofu is a major cause of equivocation. Tofu turkey, tofu chicken, tofu beef. Come to think of it, haven't encountered tofu oysters. Have you? No doubt, a good thing.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Cant. Is contemporary poetry devoid of clap-trap?

With the addition of the modest apostrophe, I can honestly say that I can't abide cant. Poetry has many small, modest, and handy tools in its belt to empty even the mirkiest traps of debris.

Speaking of tools, the cook is a certifiable construction worker. At the ready with her knives (chef, bread, and serrated for tomatoes), scissors, spatula, wooden spoon, and plastic jar opener.

Interactive. Isn't all poetry interactive?

Interactive between poet & reader. The poet and the audience. The poet or the reader who misreads a word. Happy accidents and stellar mistakes. A roadmap to editing.

May improv and happy accidents (causing no harm) abound in the kitchen. A memory of the first time I added cilantro to a dish, thinking it Italian parsley. Now, part of the repertoire.

Homophonic rhyme. Is the eye of the poem I?

Indeed, the eye knows itself as the first personal singular in each poem it crafts. And that is precisely why every poet sees the sea differently.

About herbs, thyme (especially lemon) always delights.

Chronographia. Is all poetry an exploration of time?

Imbedded, implied, or specifically calibrated.

The making of a dish demands that chronographia be observed. Recipes are timepieces. I imagine much the same could be a said of the plating of a poem.

Keening. Is there a mournful wail at the heart of poetry?

Or in the sensibility of the poet? In the necessities of the audience? And what of joy? The union of opposites makes the whole. Poet & audience; page & performance; paper & the digital.

Sauteing onions and garlic in olive oil is undeniably a form of keening. Other examples abound. Open the cupboard, a culinary dictionary.

Fustian. Can the ordinary be gilded by a powerful performance?

Oh, the old-age dialectic of page and performance. Voice gilding the mediocre and what repercussions to the audience ears?

Mediocre food including the not-ripe or overripe cannot be salvaged by culinary architectural prowess. Keep fustian cooking out of the kitchen. And off the stage which, by the way, is another kind of kitchen table.

Euphony. Can a truly pleasant sounding poem be of import?

In these times, is a throughly pleasant sounding poem all fluff, lace, and an overstuffed chair?
Or is it a mirror to the poet's sound-scape & the audience's ear and, therefore, fair game.
How pleasant is grit?

Although very conversant with grains, I must admit I am no fan of grits. And I don't believe
deserts (breakfast ones included) are any more pleasant that farro soup with onions, garlic, tomatoes, garbanzo beans, fresh basil, pepper, grated hard cheese, and a lacing of olive oil. I admit, that was this morning's breakfast. Leftovers -- a true and pleasant tasting word.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Metonymy. Does a poet establish a personal metonymy?

And to what end? As if returning home to or with a basket of phrases. Do personal archetypes exist? What can be individualized from the collective of words?

Clearly, it's time for supper. A first -- sauteed oysters. Perhaps, a new metonymy. But signifying what? Or who?

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Convention. Does each poem hold itself to a convention?

Does the poem create a convention in the same way as a poet might hold herself to an intention? Is every convention situational to the gestures on the page (or screen)?

Cooking is rife with conventions and intentions. And that, folks, is why poetry and cooking intersect so willingly. Why it's not pleasurable to eat and run; it is so to eat and write.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Denotation. When a poem requires heavy lifting from a diction, what is being denoted?

What's the issue (the worry) of finding out new-to-you words? Consider them, new acquaintances over tea and/or mussels. Of made-up words, quite grand, I'd say.

Connotatively speaking, a dictionary is so like a cupboard respectfully full of good food. To share.

Catharsis? Does the poet or the listener garner more catharsis?

Or it the collective body of words and the spaces they sculpt? To put it another way, if the poet hasn't experienced catharsis in writing the poem, can the listener do so? Can catharsis be a one-way street. Perhaps, a cul-de-sac? Dead-end being quite an unfortunate phrase.

Is cooking any more cathartic than eating? Depends.

Archetype. Is the archetype the basis for poetry?

Always an inkling of. (Aside: please, please read Murakami's The Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World. Archetypes galore). Anyhow. Archetypes are a jumping off vista for everything. Of which, poetry includes every thing imaginable & imaginary.

Archetypes in the kitchen? All which is ripe (hot or cold) and suitable for hand & mouth.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Conflict. Is there always an undercurrent of conflict in a poem?

Perhaps, more to the point the dialects of gestures on a page. Or across the digital. And sometimes, the absence of. Conflict & conversation.

Food -- when to say yes, when to decline. For instance, is that mold hosting a proper conversation with the cheese. Or should the cheese be pitched. The nose sometimes doesn't know.
The mouth, however...

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Personification. Can a poem be free of personification?

Language poetry is an interesting term (as well as a vehicle for some mighty compelling & nifty work). Isn't all poetry a subset of language? Come to think of it, isn't language a subject of the personal, treading on the tips of personification? All resulting in a resounding probably.

All is itself and something other. Brings me to cabbage. What does the cabbage personify? And in the aggregate, cabbage soup?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Subject. Must poems have a subject?

Yes and no. Yes, if it's not restricted to the narrative. No, if it is. Seriously, is the subject of all poems, the personal, thinking. Perspective & memory.

Must a meal have a subject? Most likely. Consider, tapas with their subject of varied, small plates. Color, texture, and architecture.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Resolution. Do poems inwardly seek resolution?

Yes, if sound is plot, which of course, it is.

In food, I find a colorful salad of this-and-that works best to resolve the day. For instance,
Persian cucumbers
Kumato tomatoes
fresh basil (or cilantro)
snap peas
olives -- green or black
Mandarin slices -- fresh, of course
nuts -- I prefer raw almonds or walnuts
sliced avocado
olive oil


drizzle a couple of drops of Sciabica's Jalapeno olive oil -- warm & buttery

mix again & top with more fresh herbs

an additional twist of pepper does no harm

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Reversal. In poems of the non-narrative type, is there a reversal?

Consider the larger question -- does each poem contain a protagonist? Yes, silence. On the joyous occasion when the reading and page combine, the hearer knows precisely when there is a reversal in favor of the protagonist, silence.

In a meal, it is the sigh, the smile during. When the knife & fork (or spoon) are put down and the clash (sometimes imperceptible) is silenced.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Foreshadowing. Does every poem imbed foreshadowing?

And before that question can be tackled, this question arises -- does every poem imbed a shadow? Words predict their progeny, don't you think?

What is the shadowy side of food? Eggplant but not blueberries.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Falling Action. How can one recognize falling action in a minimal poem?

as if
if were
a quilt


Among beets there is a discernible falling (& rising) rhythm. Now, can you hear? The same can be said of cheese. However, it is more difficult to discern.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Elision. Can the unstressed be unarticulated in a poem?

What is left out, speaks the loudest? How wide in the chasm between the stressed and the unstressed.

When dining at another's home, one often comments (in an unarticulated way) whether the cook is stressed. Souffles are a prime example.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Connotation. Can a poem devoid of connotation?

Onion & self.

About food -- self & onion. Why am I thinking condiments?

Go back to the personal -- memory & rewind.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Foreshadowing. What do poems foreshadow?

Their end. The beginning of the next.
And always a deep, rich silence.

A meal foreshadows the next ripe season. Today, pea shoots. In the long tomorrow, peaches.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Allusion. Does all poetry reference something, someone?

Can we all agree on the reference? Or is poetry more like the onion -- whole. Concentric circles wrapping around an allusive center. Of course, many think poetry elusive.

Moving on from the whole onion, are leeks, in particular, allusive? By their inherent grit, elusive.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Cento. Are all poems partially a cento?

Where does influence end; inspiration begin? Is there a finite number of words; a finite way of arranging? Perhaps, fine poets at their core are mimics.

Think of a great meal. Consider how the cook was influenced and inspired by carrots. Assuming, of course, your remembered meal included this form of beta carotene. You get the gist, right?

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Octometer. What happens if every poet wrote in octometer on Tuesday for one year?

A movement is afoot -- Octometer Tuesday. Making the rare, common.

Not to be outdone, every Tuesday the cook will prepare dishes with 8 ingredients. No more/no less.

Tuesday breakfast #1

sliced Persian cucumbers
olive oil
sliced tear-drop tomatoes
on top a corn tortilla
&, of course, tea

Monday, January 30, 2012

Accent. Does the poem or the poet decide where the accent falls?

Both. Hopefully, in tandem.

The knowing cook accentuates the ripe/the fresh which has the edge on articulating the accent. Of course, rot, too, but hopefully the cook wasn't part of.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Phoneme. Is there an finite number of phonemes to each poem?

Not in general. Specifically, ask each poem for the smallest bit of distinguishing speech. As my grandmother used to say, "Watch your silk and milk."

In cooking, milk and it's exquisite relative, cream, can make a soup sing of silk.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Sprung rhythm. When poetry lets loose, can it be said that it has sprung itself?

No, not inception as much sporting variety. Not only is variety a condiment of life, it helps ensure the orchard continues to be robust, year after year.

In the kitchen there is the sprung pan, of course. Or am I imagining. Anyway, returning to tapas, which I am oh so happy to do, is a panoply of sprung dishes. Nothing short on panache to the littlest of plate or bowl filled so.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Enjambent. How else does poetry makes of itself more?

Letters are the first line of enjambent. One into the next. A word. Another. The line breaks and meaning intensifies. Just listen to the master: Joni Mitchell. Yes, fashion is in the mix. And conversation.

Meals are meant to intensify. Think about what breaks your taste into its sublime echo. For me, all of the above commingles into an exquisite shade of blue. You know who is singing?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Caesura. Are there more beautiful breaks in a poem?

Doubtful. Just there, outside of meter's grasp. In the palm of meaning. And, of course, breath. Which is to say meaning. Comma or no.

Plenty caesura and commas in a meal. For instance, that unmistakable ping of pepper stops and then jump starts the tongue. Or the sigh after conversation & wine. Of course, after the crab has been cracked. Examples, innumerable. Always something is in season. Silence, respite & blessing, never more so.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Acatalectic. At the end what saves poetry from being defective?

Broken bits of syllables catch the light from which the whole, expectedly hums.

A bit of grated cheese transforms broken bits of pasta. Splurge, add fresh basil. The proper weight of word and meal. A good hum, also.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Canto. Is silence the canto in a small poem?

Large & palpable is silence and has been known to deliciously stain a page. Inhabit the digital as well. Thus, are all poems large?

Oh, a meal of tidbits. On small plates. How this fills the senses. A bowl brims with fruit.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Hum. Do most poems hum?

On their own volition? Hum being a category of sound color. Partial to n, m, ng. And where is the hum in a fully realized echo?

Meals, of course, are bastions of humming. A gentle boil is a circular hum, don't you agree? And why are you whistling?

Friday, January 13, 2012

Scansion. Does a poem need an outside force to perform scansion on itself?

Internal scansion? Yes, not internal combustion. Although when a poem implodes, there is an organic rhythm heard.

Regarding fruits and vegetables, the ripe always performs self-scansion. How else could we be privy to its essence.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Slack. Does most poetry today suffer from being too unstressed?

Slack and unstressed? Or strident & rant-ish? Perhaps, one might consider a fence. What is one side might not be on the other.

Slack food? Mild tastes & casual appearances. Minimal heat. My eyes are tasting quiet, miniature peppers with only the stress of bold color: yellow, red, and orange.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Molossus. When was the last time someone said this poem would benefit from molossus.

(Editor's note: in no way connected to mollusks.) The larger question: which poems benefit from a classically long start? Or a slow finish?

So similar to a meal, isn't it? Should desert linger or ping & bite as in citrus sorbet? How much hinges on what came before.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Morpheme. Does every poem contain at least one morpheme?

Nonsense, you say. But don't say uncle.

In cooking, it's olive oil heating up and ready for what comes next. Olive oil is never unwanted.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Aubade. Can an aubade by recited in the evening?

Poetry is all about timing, especially the delivery of. Is there such a thing as "proper time." What happens when a lover's duet written for dawn, is read in the evening?

Is this similar to eating pizza for breakfast. If so, I'm all for it. Have a discernible track record.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Kymograph. What measures the acoustic qualities in a poem?

Now that the kymograph is obsolete are we left to our ears -- individual and collective? Sound can be silent but is it ever singular? What do decibels of sound reveal?

Look to the meal. In the kitchen, the crispness of carrot & celery. Various salad greens ripped into smallish and uneven pieces. The name snap peas says it all, doesn't it. The kitchen is a laboratory of sound. And smells. So you ask, what measures the smells in a poem?

Monday, January 2, 2012

Anacrusis. Does a poem always have a lead-in syllable?

Yes, though sometimes unarticulated. Specifically, the breath before the first word spoken aloud or silent. Sometimes, the collective breath of an audience after the final word.

And of food. The lingering moment before the hand grasps the knife. Reaches for the spoon to stir soup. And all during, the cook's breath.