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Posts Tagged ‘kitchen’

 

 

 

Wash the apple. Quarter the apple.

Seed and thinly slice the apple.

A whole morning can pass this way—

holding the apples, slicing them through,

making small v’s in the quarters

to remove the seeds.

And how many times in four hours

do I notice how perfectly the apple

fits in the palm of one hand—

as if it were made to be held.

How seldom did I dance

beyond efficiency to notice

how the skin resists the knife,

but the flesh is so sweet, so willing.

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First, you must weigh everything.

Precisely. The butter. The water.

The sugar, the salt. You must

catch the mixture just as it boils,

then add the flour, sifted and weighed.

You must set the timer to dry the dough,

must add the eggs slowly, must not

let it be too dry, too wet.

There’s more, my friends. The angle

of the pastry sleeve, must be 45 degrees.

You need to use the French star tip.

And then, you must not open the oven

lest the steam escapes and the eclairs

don’t crust. So many musts. So many dos.

And still they don’t always turn out.

 

It is not at all the way I love you. Though

sometimes I’ve tried to find the recipe.

Though sometimes I’ve wished it

were as easy as measuring well and using

a timer. I have wanted to do it right.

I have studiously wanted to make yours the best life.

 

But the only way to be a good lover

is to love. It has nothing to do

with following directions. Has

everything to do with the doing.

Like making choux pastry dough

together. Taking turns at the stove.

Reading the directions out loud to each other,

four times. And then watching the dough,

astonished as it goes from slimy to smooth

to something sturdy that shines.

 

 

 

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Simple Tools

 

 

 

for Christie

 

I am so grateful for the rubber spatula,

the way it sits quietly in the drawer

yet is always ready for action—

is game to scrape the walls of the blender

or to fold chocolate chips into cookie dough.

It evens and swirls the frosting on cake

and welcomes the tongue

of a child. In a sharp world,

it knows the value of being blunt;

it knows that to smooth is a gift to the world.

Some people are knives, and

I thank them. Me, I want to belong

to the order of spatulas—those

who blend, who mix, who co-mingle

dissimilars to create a cohesive whole.

I want to spread sweetness, to be a workhorse

for beauty, to stir things up,

to clean things out. I want to be useful,

an instrument of unity, a means, a lever for life.

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I love the practice of Ekphrasis–the art of writing poems for other works of art. One of my favorite poetry journals, Rattle, has a monthly Ekphrastic Challenge, in which they invite poets to write poems for a piece of art, which the editors select. This month, one of my poems was selected by the editor, Tim Green. You can find the poem and the artwork by Samantha Gee here . Want to try your own hand at an Ekphrastic poem? It’s fun! You can find the monthly challenge here .

 

 

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Don’t look in the sink for happiness.

It sounds so obvious. But even the shiniest,

cleanest sink is still only a sink.

Don’t look in the cupboards.

Don’t look in the fridge. Don’t look

to the tile floor—though this

is a place we’ve danced before.

Even the stovetop, the home of flame

and chemical change—the burners

are not what we seek. Of course

we look to the kitchen. The center

of everything. Don’t look out

the open window. Don’t expect

from the empty green vase.

The only thing that’s ever mattered

were the lovers in this space.

No matter how clean the counters.

No matter how soft the breeze.

It’s us, my love, it’s us that’s missing.

It’s us that we most need.

 

 

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