Sunday, September 05, 2004

reading Eileen Tabios's lovely menu of *white trash* cooking makes me hunger, and wonder why not cook up a series of poems based on food, the preparation, serving and eating of it.

I also do not cook but I love to eat, and my favorite cuisine is Mexican. certainly experimental writing can afford a lushness, a sensuality, necessary for the writing on food. I recall a poem by Simon Ortiz that is in the form of a recipe. let me see if I can find it. ah yes, How to Make a Good Chile Stew -- This One on July 16, a Saturday, Indian 1971, a four-page poem that lists the "ingredients", the "directions", "further directions to make sure it's good", "waiting for it to get done", and ends "at last". here is a portion:

Make sure you smell the chili in the saucepan once in a while and
think of a song to go along with it. That's important.

. . .

Smelling and watching are important things, and you really shouldn't
worry too much about it -- I don't care what Julia Child says -- but
you should pay the utmost attention to everything, and that means
the earth, clouds, sounds, the wind. All these go into the cooking.

Woven Stone (The University of Arizona Press, 1992)

the history of a cuisine is the art of the necessary in the face scarcity. what better subject for poems.


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