Segments of an Orange
How can I rest?
How can I be content
when there is still
that odor in the world?
— Louise Gluck
Breakfast is on the brain. Last week’s food poetry morsel included a plate of scrambled eggs that would have been perfect for Sun-Tzu, served up by poet Roy Mash. For many, the beginning of a day would be less welcome without a cup of coffee in hand. Even though I veer toward tea nine times out of ten, sometimes, a roasted cup of strong black coffee or sweetened and served with milk is downright glorious. Poet Jonathan Pacic shares his poem, “Confessions of a Coffee Snob #3 – Labels,” part of a series he has written on his ruminations while caffeinating. Enjoy the buzz.
In a crowded East Bay kitchen, I met Roy Mash as we sipped sparkling water before the start of a poetry reading. We began talking about the intersections between food and poetry and he mentioned he had written a bit of food poetry, especially one about eggs. Intrigued, I proceeded to devour the food poem shortly after it hit my inbox. So, with Mash’s permission, I give you, “A Plate of Scrambled Eggs.” Next time you are whisking eggs to scramble, it might make you look at breakfast differently.
Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about relationships between mothers and daughters. They can be so fraught of misunderstanding. My mother used to denounce my teenage years as the years I didn’t talk to her. How could I explain the gulf of emotion and crisis upon which I was cresting outside of writing and reading my way through those four profoundly influential years?
Poetry has its way of coursing its way into conversations unexpectedly. I’ve given up alcohol for the month of January, except, of course, I’m making an exception for Burns night. Burns night. It glimmered as a side comment in the long litany of instruction on how to properly roll out and blind bake tart dough. Much like the gaps of baking education I am in the process of filling in, so did planning a Burns night.
I will not write the word pumpkin.
I will not see the word pumpkin.
I will not smell it spiced with cinnamon or sage.
Nails in hand, hammer in the other we assess the long wall along the Abbey Coffeehouse, already pocked with the absence of previous nails. Along the muted grey hallway, we measured and marked, then hammered and nailed up the Cranberry Lassi Food Poem.