Poetry. Food. Dogs.
I like typewriters, soft lead pencils, aprons, weighty wooden spoons and chalkboards; unruly terriers, floppy-eared hounds and parking lot mutts canvassing for new digs; Molly Katzen and Yotam Ottolenghi are kitchen standards; the I Ching, Lao Tzu and coffee are morning companions; crickets are my favorite furless creature. Poetry and I collided over an album cover. It was Pablo Neruda's poem on the cover of "The Pretender," by Jackson Browne, 1976.
"Brown and agile child, the sun which forms the fruit
and ripens the grain and twists the seaweed
has made your happy body and your luminous eyes
and given your mouth the smile of water."
I was 14, sitting cross-legged in front of my sister's stereo, holding the album cover in my lap; Neruda's poem typed over a sandy beach with a naked baby running. I think Neruda had me at "your mouth the smile of water."
My food consciousness woke while reading Maxine Hong Kingston's book "Woman Warrior." There was the line, "All heroes are bold toward food," that stopped my world. I was 19.
In my free time I'm either servant to three dogs, flipping through cookbooks or divining some new way to swag a poem, which explains the blog title. If you'd like to know more about the origin of Short Order Poetry I tell the story under Pam Woolway.
Between all that I'm laughing and hugging a beautiful man I made marry me. (Really.) The proposal went like this:
Me: Are you going to marry me or not?
He was lying on the couch with an arm across his forehead.
We've had the same argument for 24 years: my inability to properly train our dogs. There will likely be a future post elaborating.
I work as a shop girl in the groovy little digs where my poetry creations are made and sold, but have also worked in journalism, an animal shelter and restaurants.
Since I was barely 23 my world revolved around a kitchen: building food vessels of clay or rising at 4 a.m. to bake scones; throwing dinner parties, swapping recipes. Feeding people is gratifying. Maybe it's because I'm needy and insecure. Maybe it's because I'm always hungry. Maybe it's because homemade is more fun. Who cares? If you're my friend I will feed you. If you ask me for a ride somewhere, you will be covered in dog hair for the rest the day, and for your birthday, you will receive a poem.