A BLACK MAN WANTED TO USE THE RESTROOM AT THE BAR

the chinese girl sizing up her polo-shirted date
orders a Manhattan, and has just picked the stem
off the cherry and placed it in her mouth when he walks in.
she watches, loops silence around her tongue, tying
knots for nooses behind the closed lips practiced for
the black dude’s question, the bartender’s call,
the cop’s cocked gun.

later she will string together the words
“not” “my” “business” and spin the night
into a joke about how her manicure matched
the maraschino red of the bruise she left
under the popped cotton collar.

shortcake

This is a part of an ongoing interdisciplinary collaboration with Janani Balasubramanian. Janani is working on a book of fairytales poems, I'm translating them into food, and we're cooking/performing through the book in five course meals.


Shortcake 

once upon a time
there was a girl who lived
in a tall glass of water

one day
a witch spun the girl into sugar
until you couldn’t even see her
in her own home

but that home sure was sweet
& sometimes when the sun comes up
you can see this girl
shining on a blade of grass
or holding the insides of a birthday
between her eyelashes

 

On a round of shortcake dipped in shredded coconut,
lay whipped mango coconut cream
beside mascerated strawberries.

Strip a carrot, bake, and dust with cinnamon.

LIKE THERE IS SOMETHING ROTTING INSIDE US

 This is a part of an ongoing interdisciplinary collaboration with Janani Balasubramanian. Janani is working on a book of fairytales poems, I'm translating them into food, and we're cooking/performing through the book in five course meals.

LIKE THERE IS SOMETHING ROTTING INSIDE US

We have always slipped right past
each other’s fear into anger,
which feels exactly
like the bite of a big city’s lights
into your pockets.

We keep our pockets
well apart from one another’s,
going so far as to take our pants off
before we hug:
it is the beginning of spring
and the birds are a little freaked out
by the cold filling only half the sky
so there is

me, laying pants on the stove
to boil to an awry symphony
and there is

you, throwing yours out the window
so they can be useful and eaten.

In these times anger
looks like taking off layers
with fervor.  I expect
the next time we fight

it will end with me,
cooking my hands

and you,
throwing your skeleton
out the damned window
for the birds to suck.

 

Slice off the cheeks of a mango

but leave enough flesh on to keep it sweet.

Set the pit on the grill.

 

Season with salt, chili powder and lime juice.

Serve with hands.

.

 

GOLDILOX IS A HOAX

 This is a part of an ongoing interdisciplinary collaboration with Janani Balasubramanian. Janani is working on a book of fairytales poems, I'm translating them into food, and we're cooking/performing through the book in five course meals.

GOLDILOX IS A HOAX

like most stories this one had no blonde girl when it began.
it came later:
well after Peter Pan was released on printing press and Blu-Ray,
well after Wendy paved the yellow road.


in the beginning there was no Goldilocks,
only a hungry fox.
but rhyme will spin into sick fantasy in an old man's hands.


once upon a time
a fox searched for food in three bears' house,
found a little,
and then found herself sleeping in a bed
made of dead geese instead of mushrooms.


curiosity did not kill the fox: it only made her sleepy.
but the bears killed the fox--scraped her feet and ate her spleen.
and the dead vixen skin kept their yogurt warm all winter.


A cold salad of endiki mushrooms, 
pickled red onion and black fungus.
Toss with sesame seeds.

Serve with two toothpicks and a steaming mug of over-brewed peppermint mate tea.