‘Coffee Club R’, food and libations- this photo was taken while our managing editor was traveling in Asia, Geonju, Korea
Not to drink but drown, not just any brandy,
but Armagnac, the ortolan finds itself mid-ritual
even a bird-brain would know enough not to choose.
The millet and darkness it did not mind so much,
with all the cues confused, need reveals itself
as possessive, desirous, a lover feeling the feed of fill.
And then you, illegal feaster, hidden behind your napkin,
so that not the slightest sweet corrupt wisp may escape,
so God cannot see your keen-focused, gluttonous sin.
Or because there’s mess in an ounce of crunchy death,
a whole bird in your mouth, you cat with a canary,
your mouth a mine of decadence that would argue
tradition if it were not so extraordinarily full with magic,
sizzled sweet fat, essence of hazelnuts, snap
of roasted bones, the sense you’ve cheated death by being it.
Controlled Designation of Origin
Delight that food is an atlas of our days.
This meal, that spot, such perfections.
Position is nine-tenths of the law – ask
the French, clinging tight to cognac
and champagne, the rest of the world
left with but brandy, simply sparkling wine.
And the Italians, every region with its hams,
Prosciutto di Parma, San Daniele, Modena,
distinctions fine as a charcuterie slice. Still
they shout “Here!” in a language we taste
with our tongues, travel easy as a swallow,
mapping the world morsel by morsel.
George Yatchisin has had poems in numerous publications including Alimentum, Antioch Review, Boston Review, and Quarterly West. He writes about food, wine, and cocktails for The Santa Barbara Independent, Edible Santa Barbara, and the KCET Food Blog.
Sandy says a centurion worked
this farm, fundus, booty-bought
after Actium. And Michelangelo
when the Buonarroti’s owned it.
Sandy, and the two boys no longer
boys, our friends Mitch and Kate.
The chianti grown and aged on site
by Signor Buondonno, whose vines
climb the darkening hill, hedged
by fence from Bacchus-minded boars.
Mitchel says, ‘in veritas, wine.’
Lightning! By Jove, or Jupiter!
Big bocce of Tuscan thunder!
The farmhouse terrace, thatched
over, opens on groves of holly,
olive and cypress, wind-worried
shapes in the rain. We’re dry
for the time being. A cuckoo counts
to some impossible o’clock.
;first appeared in Notre Dame Review in 2002
John Ronan is a poet, playwright, movie producer, and journalist. He has received national honors for his poetry and was named a National Endowment for the Arts Fellow for 1999-2000.
In 2009 John published a new book of poems, Marrowbone Lane. He is also a former poet laureate of Gloucester, MA, and remains committed to the importance of civic poetry, as in “The Lesson,” below. (On John’s regard for Gloucester, see his op-ed pieces from the Boston Herald.) Also a playwright, his works include The Yeats Game and The Tease of Eden. A pioneer in electronic publishing, in 2002 he introduced Damned If I Dotage, a humorous e-book on the trials of turning 50.
‘Beer & Pizza’ by Jonas Winfrey: Jonas is a part-time photography who enjoys food on his travels. This is his first actual publication acceptance.
The Dinner Party
Blum walks to the kitchen, away from the wine and pot. A ghost glides alongside him. He sets the guests’ bowls in the sink and notes the success of his lentil soup. Brian is telling the table about his mother’s stroke. Blum runs the faucet, which drowns out the talk. Blum’s mom died last spring from an aneurysm. A lull at the table signals time for the shrimp. Blum returns. He sees a grim scene. Brian’s head is hanging. Upon his plate, blood droplets begin to pool. The guests appear paralyzed. A slight movement at Blum’s side, the ghost of Joyce Blum enters bearing a platter of skewered shrimp. Blum divides the shrimp. For Brian’s sake he did not serve meat tonight.
Mysticism and Meat
Ideally, you are devoured in your prime by medicine men and not as junk-meat for the communal pot. With the breakdown of tissue, the cells issue a mortal cry. Around the Cook’s Bible chimes a chorus of sous chefs. The page emits a campfire glow from which a cannibal emerges. What’s missing? Pretty soon, your arms and legs—seared and smoked until dripping from bone. In the aftermath of prayer, when chords rise from the planet, you make the rounds of the soothsayer’s intestine.
The Hungry Python
All of life the python seeks to know. He slips through the flea-market with a clinging stomach, catching in his glittery eye items from the old world: sheet-music, tunic, ice-cream scoop, top hat. To touch these with quiet flicks of the tongue. At the sound of thunder, the merchants start to pack, placing wares hurriedly in boxes and covering these with plastic sheets.
Matthew Kirshman lives in Seattle, Washington with his wife and two daughters. He is a English teacher, and writing since the early 1980s, my publication credits include: *Altpoetics*, *Charter Oak Poets*, *Dirigible: Journal of Language Arts*, *Futures Trading*, *Helix*, *Indefinite Space*, *Key Satch(el)*, *Mad Hatters’ Review*, *Phoebe: The George Mason Review*,*posthumous papers* (NothingNew Press), *Vangarde Magazine*, *Xenarts*, *The Wayfarer*, *Wilderness House Literary Review*, and *Z-Composition*.
The night before he died he craved
for ice cream on a stick. He swore
he heard the bells outside, the truck
across the street—Could I sneak out
and buy a round for all of us? His treat!
There was no truck across the street,
no crisp bells crackling, but
the canteen in the basement did have
two dusty old machines
dispensing pops and cones and cups.
I filled the slots with coins.
At fifty cents a shot,
those two machines unleashed
more vital pain relief that night
than the steady drip of morphine
clouding father’s final scene.
“Ah, the loot,” he beamed, and drew
a shallow breath, and then another—
“I toast to the bitter and the sweet!”
He tore the wrapper off his treat
before he lost his breath completely:
I watched him eat—I watched him eat
like a kid on the sneak before dinner,
that night, as death took a brief back seat
to a chocolate-covered ice cream bar on a stick.
(This poem first appeared in a Canadian Medical Journal)
Tonight the baker holds
his lover between firm hands,
feels the heat from the day’s baking
rising back up through his finger tips.
Dennis J Bernstein is author, most recently, of Special Ed: Voices from a Hidden Classroom, which received the 2012 Literary Achievement Award from Artist Embassy International. His poetry has appeared in the New York Quarterly, Chimaera, Bat City Review, The Progressive, Texas Observer, ZYZZYVA, Red River Review, etc. Alice Walker, Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Color Purple, writes that Special Ed “…is art turned to us through the eyes of love.” Carol Smaldino says in The Huffington Post that the poems remind us how “…we are all connected to the sorrows as well as to the grandness of being human…”Bernstein taught writing and reading literacy in various prisons in New York City and New York State, for the CCNY/John Jay College and Mercy College.
‘Cup Runneth Over’ by Louie Clay (né Louie Crew): Clay’s photography has appeared in Annapuma Magazine, DailyOffice.org, The Living Church, Meadowland Review, Munyori Literary Journal, Rose Red Review, South Florida Arts Review, Souvenir: A Journal, Subliminal Interiors and The Taj Mahal Review. Editors have published 2,303 of his essays, poems and photographs. He is an emeritus professor at Rutgers.
Bread & Butter
green enameled stove burns bright
the rocker, moves back & forth nearby
through the lace curtain sunlight
my grandmother sits, bird’s eyes
twinkling, hands darn socks,
butter bread & make apple pie
she tells a tale of sister red fox
I listen and lick the butter
off fingers & bread, a music box
and mantle clock stutter
when she pauses, the fox is near
her fingers, socks & thread aflutter
I wait in companionable silence.
Short Breakfast Couplet
If you were a thin slice of bread,
And I were your soft comfy bed,
I’d let you toss your crusts & crumbs,
You’d be croutons when the time comes.
If you were slathered with jelly
or jam. And if I, your white bell –
I’d let your sticky fingers dance,
You’d be my marmalade romance.
If you were a brown slice of toast,
And I were your Kitchen Aid host,
I’d let your Danish Pastry cook,
You’d be my mouthful, my dear snook.
If you were a round Johnny cake,
And I were your frosted cornflake.
I’d let you backstroke in the milk,
You’d be my swimming pool of silk.
If you were my cup of sweet tea,
And I were a silver cat flea,
I’d let you scratch that itch all night,
You’d be my dear sweetness and light.
If you were the carmel toffee,
And I were a cup of coffee,
I’d let you melt in my hot cup,
You’d deliquesce so, giving up.
DiTa Ondek is an artist and poet & has been published in the “Goose River
Anthology”, “Jump Lines,” The Loft Anthology-”Lay Bare the Canvas” and upcoming anthology “The Taste of Ink.” Her poetic aesthetic is whimsical yet controlled. DiTa is currently working on a series of cupcake paintings that reflect her poetic whimsy and prismatic view of nature.
‘Indian Breakfast’ by Braja Sorensen
is originally from Australia, but has spent most of her adult life living and working in India, London, the United States, and New Zealand. She now lives in the village of Mayapur, on the banks of the Ganges in West Bengal. Her poetry has won awards and has been published in Great Britain and Australia. She writes for several publications internationally, but is still waiting for Vogue to see the light and give her a damned column. Lost & Found in India is her first mainstream publication.
BOTTLE OF RED BOTTLE OF WHITE
His Mediterranean ego with its full head of black hair
May reign behind the counter
While the balding skull of the proprietor in paunch and pity
Furtively smokes English Ovals in the dirty kitchen.
Tony’s Parmesan Palace spoiled several months ago
But not before his cousin Vito and brother Marco blooded unpaid family hours
Ragging the walls to that texture and tone
And painted a mural of the pines of Rome
Worthy of an Etruscan tomb,
Unpaid except for a glass or two of Chianti and the birthing of a grudge
Destined to ferment for the next ten years of birthday parties and funerals.
Tony put a few lira into the kitchen
Yet even with his tasty chicken cacciatore and pesto
The sheriff took the cannelloni
Left him with the tax warrants.
His told you so wife Gina after waiting tables and mopping floors and suffering the marinara stains from the red and white checked table cloths
Did not enjoy so much of his pasta and biscotti
That she could not
Drink a glass of Lacryma Christi farewell and leave him for Guido.
The dot (not feather) Indian who owns the building with all the improvements
Was almost able to turn key to the Greek with hardly a lost day’s rent.
Three months after the grand opening
The first dollar autographed by all the cousins
And parishioners at Holy Trinity Orthodox Church still hangs on the wall
His stained apron hides from the plumber
For no matter how good the gyros or bitter the retsina
Or full the figure of his surly teenager daughter’s waitressing
He is on the wrong side of the arterial.
Tyson West is a Seattle, WA based poet and writer. He has been published in Cowboy Poetry Press…
Boiled pizza? That’s outrageous
Double boiled even worse
Better hope it’s not contagious
Good thing that my wife’s a nurse
Boiled pizza has no virtue
Boiled pizza has no vice
That’s absurd because a virtue
is providing food for mice
Maybe it could use some chicken,
pepperoni, cheddar cheese
Bet you that your pulse would quicken
if you added stir-fried fleas
Never eat it’s my position
Here I stand no ifs or buts
More than just an imposition
I don’t think I have the guts
Just the concept makes me queasy
Boiled pizza? Yucky poo!
Who must eat it? That’s so easy
My unbiased choice is you
Martin Cohen is a retired computer programmer who loves dancing (favorites are West Coast Swing, Waltz, Foxtrot, and Salsa), writing (but not revising) poems, and solving math problems. He has other works published in Danse Macabre du Jour, Bleeding Ink Anthology; Penduline Press, Napalm and Novocain, High Coupe, and “Recession Depression and Economic Reflection”.
(Click on above photographs to enlarge and enjoy)
Next issue of Annapurna is our first print anthology, Clarify. Deadline is now closed and was posted open call since October 2013. We will open up submission again in October 2014 for our 2015 issue. See ‘Submission guidelines’ for our June theme.