Food for the body is not enough. There must be food for the soul- Dorthy Day
One of the most dramatic sights in the night sky—and inspiration for poets, artists, and lovers for millennia—full moons captivate us like nothing else.
Sometimes the meal must be simple; fresh, local, and healthy; it is the plate that courts our palate, the colors please the mind, before we indulge in its offering. -Michael Baca, Annapurna Art Editor
CLEANING OUT THE FREEZER
Mary, I found the fruit jar of pesto
At the bottom of my freezer
Not forgotten but not thought of
From 20 years ago
When we crept naked
From our sweat soaked August bed
To pluck basil leaves to blend pesto
On a whim
Had the neighbors looked out
Under the full cougar moon
They would have admired your star striped body
Still firm sixteen years my senior
Small breasts sagging ever so slightly
Great shape for your early 60’s
You invigorated your sterile sheets
And the sparse rooms of your pristine castle
With my captive chaos.
Your sister tells me
Of your stroke
Words have abandoned you like old lovers
Not that you had many of either to begin with
But you still swim laps at the YWCA
As precisely as you diced the garlic and basil
While I grated the romano that hot summer night
Cheese and nuts are not supposed to freeze well
But bad news thaws
My memory to find this last momento amori
Of our dalliance.
If I wait until your funeral
To thaw this pesto and baptize my bitter rye flat bread
My children may be discarding it after my own.
Tyson West is a is a traditional western poet whose aesthetic continually shape shifts. He watches the Northwest with veiled and hooded lynx eyes, broods among the conifers and quarrels with Coyote. He has a degree in history, but writes a variety of poetry styles, and has written a series of poems around Spokane Garry who is our local magical Indian.
pizza in my box infuriates me,
especially when I know I ordered it
dressed in mushrooms and pepperoni. Pieces
of various food groups strategically placed
to balance my meal. Instead,
bland expanse of cheese stares back,
a boring plane of white. My teeth are
hesitant to bite.
behind every shadow, my heart
burns for a spear. To slice
or not to slice? Such a question
is too loaded for a single piece. The buns
in front of me are average
at best, sedentary, stuck in stale postures
of enticement. Open sesame! I chant
in my mind. Nothing
happens. I toss a dash of salt over
my shoulder for luck before I move
A.J. Huffman has published five solo chapbooks and one joint chapbook through various small presses. Her sixth solo chapbook will be published in October by Writing Knights Press. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee, and the winner of the 2012 Promise of Light Haiku Contest. Her poetry, fiction, and haiku have appeared in hundreds of national and international journals, including Labletter, The James Dickey Review, Bone Orchard, EgoPHobia, Kritya, and Offerta Speciale, in which her work appeared in both English and Italian translation. She is also the founding editor of Kind of a Hurricane Press. http://www.kindofahurricanepress.com
She saunters in
With a snappy breeze
Tuning heads with blazing
Hair of falling fireworks
Vainly watching everyone drool
Over her caramelized skin,
Bearing her annual harvest
Of plump plum smooches
And cheeky apple blushes
All succumb to
Her tempting dinner
Of no remorse
As she tenderly
Prepares us for
A frosty future
Temporarily pilfered by
Her aloof nemesis
With the gelato eyes.
D. Janikowski-Krewel is a Midwestern writer of poetry and short fiction. She currently lives in the Milwaukee, WI area. Her work has appeared previously in Annapurna Magazine as well in Cowboy Poetry Press, Red Fez and Tuck Magazine. She can be found at “the lost beat” where she collaborates with her cousin and fiction writer, Tom Janikowski.
Today I acquired a canary-yellow can
Of what I have just learned is your coffee of choice.
Siempre fresco, puro y aromatico como ninguno
It informs me in white-on-red capital letters,
The version I can actually read on the opposite side
But somehow less compelling.
It’s designed for the espresso maker I don’t have
So I just scooped some into my no-frills drip coffeemaker
Immediately upon returning from the supermarket.
It’s so strong I had to dilute it with an unexpected level of milk
And, while I immediately appreciated the taste,
What I really adore is, naturally,
The way it makes transportation easier
To that perfect imaginary place
Where you and I are at the table late at night,
Drinking cup after cup from matching mugs
And having brilliant conversations
Until we are startled by the sun
breaking through the kitchen window.
Quinn Collard is a Smith College graduate living in Seattle. She has won NaNoWriMo five times, publishes three zines, and has library science ambitions. She loves typewriters, her cat, and They Might Be Giants. You can find her at museumofidiots.com.
A winter’s tale, once told,
Had turned a heart and
Reaching for something
To ease the pain.
Were there only
Did you find the starry cold
Where brave Orion
Fought back the dawn?
Is it fair
What you have tamed?
People ask expecting
No answer. Answer no.
A falling star and
Orion is no more.
Brian Marshall divides his time between New Jersey and Merida, Mexico. He loves languages and the written word. Brian holds a degree in English Literature and a Masters in Spanish”.
The Last Autograph
I was on my way to the restroom in a 50’s-style diner, the chrome kind that looks like it’s about to spin off into outer space, the kind that makes “Marilyn Monroe” milkshakes and has a “Captain Kangaroo” kid’s menu, when I noticed a framed photocopy of a speeding ticket. The restaurant showcased wall-to-wall memorabilia: pictures of actors and actresses, ancient advertisements, calendars sporting classic cars, even a Buddy Holly vinyl. The ticket had been made out to James Dean, and below it was a caption that told how only a few hours after signing it he had rolled his Porsche while going around a sharp turn. That morning my stomach had been turning too, and I was out of my medication. Sitting in the stall, I compared my current situation to Elvis’ end, and managed a strained laugh when I realized that he had had the opposite problem with his prescription drugs. Above the sink there was a Cold War era black and white still of a mushroom cloud. I felt I could relate to that. I washed my hands and thought of Albert Einstein, the pacifist, and how he had signed the letter to President Roosevelt urging that the bomb be built. Back at my table I pictured James Dean on his reckless last ride, living. I thought of Buddy Holly and how he would’ve been bigger than The King. When the waitress came I ordered the “Atomic Chicken.” I told myself I could take it. Hell, I could take anything.
Derrick Paulson received his M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Minnesota State University Moorhead in 2011. His work has appeared in print and online in Canary, Disingenuous Twaddle, Orion Headless, 365 Tomorrows, The Gander Press Review, Lovechild, Red Weather, and elsewhere.
The chubby, perfumed woman entered the restaurant and slid into the heavy wooden chair, sweeping her long, untied hair aside so she wouldn’t sit on it…
…the thick linen tablecloth, the shining glasses that sang crystal notes when tapped, the perfectly aligned cutlery: everything appeared to satisfy her. Her plump cheeks grew rounder as her red painted mouth squeezed itself into a smugly contented smile. The seams of her clothes squeezed and strained and bulged as she wiggled herself to comfort. Her kajal-lined eyes peered above black-framed specs and raked the room. Like a Bollywood movie set. She was the star in her own lunch hour. She could feel it…
Her friend arrived, towering above the table, big hands lifting the heavy chair too easily, the soft silk sari too delicate for the build, pale pink lipstick too pretty for the firm jaw, the haircut an over-zealous endeavor at femininity, the deep voice quietly alarming.
Long streams of Bengali flowed from them, interspersed with fragmented, random English, phrases not existing in their mother tongue. “Tara swami ye patha na bala ucita, this is only my opinion, na?” They waved oversized menus around as they spoke, their huge and obnoxious size lost on Pouty and She-man, who were huge and obnoxious in their own charming ways.
Plates of food arrived. Pouty picked at bones, pursed lips blowing at steaming rice, puffed air making hot clouds. Small round lips parted, small sharp teeth dragging at a long green chili. They both spat words and bones, parking the latter plate-side, unleashing the former between bites, most landing on the hapless waiter whose excessive and obsequious “yes, ma’ams” somehow deserved the slap.
Elegant drinks clashed with lusty mouths. Heavy gold bangles clashed with china. Cutlery clashed with teeth. War was declared.
Pouty & She-man ruled.
I sat and watched the core
of suffering humanity
feast upon life
ravishing each moment
like it were the last.
The whore illusion smiled back
the red slash of her mouth irresistible.
She gorged, but on the weakness of the willing
“Are you happy now?” she asked
indifferent to their bleating responses.
They sat back sated
“No one is happy here,” she thought.
The relentless stuffing of the body
does not feed the soul…
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.
Dinner at Manresa
Our table awaited us, lit with droplets of phosphorescent seawater,
each napkin wrapped, tucked and tied with stems of Neolithic rye.
We began with a salad of sea vegetables harvested by unmarried mermen
and wedges of cheese from cows fed white flowers in moonlight.
A few hours later our waiter brought the voice of the west wind
caught in hinged bamboo boxes, then a bonsai forest sculpted from
iced asparagus, arranged in terrariums, and drizzled with dewberry sauce,
followed by dark brown breasts of Muscovy duck trimmed in silver feathers
and dappled with salted foam – our knives touched – too much?
My fork tapped the slope of a miniature mountain amended
with live mushrooms, nestled on a plate of scented grasses,
undulating in the warm breeze. For dessert, the view from 30,000 feet
rendered in clouds of meringue, and a small box to open later which
we held in our interlaced fingers like the promise we made all those years ago.
Erica Goss is the Poet Laureate of Los Gatos, CA. She won the 2011 Many Mountains Moving Poetry Contest. Her chapbook, Wild Place, was published in 2012 by Finishing Line Press. Recent work appears in Up the Staircase, Bohemian Journal, Hotel Amerika, Passager, Rattle, Eclectica, Blood Lotus, Café Review, Comstock Review, and Lake Effect. She was nominated for a Pushcart in 2010. Erica is a columnist for Connotation Press. Please visit her website: http://www.ericagoss.com.