Jackfruit Cake by Louie Clay
by Mike Giglio
Temptation, is it?
your plan of attack-
Look so delicious...
while I’m putting you back.
In the fridge you will go
with your sprinkles and
white cream filling and other good
You know that I love you
just not today,
I ate you last evening!
I must put you away
Michael Giglio is from Chicago, Il and has been writing poetry since the age of thirteen. His work is also featured in a print anthology coming out in Aug. ’14 titled, “Puff Puff Prose Poetry and a Play”. .
THE PERFECT MATCH
by Gayathri Jayakumar
Flowers I see all around me
But which one to choose for honey?
Honey I need to fill in veins
Of the match I make to share your pains…
Eden grounds have yielded to my needs
With the strawberries for her cheeks
And the fresh glowing grapes for her eyes,
Butter I’ve churned for her beautiful thighs…
Pearls I’ve chose from the deep blue seas
To perfectly line her sparkling teethes,
Ripe cherries to suit her juicy lips
And sweet sugar sauce to coat its tips…
Honey will flow through her tuberose veins,
Of the match I make to share your pains,
Strands of hair I wove from moon’s rays
And stars I’ve chose to garnish her eyes…
Milk chocolate bones and icing sugar flesh,
Rose petal skin I’ve made for her fresh…
Dew drops for earrings and a small necklace,
By her beauty you shall be amazed…
For my love whom I live this life,
I’ve made for you a perfect wife…
And here! I pluck out my pumping heart,
To bring alive this beautiful art…
For, here I give you my masterpiece,
My love, with all the purity you seek…
For my face might be ugly ,won your hate,
But look! my heart!!, it’s pure, this is fate…
For you now have your love, my love,
I have given her my heart by now…
For you shall have a perfect mate to suit
Your handsome face. Let cupid shoot
His most powerful arrows to your chest
For this beauty, I have bequeathed you my best…
For my love will live till your soul depart,
Till then with this new shape let me be your part
For love will pump through her beautiful veins.
I have replaced my ugly face ,to share all your pains…
Twenty-one year old Gayathri Jayakumar hails from Kayamkulam, Kerala, India. She is currently doing her Post Graduation in MSM College, Kayamkulam under the University of Kerala. She is an authorized SkillDevelopment Executive under the Gov. of Kerala and also a member of TheHuman Rights Protection Mission, an NGO wing accredited under the UNO. A self-taught artist and poet from small ages; she earns as a ghost writer and website- content writer. Her work was published in an anthology, Harvests of New Millenium (Volume 7 Number 1, 2014).
THE STRETCH OF THIRST
by Patricia J. Esposito
He clips the shot glass in the perfect C
of thumb and finger, slim body stretched
with unbridled thirst, then throws back
his head to swill the midnight drink:
New Year’s tequila, reposado, though
there is no rest in this quenching.
His neck pulls taut; fine-lined muscles
push the burn of agave’s hot-blue fuel.
The larynx shuts at the silver surge,
Adam’s apple rippling its command,
and elongated cables pull like a call,
a shot for our own mouth’s watery
need: to tongue the burnished sheath,
flushed and fiery with immaculate flame,
to pursue his strong-jaw shine asking yet
for another, past charcoaled chin, to lips
that toast who knows what feat or desire,
hand to mouth, a clip on our mineral thirst.
Patricia J. Esposito is author of Beside the Darker Shore and has published works in anthologies and magazines, including Apparitions, Queer Fish 2, Scarlet Literary Magazine, and Rose and Thorn. She has received honorable mentions in “year’s best” collection sand is a Pushcart Prize nominee.
Greenpoint, NY Seafood lunch at Noah’s by Chef E
BANQUET IN THE SKY
BY Heather M. Browne
He shakes out our tablecloth
floating rolls of azure blue
winded breezes rippling sky
He tosses white crumpled napkins – our cirrus clouds
Knowing our thirst,
Lemon tea cupping glistening heat – our sun
and places brightly colored plates, platters -
candy apple red, asparagus green – Jupiter, Venus, Mars
Beads & cords edging place-mats – encircling Saturn
Bowls for us to savor new tastes & explorations
Mashed potatoes – cratered moon
Steam billowing the Milky Way
Sprinkling – salting stars upon our blue to shine
Anything under the sun
Our meal – a universe
Ready & waiting to be explored
Heather M. Browne’s a recently emerged poet, published: Orange Room, Boston Literary Review, Page & Spine, Eunoia , Poetry Quarterly, Red Fez, Electric Windmill, mad swirl. MCI published her chapbook, We Look for Magic and Feed the Hungry. Follow her: http://www.thehealedheart.net
by Louie Clay
Title: Rays of light shimmering off the Pacific Ocean at Magic Island under a great tree canopy in Ala Moana Park—next to where the SS MInnow set sail for a 3 hour tour
My pic-nic on the good side of the food pyramid:
romaine lettuce, celery and almonds dipped in Newman’s Own creamy ceasar
Yoplait strawberry yogurt
sardine steaks in mustard sauce
water with lemon slices
Island Onion macadamia nuts
coffee of the day with a shot of espresso
ALL GOOD, ALL GOOD
Chef Louie Marvin-Clay is a pot cooking specialist from a tropical island in the Pacific. He is also a photographer, plays tennis, snorkels, and hikes in mountain bamboo forest. Chef takes care of his Chinese girls, and Chef Matt Tabor of Scottsdale is his nephew.
LIFE ON THE HALF SHELL
by Maelina Frattaroli
LIFE ON THE HALF SHELL
First I looked for the promise in the pearls,
The ones that don’t beckon in shells above the ice,
But adorn the decollate of the well-to-do.
Thirty-six Blue Points glistened on clear cubes,
Welcoming the ceiling light to whet raw hearts.
“Just try it,” they’d always tell me
“And let it slide. There’s nothing like it.
It tastes just like the ocean,
A gentle rip tide along your palate.
Just let it happen.”
Then I looked for the promise of warmth,
The spine of stone frigid to fingertips.
The life that once was met my gaze.
Like Mom told me, I closed by eyes,
And began this shell-life’s next journey.
A tongue-tied kiss gone wrong,
Confusion collides with salt,
As I walk on shells that hold it,
Over thin ice that keeps it pure,
Wondering where the other halves
Is this the world,
As my oyster,
Or is it life on the half shell?
Maelina Frattaroli is an accomplished poet from Fairfield County, CT. She belongs to a dedicated group of poets at Write Yourself Free, a writer’s workshop in Westport, CT. Her poems center around universal truths inherent in all of us.
SECRETS OF THE IMMORTALS
by Anne Tammel
Amber, the essence of liquor in Zupa Bursztynowa,
enters the earth in this neutral sweet pine resin,
the spirit of the dying tiger.
Lotus Seeds, for Sup Hat Sen,
bloom in various shades of pink and white, an aphrodisiac
symbolizing spiritual cultivation in temple ponds.
Huang Jing, the golden essence in Eel Soup,
or food of the immortals, elicits the great yang
principle of the sun, producing a sweet taste.
Nutmeg, the nutty aroma in Lobster Crepes,
or flesh nut, once cerebral stimulant in aristocratic
Greek and Roman circles, now produces delirium.
Astralagus, the fresh herb for Snakehead Fish Soup,
with its twelve leaflet pairs, increases wee chei or surface energy, and protects
the body from the Six Evils—extreme environmental energies.
Angelica, melted in butter on Grilled Seabass,
and its bittersweet root stalks, produces the most balancing
of elixirs, the Great Tonic for all Female Deficiencies.
Licorice, for Poached Salmon,
the honey grass or Gate of Life, once buried with pharaohs,
balances all twelve of the body’s forces.
Sandalwood, ground to coat Blackened Ahi,
enhances mental clarity, harmonizes emotions, and settles
vital energy in the Elixir Field, just below the navel.
Anne Tammel’s professional and creative works have been published in numerous publications. A professional speaker and guest editor, Tammel also runs Poets and Dreamers, as featured in CBS Los Angeles. Tammel’s background includes an MFA in creative writing. http://www.annetammel.com
by Nicholas R. Larche
Eat as the cavemen did, they professed. Greens, lean meats, nuts, and seeds. What misery cave dwelling is without, Flour, butter, salt, and yeast. “one’s questionable commitment to the Paleo diet. As William Cobbett so aptly put it, “Without bread, all is misery.” ~ NRL
Nicholas R. Larche is a graduate of the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law and currently resides in the Denver/Boulder, Colorado metropolitan area. His poetry and fiction have appeared in a number of literary journals, including Arizona State University’s Superstition [Review].
DON’T EAT THE POTATOES
by Joshua Gray
DON’T EAT THE POTATOES
The spuds are buried, pale as ghosts
when pulled from their mother’s shelter.
The Devil is up to his old tricks.
But a 1% drop that chills bones,
an exponential increase in anarchy,
and who cares what the priests say.
Too many. God is law. Subterranean gold
remain unplucked as grains grow
into a drunken brew.
Forget The Black Death.
Cold, drunk and starved, no wonder
Europe is dying.
Joshua Gray is an internationally published poet whose poems have been published in journals such as Poets and Artists, Front Range Review, Iconoclast, Zouch Magazine, Tar Wolf Review, Chaffin Journal and Blind Man’s Rainbow. He was the DC Poetry Examiner for Examiner.com for two years where he wrote reviews of books by local DC authors as well as reported on the local poetry scene. He regularly writes critiques of individual poems which can be read or linked to from his Web site. His book Beowulf: A Verse Adaptation With Young Readers In Mind was published by Zouch Six Shilling Press in 2012 and he is the editor of Pot and Sticks, a collection of poetry by Charles A. Poole, and Principles Of Belonging and Mera Bharat via Red Dashboard LLC Publishing, and works as a co-Editor and eBook Editor. He currently lives in Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu, India.
Scallops Under an Orange Sky
by dl mattila
So here’s the rub: turmeric powder root,
a custard-yellow aromatic, ground
and lightly glaced (to taste) but not without
a dash of pepper-salt to dust each mound
of scalloped grace, medallion morsels mild
and sweet when pan sauteed and butter seared,
prepared to take the heat (at room-temp, not chilled,
the chubby chunks frizzle for max reward).
With wooden spoon, deglaze, dislodge and pour,
then add chopped chives and pureed parsnips, beets:
a bon vivant’s delight, but wait, there’s more,
(forewarn the guests) the sky – it’s not to eat:
a touch of citrus, in this case, a filled
balloon with eau d’orange, not much, a trace,
but just enough when pierced and popped, to spill
its tiny droplets, tinge the air, and lace
each pan-seared mollusk-top with misted fare,
inflated, latex bag release, a pricked
event. Impractical fete? Au contraire!
it’s pyreautechnic – scent with sound effect.
Adapted by Gastronomer Andreas Viestad from a recipe in Marinetti’s “The Futurist Cookbook” (Bedford Arts, 1932).
dl mattila is the author of Quietus, a collection of poems. Her work has been published in Downhome Magazine (NL), Shot Glass Journal, and The Rotary Dial (CA), among others. She holds an MA in Writing from Johns Hopkins University.
Bayberry Path Cafe 2nd Floor View, Wine Country, Long Island, NY by Chef E
by Peter Herring
The wine we tasted
on that warm autumn day
had been put in the bottle
when I was twenty-five.
Neither it, nor I
were young anymore. And the white
haired winemaker, with slightly
crazed eyes, who was losing
his mind, would die
in a few years. That was September,
2000, off a narrow road
in a hidden valley
of the Umpqua hills. The last
millennium had closed
on its spent blood
and we were birthing the next
in yellow light, red wine
beside the old vines.
The next year my wife
decided she was lesbian
and left. My Dad’s wife died
and when I went to get him
grief had blasted the last
neurons bourbon hadn’t trashed
and he became my charge
for his last three years
of dimming life. I hardly recognized
the sky that arched each day
above these ruins, didn’t recognize
my grown son when I met him,
and marvel even now
at the body’s deft communion
of organs that drive on without a life
at their center,
breathe and wake and rise
one morning, then the next until
history breaks against
present light. In ‘79
that cabernet found its way
from grapes to crush to vats,
charred oaken slats
and finally to glass, to be
corked in, all its essences
cached, settling in time,
harsh tannins yielding to the softer fruit.
I‘d warned him, I can’t buy
any $70 bottles today.
He pulled the cork and laughed -
can’t take it with you. So we sat
one of us as close
to death as a baby is to birth
one of us eyeing the paths
of yellow vine rows curving up
into the sky, drinking glass
after glass of what he then admitted
was the last bottle,
strangers talking of wine
and the virtues of old vines
knotted in red soil, of gauging the slow
sure surge of sugar, till the rush
to harvest in a moment. The yellow leaves
loosening. The barrels stacked in rows.
Forty years ago Peter Herring wrote a lot, published some, and edited a literary mag. Since, he’s raised four sons, ran an ad agency, wrote travel articles, and cooked. Now that he knows spices & words well, Peter treats recipes like first drafts.
ODE TO CANNERY ROW
by Thomas Piekarski
In the epoch of that great
Italian champion Joe DiMaggio
whose record of getting a hit
in fifty-six consecutive games
will stand immutable as long
as Earth revolves around
a nourishing sun,
immigrant Sicilian fishermen
navigated choppy Monterey Bay
always in the unfathomable night
looping purse seine nets
around massive shoals of sardines
that glowed a green phosphorescence
under dim moonlight
when they’d rise up to the surface.
The purse seine anglers braved
sturm und drang of wind and wave,
titans of the craft they perfected,
thousands upon thousands of tons
of wiggly sardines hauled in.
The demand for canned ones limited
so they dried and ground them up,
processed as base animal meal
and plant fertilizer.
Ocean biologists of the time
warned the myopic cannery bosses
that a sudden crash was upon them.
But this warning unanimously shunned
as yields dwindled by year
until one season a huge drop
in tonnage astonished:
it was time to pay the piper.
What had appeared to some
an inexhaustible supply
The canneries then compelled
to board windows and chain doors
but not until many
went up in flames.
For twenty years Cannery Row
adopted an eerie vacant cast,
victim of masochistic entitlement
sustained by suppression of the real.
Had it simply been a matter
of failed logic, one would understand.
Jeffers could never understand.
He wailed until his last breath
exposing such egregious excesses
and rape of the land by humans.
He knew that nature is remorseless
in its demands, exacting only
when it is abused.
Today the catch of sardines is minimal,
but staunch purse seiners continue, snatching
gentle tentacled squid, tuna, salmon
and more that feed on ubiquitous plankton
off China Point and Pigeon Point.
But those species threatened
by forces nastier than fishermen
because radiation suffuses the seas,
and a nation of plastics the size of Texas
swirls in the Pacific gyre.
Ginormous loads of carbon dioxide
swallowed by the world’s seas
on a daily basis. No one knows
how many exotic creatures
become oxygen starved
or mutate close to the ocean floor.
The arctic ice melt is expected
To be total by century’s end:
The coasts under water,
We’ll have to grow fins.
But the adaptive sea otter
shall remain chipper
smacking mollusk shells
against flooded skyscrapers.
Thomas Piekarski is a former editor of the California State Poetry Quarterly. His poetry and interviews have appeared in Nimrod, Portland Review, Kestrel, Cream City Review, Poetry Salzburg, Boston Poetry Magazine, Gertrude,The Bacon Review, and many others. He has published a travel guide, Best Choices In Northern California, and Time Lines, a book of poems. He lives in Marina, California.
Ministerial Abstention: A Case of Unjust Desserts
by Larry Lefkowitz
Richard Steele, writing on “The Miseries of the Domestic Chaplain” in The Tatler of 23 November 1710, criticized the then existing custom whereby a chaplain to a high family in England was required to excuse himself from the table before dessert. If this custom appears to us as quaint, it apparently reflected the belief then prevalent that a minister should deny to himself such frivolous pleasures as sweets and engage in an exemplary self-denial commensurate with his Christian office. Flaying the custom as the “Ceremony of the Chaplain Flying Away from the Dessert,” Steele observes:
I have often wondered at the indecency of discarding the
holiest man from the table, as soon as the most delicious parts of
the entertainment are served up: and could never conceive a reason
for so absurd a custom. Is it because a licorous palate, or a sweet tooth
(as they call it), is not consistent with the sanctity of his character?n
This is but a trifling pretense! No man of the most rigid virtue
gives offense by excesses in plum pudding or plum porridge; and that,
because they are the first parts of the dinner. Is there anything that tends
to in-citation in sweetmeats, more than in ordinary dishes? Certainly not!
Sugar plums are a very innocent diet; and conserves of a much colder
nature than your common pickles.
Steele ponders the origin of this “barbarous custom”. Although his conjectures seem less compelling than those he adduced above, his broadsides are more interesting than his history:
The Chaplain retired, out of pure complaisance, to make room
for the removal of the dishes, or possibly for the ranging of the dessert.
This, by degrees, grew into a duty; till, at langth, as the fashion improved,
the good man found himself cut off from the Third part of the
entertainment: and, if the arrogance of the Patron goes on, it is not
impossible but, in the next generation, he may see himself reduced to the
Tithe or Tenth Dish of the table. A sufficient caution not to part with any
privilege we are once possessed of!
The priest in old times, Steele contines, feasted upon the sacrifice “nay the honey cake, while the hungry laity looked upon him in great devotion.” At present the custom is reversed. Steele compares the fortunate Catholic priest to his suffering Protestant brother:
What would a Roman Catholic priest think (who is always helped
first, and placed next the ladies), should he see a Clergyman giving his
company the slip at the first appearance of the tarts or
sweetmeats? Would he not believe that he had the same antipathy
to a candid [candied] orange or a piece of puff paste, as some have
to a Chesire cheeze or a breast of mutton?
Even the Christmas pie, Steele points out, is often forbidden the chaplain. He carries the logic of the custom to its ultimate fatuity:
Strange! That a sirloin of beef, whether boiled or roasted, when
entire, is exposed to his utmost depredations and incisions; but if minced
into small pieces and tossed up with plums and sugar, it changes its
property; and, forsooth, it is meat for his Master!
It is fortunate, indeed, that the custom, which seems to us more silly than “barbarous,” has not survived to bar a minister invited for dinner from dessert, in England or America, and is today a Dickensian-seeming curiosity of the past. The work of Larry Lefkowitz has been widely published. His literary novel “The Critic, the Assistant Critic, and Victoria” and his book “Laughing into the Fourth Dimension, 25 Humorous Fantasy and Science Fiction Stories” are both available from Amazon books. Larry Lefkowitz firstname.lastname@example.org
BEBINCA AND FENI
by Rochelle Potkar
“Don’t date a man who likes to eat,” said the mother curving her mouth downward, as she cracked open the brittle shells of nine eggs, one by one, adding them to a mixture of thick coconut juice and dissolved sugar.
“Why?” asked fifteen-year-old Regita, pinching some sugar into her mouth.
“You would have to cook for him throughout your life then. He would want only home-made food. Home-made fudh!”
“Mai, don’t do all this, no, if you don’t want to. Why make it also and grumble also? You think all this is going to turn out nice then?” Mai added the flour and salt to the batter, stirring vigorously, until every lump had disappeared. She wiped the sweat off her face, “It’s just that I get irritated sometimes. As if, if I am a woman I have to love cooking and be at it every day, cooking, cooking, cooking. Like that was all I was fit for or meant to do…” She sprinkled some nutmeg powder into the bowl.
“Mai, stop it now. Let me..,” Regita took over the ladle, stirring in the powder.
“Why don’t you keep a servant then? So many times I’ve told you. Call that Hilda aunty. She’ll be willing to come, especially after that Dominic passed away. And she won’t charge anything. Maybe give her a little of what you cook every day?”
Caramalizing a tablespoon of sugar, Regita added two tablespoons of warm water to it, stirring briskly and waiting for it to cool.
“Yes but she’s a gossiper, no? She has the world’s gossip on the blade of her tongue. God knows what else she will take from this house besides food. She might even take my husband!”
“Stop it Mai. As if you care. You would be happy,” Regita carried on a low chuckle as she poured the cooling caramelised sugar into the coconut milk mixture. She then spread out the muslin cloth and passed this batter through it.
Mai smiled faintly, “When I married your father, he fasaaoed me. No, Perpet, we will keep a cook, don’t worry. My mother will help, don’t worry. I will help, don’t worry. But once a few sips of his drink went in, all was forgotten. Where’s the sorpotel? Where’s the pulao? Didn’t you make xacuti today? I am in a mood for caldin today or amotik. Where’s the balchão? Where’s the vindaloo? Where’s the dodol? It just never ended!”
Regita sighed, coating the baking pan with a dollop of butter and pouring the first layer of the raw-ish smelling batter into it. She set it into the old boxy oven at a temperature she had always seen her mother keep to, all these years.
“As if I was a marathon chef or a cook or worse a servant. Then there were his friends. Bebdoz sala! They came over almost every night. For ten years! I suffered preparing food for them. First, he would at least tell when they were coming. Slowly he stopped doing even that. Open the door and five or six men would stand behind him every evening like dying cows. I so wished I could have escaped to church for the last mass before they came. They would leave only after midnight when every dish and drink was finished! And I would rot in the kitchen or the verandah.”
“Mai, don’t…cry now. You did stop this, no, finally.”
Taking the baked batter out of the oven, Regita spread a dose of butter over it and spread another layer of batter on top of the older layer. She set it to grill for four minutes, doing this three more times for each new layer of the toffee-colored sweet, before allowing it to cool.
“I had to. Now I cook only for the brute of your father. Saw how big his stomach has grown? Malkiryaad! First all this might have been fun, but now it gets to me. My back …my legs…Remember how I had a slip disc last May twisting myself collecting cashew apples from that god-forsaken tree? But the man still wanted his feni, no!”
Regita remembered that day raindrops dusted over the sand in teardrop-kisses before evaporating. The air was thick with the oozing of cashew apples and the slow-roasting of their seeds over a fire, a little away from where they had sprouted. Once done, those seeds came to life like crisp brown hearts inside fragile, wrinkled skins.
Poor Mai, she had really worked hard.
Regita upturned the layered sticky brown cake from the baking pan onto a wide plate. Cutting a slice off and blowing over it, she tasted the hot bebinca. It slid over her tongue, honeying into her throat, filling her mouth with oozy milky saliva. The aroma of it was a habit of the hypnotic. The roofs and walls of her mouth flooded with mulch. Her parent’s relationship was just like the bebinca, she thought, just as layered, but just as sweet. At least because of her father, she got to eat her mother’s deliciously cooked food every meal hour. Because of this she never enjoyed eating out. Even pizzas, sushi, Chinese fare, which her friends went crazy about, were made at home and tasted much better than from anywhere else.
But she would choose her husband wisely, thought Regita, chewing off her honeyed, gooey fingertips. Who wanted a husband like her father who wanted to eat, eat, eat all along on those unfortunate days that he would be at home?
Rochelle Potkar is a fiction writer and poet. Her short stories have appeared in several Indian and international magazines. Her e-book, ‘The Arithmetic of breasts and other stories’ has recently released on Amazon and Flipkart. She lives in the ‘pandoramic’ city of Mumbai with people real and imagined. http://www.rochellepotkar.wordpress.com