Archive for the ‘Comfort Food’ Category

June 2014- Seafood Sky Issue

In Comfort Food, cooking poetry, Dining Out, dining poetry, food magazine, food photos, Food Poetry, Louie Clay on June 7, 2014 at 8:01 pm


                   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”. .



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).



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



BY Heather M. Browne

He shakes out our tablecloth
covering sky
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:



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

an apple

Island Onion macadamia nuts

coffee of the day with a shot of espresso


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.



by Maelina Frattaroli


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
Have gone.

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.



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.



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].



by Joshua Gray


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 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

Main Course

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.


SeafoodSkyIssue wine 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.



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
sadly drained.
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
harsh consequences
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



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.


Dining Out All Over The World

In Comfort Food, cooking poetry, Dining Out, dining poetry, food magazine, food photos, Food Poetry, John Ronan on March 2, 2014 at 8:15 pm


‘Coffee Club R’, food and libations- this photo was taken while our managing editor was traveling in Asia, Geonju, Korea


Extinction’s Menu

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.




‘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,, 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.


7 - Breakfast

‘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.



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 lives and writes in Eastern Washington State in the foot hills to the Bitterroot Mountains.  He has published Haiku, free verse and form verse in various on line and print periodicals and anthologies as well as  horror and steampunk fiction. His collection of poetry Home-Canned Forbidden Fruit is available from Gribble Press.


Boiled Pizza

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.

Annapurna presents ‘Clarify’

In Comfort Food, cooking poetry, dining poetry, food magazine, food photos, Food Poetry, french toast, fried eggs, spring equinox, Vernal Equinox poetry on January 20, 2014 at 12:55 am


Annapurna Magazine presents a yearly print anthology Clarify

1) make (a statement or situation) less confused and more clearly comprehensible.
2) separate out impurities, to make clear.

We want your best Poetry, Prose, Flash Fiction (1500 word max) & black and white Artwork
Submissions accepted for full color cover.

Submission guidelines are listed on guideline page, and all rules will adhere to all projects, please read.

Our plate is waiting…

email: editor@reddashboard

Chef Tip: the French call it ‘beurre noisette’ if you let clarified butter sit on the heat a bit longer and become a nutty brown. Add some to bourbon, close tight and sit for a day or two and you have Brown Butter Betty Bourbon, a great flavor!

Picture above credit goes to Bon Appetit Magazine 


Our guest Judge/Editor for this year’s print anthology will be – Ava Chin, food writer and poet, NYC

A native New Yorker from Flushing, Queens, Ava Chin forages throughout the five boroughs and the tri-state area, lecturing on edible flora and fungi, and writing about her finds for places like the NY Times City Room and Saveur magazine.

Her forthcoming memoir Eating Wildly: Foraging for Life, Love, and the Perfect Meal (Simon & Schuster, May 2014), about growing up Chinese American raised by a single mother and loving grandparents, who cooked up elaborate feasts every Sunday, reveals how foraging helped Ava to heal up from some old filial wounds and taught her important lessons in self-reliance.

Ava Chin is the former “Urban Forager” columnist for the New York Times’ City Room (2009-2013). She has written for about food, arts and culture for the Los Angeles Times Sunday Magazinethe Village Voice, BUST, SPIN, VIBE, and Martha Stewart onlineShe has stories in the Edible Brooklyn Cookbook (2011) and The Bust DIY Guide to Life (2011).

She has appeared on WNYC’s “All Things Considered” discussing ginkgoes and wineberries, and has been profiled in the Swiss magazine, Beobachter Natur.

Ava is the editor of Split:Stories From a Generation Raised on Divorce (McGraw-Hill, 2002) a collection of nonfiction essays about growing up in a divorced family, which Booklist called a “brave and insightful collection.” She earned an MA from the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University and a PhD from the University of Southern California. She is an associate professor at the College of Staten Island-CUNY where she enjoys teaching creative nonfiction, memoir, and journalism to undergraduate and graduate students.

December 17th, Cold Food Moon

In Comfort Food, cooking poetry, dining poetry, food magazine, food photos, Food Poetry, french toast, fried eggs on December 19, 2013 at 10:36 am

2 - Cook

‘Cook in India’

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. (her photos- ‘Cook In India’, above, and ‘Annapurna’, below)



birthday cake icing aunt passes over tongue

Hema Ravi has had a stint in the Central Government, India- then as a school teacher. Currently, she freelances as English Language Trainer. Her write ups have won prizes in Femina, Khaleej Times (Dubai) and International Indian, Viewpoints been published in The Hindu’s Voice Your Views. Prize winner (Contest- August 2010) in, Prize Winner in Metverse Muse “Best Fixed Form Poets of the year 2011”. Has published in Metverse Muse, Poetry World, Contemporary Literary Review Online and Print Edition, The Poetic Bliss, Roots and Wings (An Anthology of Indian Women Writing in English), The Fancy Realm, The Enchanted World, Matruvani and Holistic Mediscan. She is among the top poets at, has posted verses in,,, Sketchbook, four and twenty poetry, a hundred gourds and more……. She is a member of the Chennai Poets Circle.


Chill Curing

Buckwheat Seed farming period planting period
Planting Cycle harvest Standards


Cold season growth planting yields
Wheat Rye, triticale, oats, barley spelt battlefields


Cooler Highlands
Erosion lands in optimal enchants.

Jennifer Warren, graduate of Brandeis University writes relating to environmental law and the ecosystem in the mountains of Pennsylvania.



‘Cup Runneth Over’

Louie Clay (né Louie Crew): Clay’s photography has appeared in Annapuma Magazine,, 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.


Weeping in Paradise

I give the sickness too much of a chance,
lost in lust, but moreso in lust’s ornaments.

It’s the culpa of the kalpa
that we are so fused by the guilt and history
scrawled on the proud bottles.

This feeble common ground—
a receded empire, a dying father,
a closed factory—makes some sense of me,

destroying my inside with liquor and cynicism,
while men and women, glowing slyly,
bed each other in the spring of the time.

I drink bourbon until I sweat. And as if
every fuck was already written in heaven,
I don’t move or look for a long time.

For a person with the real sickness,
winning and losing become immaterial.
Staying in the game is what counts.

Colin Dodds grew up in Massachusetts and completed his education in New York City. He’s the author of several novels, including *The Last Bad Job*, which the late Norman Mailer touted as showing “something that very few writers have; a species of inner talent that owes very little to other people.” Dodds’ screenplay *Refreshment – A Tragedy*, was named a semi-finalist in 2010 American Zoetrope Contest. His poetry has appeared in more than ninety publications, and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife Samantha.


A Courtship of Recipes

She smiled demurely
and said she could seduce me
with her Blueberry Blintzes
stuffed with Ricotta,
and then she blushed.

I didn’t want to seem impetuous
and countered I could match that
with a Tuscan Bean Soup and Crusty Bread.

She went cold and offered a salad
of Pan Seared Scallops in Arugula,
with a Sesame Wine Vinaigrette
I could see there was no stopping
this culinary courtesan.

Not to be outdone, I came back big
with a Northern Chinese Orange Beef
stir-fried with mixed Spring Greens
Baby Bok Choy and a Sweet Red Chili Sauce.

I don’t know what was with her
but she went all oceanic on me
presented me with a filleted baked Salmon
on Risotto with Pesto Sauce embraced
by a miniature Fruits de Mer garnish
I could not believe this demon siren.

That was my limit. I went all out hot
with a Chicken Vindaloo and Marathi Aloo
all on a delicately saffronated Pilaf
of white Basmati with Almond shavings.
Two starches, sure, but extraordinary times
call for heroic cookery.

That stopped her.
But one day later she came back
and gave me a chocolate chip cookie
the best I ever tasted,
and not having the patience
of an of an ox or even a flea
I kissed her, actually kissed her.


Is there a god
of mushrooms and toadstools,
and small squirmy things?
Is there a separate one
for lucky ants that survive
under the recess of your sneaker tread
after you’ve stepped on them?
Is there really a special god
for young moon-eyed lovers,
and a separate one for the starry-eyed?
How about a separate one
for toiling accountants
poring into the late night
over books and records,
pining for a tropical vacation?
What about 34th St. & Herald Square,
a special one solely for that piece
of real estate?
Maybe there’s just one for parking
who smiles beneficently
and opens up a spot for your car
right when you’re about to go nuts.
Are there separate ones for each lottery?
Is there a college for gods
where they all go to become good
and great, and learned?
What about a god just for crisp seeded rolls?
If so, he’d be my favorite
and, hopefully, could also change
into a woman every other Thursday night,
gods being what they are.

Gene Goldfarb began writing a long time ago, gave most of it up to be a judge for over 30 years, and has returned to it. Recently, his poems have appeared in Cliterature, Empty Sink, andRiver & South Review.


044 copy


There’s a land just below the paradise,
Of intricate traits ; it’s sketch is imprecise.
A lady seated there in a state, tranquil,
Looks exquisite, and smiles at her will.
The goddess of the grain–Annapurna, is her name,
To apportion the grain, seems to be her aim.
She carries a bowl in one of her hands,
And with a ladle in the other, she traverses other lands.

But today, somewhat, melancholy she seems,
Upon her distress, she sadly deems.
“The ladle doesn’t pour into the mouths of who need,
The bowl is emptied by the tyrants who lead”,
thinks she, “So much into nature’s lap I lay,
But all they snatch, in a heinous way.
To favor themselves, they have rules unfair,’
Which stifle true needs, without any care”.

The nature she knows, produces all pure,
But what becomes of it, she isn’t sure.
“In greed, the grain, they adulterate,
Without compunction to earn great”
realizes she,”Oh Its so ailing to see,
This distress, with none to consider my plea.
The grain which sustains life each day,
Is now also responsible for taking it away.”

Empty handed, then , she wanders in a street,
Where the affluent enjoy, and the poor ones weep.
For this oppression , who is to blame?
Who’s responsible for these deeds of shame?
Somewhere, there are choices, difficult to make,
Somewhere, but agony, of how to take.
What is to be out into the child’s hand?
They’ve emptied the bowls in both the lands!

Gurdeep Singh Published a poem in a magazine entitled “Srijan”, which can be found at, complete link:, and usually has published in school and college magazines. More of Gurdeep’s work can be found at,
link to my profile :


Birthday Cake Catastrophe

Thembi, from Bulawayo, was

a truly dedicated young lady.

They called it diabolic and shocking.

A grisly birthday cake made of her detached leg.

The cake artist spent several hours crafting that cake,

the leg was credible, with red tattoos dotted on a bloody board.

A banner adorned on the base screamed: ‘This is a special happy birthday.’

The invitees came in droves but upon catching sight of the ghastly cake they quickly

disappeared. Not even her boyfriend or close relatives wanted to have anything to do with

that cake, let alone eat it. Some of her relatives disowned her yet others just condemned her. She felt
like an unwanted outcast and cried hysterically for hours on end without anyone coming to comfort her.

Ndaba Sibanda is a former National Arts Merit Awards (NAMA) nominee, Ndaba’s **poems, essays and short stories have been published in Africa , the UK and the US. His latest anthology, **The Dead Must Be Sobbing **was published in March 2013. Ndaba`s debut novel, Timebomb has been accepted for publication in the UK. He currently lives in Saudia Arabia.

(Click on photo images to enlarge, thank you.)