SOUL FOOD: COURSE ONE—AMENDED “I may not look Chinese but my stomach is.” Definition: jiaozi—a steamed or boiled dumpling made with meat (rou, usually pork), mixed with chopped cabbage, ginger, onion, garlic, soy sauce, and sesame oil, wrapped in thin wheat flour dough, and served with a soy and vinegar dipping sauce. Jinan, Shandong, China, February 1940 The thunk, thunk, thunk of Cook’s cleaver mincing the meat and cabbage alert the household. It’s jiaozi-making day. He
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Bas Relief Is No Relief at All There’s a red-tail hawk whittling away at a sky gray enough it could be said to need consoling, someone to take it in their arms, say There, there, and promise it won’t always be like this. But it’s not shavings of sky coming down, just rain, and nothing anyone could say to you
It Is Not Yet Spring It is not yet spring but Leonard Cohen is singing in the car in French. I can’t understand a single word but I’m guessing the song is either about regret or total lack of regret. Even I can tell his accent isn’t terrific. There are young people out on the streets and some of them
Lyrics I saw the Chinese prisoner lying on the floor with his throat cut. Arbeitserziehungslager (AEL)/Work Education Camp, Römhild, Germany, 1945 Listen: music travels far on quiet nights. Open the windows, enjoy another man’s opera, your neighbor’s wife singing at her bath. Listen, death can’t not be musical: pick axes clanging, kapos beating, one last breath guttering the throat of the
At Mile Rocks From Point Lobos, named by the Spanish for barking seals they decided were wolves, you can see near the breakers, on a black lava outcrop barely above the swell, a column, twenty feet high, red and white stripes almost faded to bone. Some say it’s the stump of a sea-swept lighthouse built, after a steamer from Rio went down in
BEASTS is a book about time—time passing, time cycling, time fossilizing, time writing itself on the human imagination. Such a scope might crumble in a lesser poet’s hands, but Sagan’s touch is dependably deft and fresh. Here are poems woven of high and low, shadow and light, visible and invisible, human and other-than. Tuned to the resonant universe, they touch us deeply. —Anne Valley-Fox,
Kid, this is the first rain of November. It strips off the rest of the leaves, reminds trees how to shiver. I think to Earth it looks like the first first rain, the water of the beginning, swirling down hot into gassy soup. The bubbling stuff that imagined trees to begin with, and also mountains, kangaroos, dolphin cartilage, stoplights. And you, tearing down hills on
Exciting news--our residency application deadline is now July 31, 2020! You can apply here. We look forward to reviewing your application!
Ken Haas' BORROWED LIGHT coming soon! Borrowed Light, Ken Haas’ first collection of poems, is complex, vibrant, capacious and wildly imaginative. With affection and wonderful clarity, Haas describes a childhood of “taking infield practice and shagging flies,” Atlantic City’s “sunburn and saltwater taffy,” a trip into Manhattan to see the legendary John Coltrane, who “emptied his arms in a wave that even now speaks
Bill O'Neill's PANORAMIC DIARIES has been featured on SPD's Recommended List!