MUSIC TO READ BY

Recipe Poems

Muffin of the Morning by James B. Nicola

simplicity by Lois Baer Barr

Recipe for Disaster by Jonathan Pacic

Affogato by Lettie

Fall Harvest by Holly Mitchell

The Apple by Kerry Ruef

Brunswick Stew by Lyle Estill

Two Poems by Brenda Butka

Bread by Eva Szabo

Squash Blossoms by Allison Wilkins

Our Table by Joan Seliger Sidney

Recipe for Spaghetti all'Amatriciana by Georganne Harmon

The Agony of the Leaves by Gail Bellamy

Greens by Paulette Licitra

Strudel by Eva Szabo

The Almost Adulterer's Guide to Menu Planning by Michele Battiste

The Pie Series by David Colagiovanni, Melissa Haviland, and Becca J.R. Lachman

Midsummer's Night's Spaghetti with Saffron by Johannes Berchtold

A Cannibal's Suicide by Dean Kostos

From the Garden by Nancy Vienneau

orang slizez jell o shotz by Amy Stetzl

Phở bò Hà Nội by Kelly Morse

Cooking Class, Marrakesh by Georganne Harmon

Spread Triolet by Dana Stamps

The Things Kids Eat by Paulette Licitra

Maybe This Year by Esther Cohen

Braociole by Joseph Bathanti

Basque Cooking by Richard Hedderman

Two Poems by Adrienne Christian

Jailhouse Crack by Harlan Richards

Cinnamon Sticks by Wally Swist

Best of Both by Nancy Vienneau

Muffin of the Morning

by James B. Nicola

February 2015    


We made a world once.

And now I like making muffins.


I join disparate parts, some unfriendly to each other,
emulsifying them with a dose of soluble
salt—just a soupçon, that its
inapt flavor be barely detectable
to the taste buds, later;

make solid gold ingots liquid so that they stir;

mash meteorites with a marble wand
in a marble, cauldrony dish, that they
might add, to the maelstromy mess, some spice;

and blend the batter in a master bowl
like an upturned firmament.


Time draws and pushes and soon I want to see
the creation even in its hot phase of becoming.

I press a switch and in a click—
there's light.

I stoop and see the muffin with its siblings
incubating to the ticks of a timer.

But this world's impatient: Empty air sucks up
sweet aromatic atoms from the brood ere born.
Collaterally, I breathe in exquisite essence
of muffin, reduced to mere nose and eyes
for a while.


With the bell the flesh returns
and inexorable desire to touch
the muffins. As the door's opened
I see, sight untempered by
the time-tanned glass. I see and have
to touch. And I touch, to test.

I seat them on the cooling rack
and look up and down the rows, as in
a delivery ward. Surrounding them with
my eyes, though, makes me want to touch
and more—to surround them with flesh.
I wait


and when the gobs have cooled from orbs into
asteroids, fit for habitation,
I touch a muffin, the first born,
raise it, and surround it with my palms
in an embrace that fills me
with indomitable want
to surround its wee world
with something even more than want—
with myself.


The muffin must be dismantled bit by bit. Therefore
it gets touched and tongue-tapped, to taste.
It delights, and so is rewarded with velvet caresses
then hugs from my silkening mouth.
It finds itself finally surrounded by
esophagus. . . tummy. . . intestine—all of me, first:

then, of the world.


You see now why I like to wake up
to muffins, eating yesterdays today,
or making tomorrows.
And why a little salt—
like a thimbleful of stars,
each a chiseled jewel;
rock crushed to its crystals;
ocean boiled down to its essence of dissolvable dust—
might help you, too,
contain your chaotic parts
and stir them into the gem, the muffin, the world
I see, and, touching, know
you were created
to become.


The coffee's fresh-ground this morning, by the way;
the pumpkin in the muffin,
I smashed the other day—
the morning after you fled in tears and fright.

I've tried to make this muffin, like the poem,
grand enough to share
that we might see it together,
touch, perhaps,
and become—

with the lubricants coffee
and time—

another world.

 



  Widely published on both sides of the Atlantic, James B. Nicola has several poetry awards and nominations to his credit, with recent appearances in Alimentum and the Southwest, Atlanta, and Lullwater Reviews. His nonfiction book Playing the Audience won a Choice award. First full-length poetry collection, Manhattan Plaza, just released. Visit his website.

 

Photo used under Creative Commons.