rage

cooking is rage, and it is everything inside of me.

I think about the days where I first started to learn,
and when I first started to learn her.

I hear that album by The National and it makes my stomach knot up.
Music in the kitchen was always something that was woven in between searing and braising; almost always with doing the dishes.

Romance. There’s romance there too. I’m mostly in love with every one, which means they all have the ability to break my heart with a reaction and with their spoons, digging into my side.

cooking is rage.

adult rage. love and doubt and sometimes divorce.

it is salty and fatty and exactly what you want after too many.

too many drinks or days or kids banging on your bathroom door when you just want to be alone for a moment.

More often than not it is given, and I give it all. I give my world and my peace of mind and stability so that you can have it.

I often wish I could dance. In fact I would give up a lot of my talent as a cook to have the energy and the attitude and the courage to dance in front of people.

But I suppose, if I’m being true to myself, whatever it is I do is its own little dance of time and heat and pressure. It goes straight into your belly and into your bones, and the bones of your children.

I am often alone. I crave a late night, at my table with a small plate of food and a person across from me that cooked it, and warmed it up for me because I was late to everything — to her — to our life — to bed, even when it’s been longer than we want to touch and breathe in deep and rest ourselves.

this is the rage.
the deep, fiery furnace-like thing in my belly that wants to have it all and wants you to have it all and in reality,

I have a day, and a day’s toils.

I clean my knives. I finish up the dishes.

There’s a few songs and a sweet picture of my nephew who’s growing up faster than I fall asleep…

after a long day, cooking and moaning, of drinking the salty broth,

I fall in love all over again.

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lessons in enough

I am so hungry.
(And I have been for quite some time.)

Sort of itch-like — that I can’t scratch,
but my belly is growling and howling and
it feels very wild-like.

I see this person and they’re hungry too.
(And have been for quite some time.)

Ferociously moaning for something that will stick
to their bones; or belly; or thighs

It’s okay, ya know.
To be hungry. To know you have a fire there
that needs tending to. Hot, stingy fire stuff.
Some rage. Some longing. Some small relief.

I know hunger well enough.
I know an empty cabinet.
A few bones picked clean,
though they’re not all used up just yet.

Cover em’ with water and let em’ release,

More. There’s always more to give.
Bones know. Perhaps we know too.

And I sit here with the knowledge
that I might be hungry for a while.
I get to taste from time to time,
but I am not satisfied.

Hardly am I satisfied these days.
It’s a damn shame,
this wanting more.

Perhaps lessons in enough.
That’s what I’ll be cooking up soon.
Enough.
Because I am full enough

To be honest
and fair and kind
Pangs of anger and misunderstanding are
also there, rattling around with the
kind things.

And I hope that when the time comes,
they all get along. Because they are
my insides and they are full of bliss and rage!

Tonight, though. I’m cooking and eating.

For a small moment though,
it is enough.

Chicken Bones 2

 

watermelons

we grew watermelons in our bellies.

too many seeds
you’re bound to swallow a few in a lifetime.

they supposed to have seeds.
it means they keep going
in our bones
and the bones of our children

smith county off highway 49
hermiston up in the PNW

we used to bury em’ in the sand to keep em’ cold
my granddad put table salt on his

I used to shoot them seeds from beneath my fingers
in hopes they’d stick to my cousin’s bare shoulders

If I’m at the market thirsty, I’ll eat it up in a flash
sweet and tastes like summer
Mississippi summer

hot hot hot
running across the road,
barefoot
asphalt burning soft feet

for that watermelon.

sweet and tastes like summer
smilin’
sweatin’
nappin’ (well, eventually under the great swingin’ ceiling fan)

horse flies bitin’ our shoulders

for that watermelon

maybe they didn’t grow in my stomach after all
at least not in the way an 8-year-old thinks

though you can find me, today
swallowing a seed,
wondering if I had a belly full of dirt
would it grow?

I’d say yes.

Give anything time
water
love
a little thought
light
warmth

and it’ll grow
and grow and grow

hot and sweet and tastes like summer

Mississippi growin’s all I’ve ever known.

JumboBlackDiamondLG

heaven and ivy

I think about ruin.

Some form of hell, my frame leaning against the walls.

A depth of hell, I imagined.
In church they told me it was separation from God.

Though hell feels more like separation from Love.
Maybe there’s truth in that.

I think about ruin.

War. Metal piercing through flesh.
Swords are bullets now.

Echoing in the halls of ruin.

Then there grows ivy,
almost as though it had no idea of that wall’s previous
function.

That wall, hiding from an enemy.
The next day’s light,
Or the way my face looks now.

The ivy is climbing. More so, every day.
Sometimes I remember my frame,
sitting in that depth of hell
gnashing my own teeth.

How can heaven and hell exist in the same place?

I suppose it always has.
That is being human, after all.

I think about ruin.

Instead I see life.
Imagination.
Birth.
Big ocean.

I see ivy.
Slowly climbing. Twisting around knots and
threading itself through holes like wounds.

Tighter, it grabs.
Reclaiming.
Without a single care,
only that it is in its nature to climb and grow.

Like us.

I think about ruin.

And my hell has turned into my salvation.
I run my hands down the walls.
I feel the cracks.
The pain.
Remnants of hell on earth.

And then I see green.
Green ivy, pulsing. Thriving.

Because it is in its nature to climb and grow.

Like us.

Ruins.
Filled with dark and light.

Pulsing, thriving.

Onward
and upward.

wrapping ourselves through our wounds,
as though we had no idea of our wall’s previous function.

I think about ruin.

And all I can see is heaven,
and ivy.

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gargantua

I couldn’t fall asleep last night.

Maybe it was a mixture of my day’s lump sum.
Drinking. And crawfish. Eating. Taking a nap.
Drinking a little again. Eating a bit more.

These are days that I try to smooth over a bit.
Sort of like trying to fix the frosting on a cake,
and getting it all over my fingers in the process.

I felt it all too.
And I missed her deeply, especially on this day.

Somehow I was given the space to deal with it all. I’m not always that lucky.
I began watching “Interstellar” and tried to make it through the whole movie, but it was late.

My heart had been beating so fast. I think because of Saturn again. And its beauty. And its symbol to me, at this point in my life. People may think I’m crazy, but it stirs something deep inside my own swirling galaxy.

My head wouldn’t stop spinning. Not because of alcohol or blood sugar, but because of outcomes. Because of time.

I couldn’t let it go. At least not last night.
The subtle shift of life’s forward motion. A small bump into a new trajectory.

It became so bright and sparkly. Maybe some pieces were engulfed in flames, like rock or metal skipping off the atmosphere.

I told myself to take deep breaths.

In between my steady stream of thoughts and worries. I squirmed and tossed and turned.
I punched my pillow a few times to get it positioned just so.

It was one of those nights where I think I got some sleep. Enough to wake up, at least.

vdofmDc

I woke up yesterday with a burn in my belly. Restless from the get-go. Those are the days I walk through carefully.

I think about every single thing. What would happen if I would have stepped left instead of right. Embracing my world like an old friend I haven’t seen in quite some time. I think that’s maybe what feeling small does to me. My tiny world, hanging so delicately on some sort of tilted bias, occasionally in darkness, but always coming to light.

I heard a young poet yesterday say that ‘wonder is the inevitable conclusion to fear.’ And that ‘someone, somewhere has already cracked open its beauty’.

This is truth.
These pains and these joys have already been felt and explored. But we are all so new to everything. We are allowed the opportunity to explore these frontiers for ourselves, as scary as they are. And we get to see each new day, when we open our hearts to it.

Like I open my heart to the universe and its pull.
Or when I want to hide in my own darkness, gravity and time still find their ways to fill me with wonder.

Cracking open what is infinitely human,

again and again.

tiny worlds.

Okay. Okay. Wow. Hmm. Okay. It’s okay.

Those were my thoughts on a Monday morning.
Two of my best friends, terrified and excited and worried and exhausted.
Their details, I won’t share here, but the circumstances had me holding back tears on the line.

“I need sides on 48 and 12!” I would holler out to my buddy, also cooking on the line.

I would pace back and forth, heart beating and trying to keep it together.

After things settle, and my heart is more at ease, I start focusing on my week, getting things tucked back in, like tapping a stack of misaligned papers on a table.

Tuesday, Work and Ramen night. Visit friends in hospital.
Wednesday, Work and Cater Captain of Zeus party. 13 hour day.
Thursday, Work and Prep for private catering gig. 13 hour day.
Friday, Cater private gig. Clean. 10 hour day.
Saturday, Record day of lunches at work. Cook gumbo for Mardi Gras event. 12 hour day

More often than not, I would say to myself, “Okay dude, don’t freak out. It’s going to be okay.”

My friends, so heavy on my heart, and so many other hearts.

I did what I always do to clear my head.

Clean.

After my private catering gig, my kitchen was horrid. Tomato sauce splattered everywhere from rushing around in my tiny space. Pots and pans stacked and my oven was a mess. After visiting with my friend, I came home and put on some music. I steamed my windows with the heat from the water and washed dishes till my fingers were wrinkly.

I get my steel brush and scrub the tomato off of everything. I remove my burner tops and scrub scrub scrub. I scrub it all away. I tear up a lot. I take deep breaths.

On my knees, I’m scrubbing my floor with a towel, enjoying how easily the dirt just washes away.

I take out the trash, let out a sigh and turn off the light to my kitchen knowing I will be doing this exact same thing again in 24 hours. I am okay with that.

I don’t mind cooking for people. You have to know that deep down, they will not know how much work goes into the food you cook. How much you have to clean up afterwards and how serious you are about your craft.

It is, at the end of the day, about the table we all sit at. That place I write about so often where we sit and talk about hard things that make our necks tight with fear and also the place we fall in love again and again with the people we share our tiny worlds with.

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I think about the breath of a new baby, and its cries that are as natural as breathing. Cries that make you believe in God again and restore in you that there is something bigger that ties us together, even in the midst of small nightmares and restless nights.

The truth is, you never know when the world will crack beneath you. You live in the terrifying moments and exhausted moments as you would when waking up next to a warm body, while the rain taps against your windows.

We live in all the moments, and we breathe life into each others worlds.

We are all, like I always say, small galaxies, floating infinitely, capable of such deep love and pain and beauty,

Birthed from the bellies of our mothers, and the mothers before them,

breaking water. breaking bread.

discovering again and always, the sacred life of the Beloved.

enough.

January is just too long.

It’s a recovery month, I think. At least that’s the way I see it.
Everyone is adjusting to a new year, and regaining some composure after the blast of late year holidays.

I, however, am in the midst of some funky stuff.

When I was in counseling and seeing my doctor regularly, I was picking up tools to use. Granted, it would be nice to have that sort of thing here, but Mississippi lacks in what I would consider a more holistic style of healthcare. But the tools I did gain, keep me aware of my body processing the world.

What I ingest, both physically and emotionally, takes a huge toll. I keep that at the forefront.

The sad parts of my being are craving physical touch and connection. I’d say more of a longing than actual sad, sad. Though I think feeling sad is important. I think there’s plenty of poetry there, some marrow, and perhaps a bigger part of our life force.

Restlessness is something I feel.
As a person who is in constant thought of something bigger, I have a hard time adjusting to the slower seasons.

Lately, I’ve been learning to adjust to my own expectations. Of basically every damn thing.

My cooking. My attractions. My belly which has been eating a lot of carbohydrates (read: delicious things) the past week.

More so, my expectations of what falling in love looks like. I’m having a hard time separating the things I know of that kind of love. Granted, I am not in that season and don’t imagine it happening here any time soon, but what I have been noticing is my fear of intimacy.

I feel some fear in my belly. For losing someone again, even though I haven’t much made an effort to pursue. I am influenced heavily by the elements that surround me. I get knocked down a few pegs when I feel a little too confident and remember why it’s so good to be humble. I enjoy who I am. Truly.

I don’t own much. I don’t make much. I don’t need all that much.

I’m in the in-between, as far my spirituality goes. I crave that Great Mystery, but for some reason, I cannot grasp it. Like some pit I’m falling into, trying to grab hold and it’s just too slippery. I feel it may be my undoing some days.

Not God-fearing enough.
Not confident I am tough enough to handle this industry.
Fear of being an asshole, because I have asshole thoughts.

messy_graffiti_tags

I am a messy form of a human. I know we all are, at least I know that’s probably what you’re thinking. But I want my beliefs to be a bit more firm. I suppose seeing more of the world, and more of the worlds of people, I am swayed to believe that we are all floating forward towards the same sorta thing.

I float around not really conforming to this or that. I will not judge you for your lifestyle, as I hope you won’t judge me for eating a Christmas tree cake even though they are out of season. (Which, in my book, is never true.)

I can tell you that I love fried catfish, and a nice medium rare steak.

I love eating hash browns on Sunday with poached eggs and hot sauce.
I love being there for people.
I have a hard time taking without the weight of giving back.
When someone orders food when the kitchen closes in 10 minutes. Ugh.
(But really, it’s fine. Really.)

These things are true.

There is nothing I enjoy more than learning how to cook better. Hanging my head over a pot of kombu and dried shitakes, wondering, “Is this right??”

Maybe that’s the idea that I’ve known all along.

A longing of sorts, of tasting and nodding.
Adjusting,
Adding,
Taking away,
asking,

is this right?

I’m not quite sure.
But I’m always asking.
Always tasting.

And today, that is enough.

metamorphosis

Today is a day I feel I don’t quite belong to —
but hopefully the next.

Missed cues,
dropped plates,
small insults
and a bed with too much space.

I lay there, now, with a book on my chest,
full of people who have said it better.
(And to be honest, didn’t have the luxury of choice)

But I do.
I have so many choices.
So many ideas of change and movement,
like some impatient larvae anticipating
the metamorphosis.

I cry out,
and shake my head
and pull a bit on my shirt.

What is this thing I’m doing?
What on Earth am I learning about being lonely,
except maybe being a little scared from time to time.

I’ve never been a fan of scared.
In the deep recesses of my mind,
I come across a tiny ruin.
It is there, I imagine a person like Job,
picking his scabs with broken pieces of pottery,
but singing, “G-d is great!”

Oh, I am a fool for so many things.

When I close my eyes,
I see a tree on the horizon.

It is a silhouette against a big red sun.
I am there, again,
pulling slightly on my shirt,
explaining,
“I don’t know how else to be…”

Like some form of confession.
Like these things don’t already know.

I crumble. I melt away.

I come back.

I let whatever it was hanging on my hips,
return to where it came,
which just so happens to be a place I left long ago.

The place where dead things live.
The place where I shed a ghost or two.
The place of the old shells and skins and
skeletons.

I lean forward into the horizon
and allow myself to float free
of the old wineskins.

I close my eyes,
and fall asleep to the rain outside of my window.

weapons

I wonder what would happen if we laid down our weapons today.

For just a week, maybe.

Warlords.
Soldiers.
Police.
Citizens.

Oh, we will all still get angry at one another. There’s no stopping the friction that is caused by needing to be right all the time.

You’re wrong, I’m right.

The absolutes are killing us.
This or that.
Or else!
Our lack of self control and

patience and
kindness and
understanding.

We are products of what we see and how we are made to feel.
We move in patterns left before us by our parents and grandparents.

We repeat history over and over, because we’re afraid that maybe we just didn’t get it right.
Like returning to a bad lover because you want to believe things will be different.

War and death and injustice carve up this world.

Scars.
Deep dark wounds.

I usually just throw my hands up, or shake my fists at the heavens.

When really, I should lower them and place them on wounds.

Of my brother and my sister
In hopes that one day,

they will do the same for me.

Ace_Bandage_Texture_4_by_FantasyStock

Today, if we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other-that man, that woman, that child is my brother or my sister. If everyone could see the image of God in his neighbor, do you think we would still need tanks and generals? – Mother Teresa

fear of spiders

at my feet, I saw you working.

hind legs, whichever ones,

busy.

pulling sticky silk to form

the kinds of things you were built to make.

 

I jerk my leg, only momentarily.

In all fairness, you are a spider.

But in the moment, I recognize your place.

Really, you have no intention of bothering me.

So today, I have no intention of bothering you.

 

I watch you work so hard. And so fast.

I become aware of my place. My power.

My ability to wash it all away, knowing good and well,

you will just start over, because it’s in your nature.

 

To spin and and release your web

when their is a thrust of force

or mighty wind.

Yet here you decide to work.

 

To be fair, there are these fruit flies.

I feel a little insulted.

Like maybe you’re telling me something

I don’t already know.

 

To not leave out my apple peels on a warm day,

or sweet milky tea before I sprint out the door.

I know, I know.

But life just gets to be so busy.

 

Especially so for a spider of your size,

maybe a little bigger than a green pea.

Yet smaller than a dime.

Your design is nothing short of flawless.

 

Spider web 1

 

We are all here for balance.

I recognize that if I take more than I need,

especially in my space,

I am taking more than I require.

 

The life of a spider seems to be one of constants:

movement, spinning, letting go, small moments of excitement

and repeat.

Much like mine.

 

Today though, it is our space.

You spin yours.

And I, mine.

moving. spinning. letting go.

 

indulging in the small moments that give us both life.