The Autumn Playlist 2018

“We have seen her leaning over the earth from the windows of the sunset.”

In winter say the snow-bound, “She shall come with the spring leaping upon the hills.”

And in the summer heat the reapers say,
“We have seen her dancing with the autumn leaves,
and we saw a drift of snow in her hair.”

All these things have you said of beauty,
Yet in truth you spoke not of her but of needs unsatisfied,

And beauty is not a need but an ecstasy.

It is not a mouth thirsting nor an empty hand stretched forth,
But rather a heart enflamed and a soul enchanted.

It is not the image you would see nor the song you would hear,
But rather an image you see though you close your eyes and a song you hear though you shut your ears.

It is not the sap within the furrowed bark, nor a wing attached to a claw,
But rather a garden for ever in bloom and a flock of angels for ever in flight.

(khalil gibran)


Pink Parm Broth

There is nothing quite like

the steam above a saucepan. A reminder,

something is brewing.

Think: an appropriate response to the warmth, with nothing

expecting anything Other. (Occurring) naturally to things in a pot, heating.

[This is all you have to do.]

Vegetables in quarters and thirds, beneath sage leaves and sprigs of thyme. Rinds saved over time. Alcohol poofs into nothingness. Behind it, savory warmth. And then, pink. Oops.

Rhubarb Rosewater Tres Leches Cake

I thought about calling this “I’m Going To Grad School” Tres Leches. It’s exciting, I guess.

I had reached a point where I would rather receive the rejection letter than wonder what else my life could look like. I applied to one place I knew I would get in. And then, I applied to the program I wanted to go to.

Shortly after that, I told my boss I would be stepping down. I realized, it didn’t really matter whether or not I got in, at that point.

[By applying to grad school, I had admitted to myself that I wanted to do something else.]

I clicked Submit, and I checked my e-mail to make sure my apps had been received.

I found, listed just after my confirmation, that I had received a letter. A job I would have been interested in months before was now available, and they had thought of me.

I e-mailed back, thanking them. And, I declined.

It turned out, I wanted to hear about school. Even if that meant missing out on a really cool opportunity, in the meantime.

Anyway, I got in. To both programs.

This means: A Big Life Change is weeks away, and I am simmering rhubarb on the stove and mixing rosewater into its syrup, pureeing the solids for their endpoint…whipped cream. Syrup goes in three milks, poured over yellowy sponge.

And, you know, I didn’t really know how it would turn out. Too sweet, maybe? Or, sour? Not pink enough? And, would the puree in the cream overdo it? But it turns out, it’s the best thing I could’ve done.


Brown Butter Tarts

blessing the boats

may the tide
that is entering even now
the lip of our understanding

carry you out
beyond the face of fear

may you kiss
the wind then turn from it

certain that it will
love your back may you

open your eyes to water
water waving forever

and may you in your innocence

sail through this to that

(Lucille Clifton)

In loving memory of my grandmother, who loved butter tarts, and who physically moved on to the other side last month after a decade of dementia. I would give anything to be able to be with you while you order coffee with one cream and send it back for another. You were wonderful, and I have missed you, and I will miss you. Thank you for being you.

Chocolate Beet Snack Cake

Something is bubbling, somewhere.

Hot steam above purple water.

Making fuchsia goop.

It melts into chocolate,

which turns to batter.

Then, it’s cake. Somewhere,

-between beets and a creme fraiche cloak-

it becomes.

Salty Pretzel Brownie Cookies

notes on nostalgia:

longing for the flavor of Past

(becoming that for a moment)

round table against a wooden wall + birds chirping at the feed across the way

-lively chatter before snack time-

and so, it exists [in the present] experience

frames set to the color:

w i s t f u l

pretzels crunch-ed and the oven poofs cocoa air

[vanilla, imitated + brownies as cookies]

because maybe you don’t need to go back because maybe all you need to see is that you know how to find it now when it arrives in its new form

Birthday Strawberry Pie Bars

if what you want and need

is pure and good,

do not hear the ones who say you should not have it.

already, there are so many expectations placed,

and happiness cannot be contingent on certain criteria

determined by those without your greatest good in mind.

no one else decides your capacity for fulfillment.

(or the level to which you can be loved, truly)

one more year around the sun, and it worked wonders // hello from the beach with my mama today //

the greatest gift is to have all this love in my life [see also: all those syrup-sweet, ripe-red, joyful-juicy strawberries in my pie bars]

happy days upon days upon days