April is Poetry Month: To Jacques Pépin by Shanna Compton

April is Poetry Month: To Jacques Pépin by Shanna Compton

From Stacey: "Here's a terrific poem from Brooklyn-by-way-of-Texas poet Shanna Compton. Many may have read it when it first ran in Gastronomica. Like cream, it quickly rose to the surface where poet Paul Muldoon scooped it up for his Best American Poetry 2005 (Scribner). It is a terrific example of how writing about food so often gives way to something else entirely." To Jacques Pépin Touch me with your impeccably clean hands. Go ahead: Say beutter, instead of butter. I can take it. I love your rhapsodies of oil. You are hypnotic as you pat a chicken's rump with your right hand, swirl your ruby glass in the left. For a Frenchman, you are remarkably open to wines vinted by Californians. Don't misunderstand. I never intended any innuendo, but I dream of being food in your kitchen. Every night I become a perfect tomato, a parcel of pastry, crimped and tender. Give me away in a frock of parchment paper. Fold me in. Slick me a little clarified gold. - by Shanna Compton (Down Spooky, Winnow Press, 2005) • Visit Gastronomica (Thanks, Stacey!) (photo: American Public Television)
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