Thursday, November 17, 2011

Another Poem in the Series about Fall 2005

October 19, 2005
Last night we made what purported to be a simple five ingredient recipe

ancho chilies
stuffed with potatoes
and cheese
and sausage
surrounded by tomato sauce
However this does not take into account
rehydrating the chilies in a bowl of water overnight
(weighted down with a saucer and another bowl)
slicing them open
draining them of all the juice inside
cutting out of their white cores bristling with seeds
wiping out with fingers all the seeds adhering
to the slippery inside of their dark red flesh
I might as well be making jack-o-lanterns out of human hearts
And only then did I my dish of disemboweled chili bodies
ready to be stuffed with the mixture Bill prepared
surrounded by the sauce Bill made
(all in the time it took me just to wrestle the chilies into shape)
and baked in the oven for twenty minutes
and eaten with red wine and bread and butter

Woke up so early this morning
that it reminded me of childhood trips to southern California
the way getting up in the dark to drive all day
brought a feeling of impending adventure

It was stuffy in the apartment
so I sat in an open window after breakfast
the cold air pouring in
drinking my coffee and watching the pre-dawn world
as loud as if I were right out in the dark street
but unobserved
I watched a man smoke a cigarette under a porch light
with all the jittery energy of an insomniac
watched the traffic of which there was plenty
bunches of cabs
empty buses
a town car and a beat up delivery van
cars I liked to imagine were driven by people on their way to work in bakeries

And then the garbage men came
and again memory brushed over me
though ever so gently and from a great distance
how as a small child I loved to watch the garbage men
from the second story porch in east Oakland
in the gray early morning light of summer
wearing some sort of red flannel garment wrapped around my shoulders
The endless possibility of adventure that mornings hold when you’re a kid
the inevitable excitement coming

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