Simple, Pan-fried Poem Recipe
Ink runs from the corners of my mouth. There is
no happiness like mine. I have been eating poetry.
1 whole body of a poem, cleaned and scaled,
and small enough to fit in a medium-size frying pan.
Salt and pepper.
You don’t need to take a deep breath.
Or to say some prayers asking for
Make 3 diagonal, long, narrow slits
on each side of the poem to prevent
its body from twisting.
Next, Rub the body of the poem
with salt and pepper.
Then place one side of the poem down
in the non-stick pan filled with heated
Maintain a safe distance.
The poem’s body often bursts.
Droplets of water released from it
touch the hot oil causing it to sizzle
and scatter all over the place.
When the skin is brown,
turn the other side of the poem over
and fry until it’s cooked through.
Take it from the pan,
Let it cool down for a few minutes
before consuming the poem
with your choice dipping sauce.
For Joy Kobayashi-Cintron
Bamboo Ridge Press
How to Mix A Concrete Poem
The words in a concrete poem cause burns
if they get into your skin and eyes. Always
wear protective clothing and gloves if you
are handling them. –Omar Elmer
Concrete, pattern, or shape poetry is an arrangement
of linguistic elements in which the typographical effect
is more important in conveying meaning than verbal
Depending on how long and how wide
your poem is, measure some sand,
some coarse gravel, a 60# bag
or two of Portland Cement
and the necessary words that can reinforce
and strengthen the concrete poem.
With a flat shovel, in a mixing through,
or a wheelbarrow free of oil, debris and dirt,
blend all the ingredients except your emotions.
Add the right amount of water.
Too little and the particles of words
do not stick together.
Too much and they only wash away.
Keep on working the ingredients
and keep on adding water until you get
the right consistency (Not dry or soupy).
Before pouring the concrete poem on a piece
of 8 and ½ by 11 multi-system copy paper,
pour a cupful of sugar into the mixture.
It stretches the Curing period to a longer time.
If you forget or neglect it,
the mixture may dry up fast.
Expect cracks in the poem
and the words in it may soon
Wait for 3 to 4 days to ensure the poem
has settled, dried and cured before reading it.
For Professor Marie Hara
Department of English
University of Hawai’i @ Manoa