Friday, October 8, 2010

Foodstuff Friday: Génoise, the ladies room, perfectionism in poetry

I was in the ladies room with a can of frosting and a pint of rum. It was a creaky office building on Hollywood Blvd. The doors were scratched dark wood. I titrated rum into the goo. I was in my early twenties; an office manager or secretary.

This happened.

My untamed and grand approach to life had me baking three génoise layers the previous night. Because of the batter's delicacy, flour to egg to butter ratio, there was anarchy among the ingredients. My first run I created a scrambled sort of concoction. Then I got tough, called the ingredients to order (eggs and flour are more noisy than you might think) (sugar is quiet--life is full of surprise). Things worked.

Oh how fragrant the kitchen! How ebullient the light sweet sophisticated layers! But at 2 a.m., the trash can overflowing with egg shells and failed attempts, three gorgeous layers cooling on their trays, I caved. I'd be up all night if I began melting chocolate for whatever extravagant icing I had in mind.

Next day, M. joined me in the ladies room to help determine rum to icing proportions. (I'd picked up canned icing on my way in, and stuffed the Bacardi into my purse before leaving home.)

What does this have to do with poetry? I'm glad you asked and invite your ideas. My friend A. is claiming s/he's produced no publishable poetry for years. B.S.! I respond.

a) Publishable? The good, the bad, the ugly, the superb get into print and online.

b) It's impossible for A., so talented, so bright, so full of heart and shadow, to suck for so long.

c) It all tastes good. Images? Yum! Alliteration? Tasty! Fluidity? Divine! Enjambment? The surprise filling of poesy! Form? Flexible! (Anymore!) Your variations, your voice? Yes!

Three perfect génoise layers with crappy canned frosting semi-successfully flavored with Bacardi. Goes together as well as this posting, questionably, but there it was and here it is. My rule, self-rule if you will, in writing this blog is to never spend more than an hour (and usually a lot less) composing and to grab the first good image I see.

That was a good cake. I no longer bake. I still eat. I write. I make no sense. It's a blog. It's a life.

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