Hey Kitchen, Listen!

Saturday afternoon, I walked to
the grocery store, and purchased

some ingredients, $56 and change. Brought
my own bags and all that.

Walked
the mile back to my place. Threw it

all out on the counter top. Hmm.
What next? Had been thinking a
Jambalaya and some pulled pork.

(it was a roll tide sort of morning.)

The jambalaya would take less time,
so I dug in-

started cutting up the bell peppers,
the onions, garlic, celery. Can of
red beans- started working the sausage.

Sweat the veggies while crushing up
a spice blend. Soaked the sausage.

Added all the business to a slow
cooker, poured a nice cold
gin-soda. Jambalaya was in the
heat by 1:30pm.

The stew needs to slow cook, at least
four hours.

Plenty of time to start
jiving the pork.

Pulled a seven pound
shoulder from the fridge, started
to prep my brine.

1c orange juice, 1c water, tablespoon
apple cider vinegar.

Splash of Tullamore dew.

Poured it slow over the shoulder,
covered her tinfoil– back in the
fridge.

Pulled my dry spices from the pantry.

Dry mustard seed, whole black pepper,
crushed red pepper, touch of thyme.
Worked em’ over with a mortar and pestle.

Added cumin, paprika, chili powder,
hand of salt, onion powder, garlic powder.

Blended it all up
bout’a half cup total.

Let that brine cold soak in.
Flipped it once.

Pulled the shoulder
from the fridge after an hour,
started beating the Dry into it.

Cutting deep gashes into the meat, trimming
the excess fat. Really working
in it. She’s soaked in glory, flipping it.
Working it in.  Really making that soul breathe.

It’s almost 3:00pm now, I cover it,
placed back
in the fridge. Take another soda to
the window.

Dragging on some future cigarette.

Wearing all the jackets on all the shoulders of all
the people I’m watching walk by from my window.

Headphones singing through me, just drifting off.
The jambalaya already started fill the kitchen
with his beauty.

Feeling a little despondent, haven’t
eaten. Take to the couch and catch a
snooze.

Wake up just after 4:30pm. The
evening sun was crushing
through the shades. It was clam as hell,
but bright as danger.

The gumbo was close, needed another
hour.  So I washed and rinsed three cups
of brown rice. Threw it in the

rice cooker. Fifty eight minutes
and two poems later,
I pulled the lid off the Cajun.
(Rice just finished.)

Added the grain to the pot,
let it go another forty five
minutes. The whole place

smelled like incentive. It smelled
like NOLA on a Tuesday morning.

After another poem,
the gumbo was real- scooped a bowl,

(dreaming of shrimp)
tasted good,
threw the
rest in Ball jars, washed up.

Took
the shoulder from the fridge.

It smelled good cold.

Flipped it and worked it around some,
really getting into its guts.

Just past 7:00pm, the sun setting, and
I’m awake, dreaming of summer.

Opened a Belgian imperial stout,
poured 2c in a measuring cup.

(a small glass for myself.)

Oo Lord! She’s heavy, sweet yet
bitter. Dark as dirty ice.

Cut up two onions, four cloves-a
garlic.  Laid them to rest in the

warm Louisianan throat of that cooker;

a warm white bed for my shoulder
to rest upon. Lifted the seven
pound hog from her bowl, and
rested her on the sheets. Poured
the brine,

added the 2c stout. (I poured that
mother so slow… I can almost still hear
the dark liquid fill up around her.)

She was dark red spotted in white.

It’s after 8:00pm in the evening now, traffic has
died down. Wanted to let the soul boil for at
least eight hours, so I put the machine on the low.

Left the kitchen, started chiseling out
some lousy poems. Caught up with
a few contacts. Wrote two letters
to some old hearts.

Laced up my boots,
and headed out to Aberdeen.

Saturday night you’re guaranteed
to have a conversation with someone
you don’t know.

Couple rounds, met up with some strangers,
start trading stories about the time our phones
died. (Heard one about a dude that gave a
homeless man a bottle of scotch.)

Everything
in candle light.

Smiles for everyone, drinking with the servers.

Something past 11:30 told me to get
gone.  Closed a tab, smiled, and sauntered
out with cheers-fives for the road.

Back to the place, I flopped to the couch.

The apartment smelled like one of those
t.v shows
where everyone is competing to make the best
food.

Flip on a Gillian Welch LP, stare at the
ceiling. Picturing horses, thinking about
political anomalies.

Stand, pour a short
bourbon. Ignore the southern beauty.
(don’t want to mess with her heat.)

Everything smells
like a battle of glory.

Back to the couch, Ms. Gillian is singing about
“the Harrow and the Harvest”

I start to trail off sometime past
1:30am.

Wake up, and the whole room
is dark. Empty scotch glass on the
edge of the couch.

Time says 3:18am – don’t believe it. Lay there,
still, just listening to the traffic and
the sound

of the building creek. Just waiting.

3:40am, no sleep. Just the sound of the
city. No music, just the still air, the
old brick. Flip on some new show
that just came out.

Watch it blind, carnivorous. Just laying there
in the dark, the pork shoulder
swarming around
my mind. In and out of sleep and
light.  The sun hits my eyes at 8:58am.

(The alarm is clicking)

Head to the kitchen!

It’s just a war zone
of the gods.

The whole place is filled with
the great old times.
(the good ole’ south.)

Pull the lid,
and that fucker is just bubbling.

Flip on the light, pick the
bone out with my hand.

No resistance.
No tension.

With two forks, i lift the shoulder
into a large
bowl and she’s just dripping.

Take the forks and
start unwinding her.

Seven pounds just unfolding in
a swarm of:

I‘m-having-you-for-lunch-today.

Taste it- oh my.

Mix it up good in the bowl, the brine
still simmering in the slow cooker. Drain
the solids. Place the pork back
in the machine.

Let it simmer,
three more hours.

Back to the couch, by 9:30am.
It’s quiet,
everywhere. Too dehydrated for
poems.

Turn the LP real low.

Lay there in the dark, watching my
program. Almost noon,
and the apartment
is so steeped in it.

Even the
paint on the wall is wondering:

what the hell does that taste like?

Warm up a short bed of brown rice,
(saved from the gumbo)

Fork out some pork.  The
meat moves like butter. Tastes

like the sweat of new lovers. Wet
throughout, doesn’t even need
sauce. Eat my lunch and lay
back down.

Thinking there on the warm
couch, there is no way, I’m
going to be able to eat all this.

Laugh surreptitiously
at thought of bringing the whole
beast into
the office for sliders
on Monday.

Back to the poems, working over
some really lousy stuff.
(Weeding out the
fringe lines.)

Yeah, this’ll feed
twelve people! Then I think,

wait

they
aren’t just people.

They are family,
and this is how we
break
bread.

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