Had the pleasure of spending the morning with poet Jimmy Santiago Baca. His memoir, A Place to Stand, is what I currently devour page by page when I get my nightstand appetite. This man learned to read and to write in prison, and over the years within those cells, he came to find writing as a way of healing. I cannot imagine a more evolved, transformed human being existing on this planet. He read for us the following poem he wrote in the midst of poverty, when, he says, the only possessions he truly had were his lungs and the air within them. I almost feel as though the I and the you in this poem are one and the same.
I am offering this poem to you,
since I have nothing else to give.
Keep it like a warm coat
when winter comes to cover you,
or like a pair of thick socks
the cold cannot bite through,
I love you,
I have nothing else to give you,
so it is a pot full of yellow corn
to warm your belly in winter,
it is a scarf for your head, to wear
over your hair, to tie up around your face,
I love you,
Keep it, treasure this as you would
if you were lost, needing direction,
in the wilderness life becomes when mature;
and in the corner of your drawer,
tucked away like a cabin or hogan
in dense trees, come knocking,
and I will answer, give you directions,
and let you warm yourself by this fire,
rest by this fire, and make you feel safe
I love you,
It’s all I have to give,
and all anyone needs to live,
and to go on living inside,
when the world outside
no longer cares if you live or die;
I love you.
Curry Garlic Fries
Adapted from Post Punk Kitchen
1 1/2 lbs russet potatoes
2 tablespoons mild curry powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. In the meantime, you’ll prep everything else and preheat oven to 425 F.
You want “steak fry” slices. So slice them about 1/4 inch thick and 3/4 inch wide.
Fill a big bowl with ice water. Lay a kitchen towel on the counter and line it with paper towels. You’ll be plunging the fries into the ice water after boiling, and then placing them on the towel to blot dry.
Once the water is boiling, add the potatoes and cook for 3 minutes. Drain the potatoes and immediately plunge them into the ice bath to stop them from further cooking.
Once completely cool, place potatoes in a single layer on the towel to drain. Blot dry-ish.
Pour the ice water out of the bowl and wipe it dry. Scoop the curry powder into the bowl and mix in the salt. Add minced garlic. Drizzle in the oil and mix with a fork.
Oil a baking sheet, or don’t– it’s your stuff. Toss a handful of potato slices into the curry powder and try to get each slice evenly spread with curry garlic goodness.
Place fries in a single layer, spray with a little extra cooking spray, bake for 8 to 12 minutes on each side until golden brown and tender inside. If you’d like extra browning, place under the broiler for a few minutes, keeping a close eye. Serve hot!
These are my brother’s favorite.
Haiku #104 (April 14)
Now when I enter
a room I search throbbing walls
for an AED.
Haiku #105 (April 15)
Please, God, beyond the
hospital may I live as
a first responder.
Haiku #106 (April 16)
I, sessile polyp,
remain happy, flat, all my
secrets stuck to me.
Haiku #107 (April 17)
Sesame Street Bert’s eyebrow
one line through yellow.