Lunch in Marco’s kitchen with the artists and fine food
In Marco’s kitchen
Dali’s Christ of St John stares down
From the wooden walls.
The wood fired stove has been burning
Mixing the sounds of sparks and effervescent knots
With the torrential rain.
The damp smell mixes
With the scent of chopped garlic cloves
Like some porcini mushroom dish.
As Lina plunges pasta into her
History browned, oil encrusted pot
Marco grasps a fist of octopus
To toss with wilted spinach,
Nettles and plum toms from his back yard,
And anchovy in spiteful superheated oil. This is a
Jackson Pollack of a dish,
Or, more like, Warhol’s Marilyns,
Elegant, always the same
Marco hides his aproned pasta paunch
Behind the shadows of the fire, and
Lina drains spaghetti, throws it on the pan
And tips it onto three plain terracotta plates.
This is lunch
In Marco’s kitchen, with Lina
And fine food.
© Martin Porter 2007
Can a document like a scientific paper, a guide to filling a form or a recipe be converted into a poem? That was the workshop challenge that eventually created "Lunch in Marco's kitchen...". The poem was written well after the workshop and is based on an imaginary recipe that actually works, much to my surprise.
To fix the recipe into a poem, I have tried to place it in a cultural location, hence the references to the artists. As for the location in time and space, Marco's kitchen is explicit enough - it could be Italy, it could be the US or Australia - and lunch time is about as precise as the poem needs. The important feature I wanted to experess is the casual but high quality of living that results in a satisfied Marco.