A Literary Feast

Posts by Sarah Kanabay

Brief History

Posted on August 19th, 2013

I. The fish is not large enough. It is black and nearly round, and then other colors when it lands, spines out, in my palm, and we have killed it anyway. It drifts cockeyed beneath the cement that makes up this small bridge. The road is dusty. I lie down on my stomach, and stretch a still pale arm, a burning back, down to catch the body as it makes its way into the tunnel. It slips against my fingers. Don’t tell anyone, you say, laughing, and I say that I won’t, only now, I have. The beer smell won’t leave my water bottle for a month. The sunburn goes, after two days. The bruised plum that I eat in the hot car on…

In The Beginning

Posted on July 19th, 2013

* Dog goes down to the water in the blank  heat of the middle part of the day and sits. The air is open-palmed and slow across the back of her neck, and the grass chews itself down into the sand at the top of the bank. Dog is not her real name, but it is the one that she has been given at camp. Camp waits on the other side of the meadow, and it is all tanned, tall, smooth-limbed counselors. It is clipboards that trail long comets of embroidery floss, woven into bracelets for people that are not her. When the sun reached its whitest eye, Dog had taken her plastic bag of warming carrots and the smooth sweat of her one…

Out of the Arm of One Loaf…

Posted on July 17th, 2013

out of the arm of one loaf and into the arms of another I have been saved from eating and being cross by a bread that beats pot beats songs and stories and is much softer than the last, much much softer and the crumb is just as good or better. It isn’t pleasant to be hotly crossed and left there, it is much more pleasant to forget a bun which didn’t rise as all yeast finally doesn’t rise… it is much more pleasant to eat along the crust in Des Moines in the back room, and afterwards sitting up in bed drinking cold milk, your tongue touching crumbling softness like a wave…   I have tried too many times kneading and waiting, waiting…

What We Talk About When We Talk About Sandwiches

Posted on June 24th, 2013

There’s a midnight sidewalk and someone is saying that making food is asking someone to like you, even a small amount. We are cooks and we do this sometimes. This sentence is like being seen. Walking to the car is like pulling all of your clothes on again, in a hurry.   The street lamp is a yolk. And this falls apart when you see the insects lifting towards it, in the light. The night isn’t bread. It is full of smoke, drifting in from some further house. Some unseen cooking fire. But the point is that there aren’t two neat halves wrapping the lamp so that it will fit down the cat-mouth of the evening—the lamp just hangs there. And the moths rise…

Secret Handshake

Posted on May 17th, 2013

I’ve spent no small amount of time feeling that I needed to be more rooted to the here and now.  That my life was something that I was constantly sliding off of. Life as greased pig. I’d fling myself on top of it, only to have it run squealing for the fences again. Half of the time I’d feel the sharp loss, and the other half of the time I’d want to sit back on my haunches in the mud, light up a cigarette, and say ‘fuck you too, mister.’   Farming, in my mind, had always seemed a sure-bet way to anchor oneself to the present. There’s nothing more immediate, after all, than dirt, than weather, bare and uncaring. The last time I…

To The Teeth

Posted on April 18th, 2013

1.   You pinch, she says her knuckles punched in faces, cracked with work, breathing their sentence to me across the cold air, putting the knife in my new hand, it must be new it is shaking and then the crisp exact nature of the first cut– onions, blood.     2.   You take on knowing the way of this, cloth licking ink, water, muscle linking nerve, heavy with a thin sharp edge and its motions the song that parts and pieces your minutes, hours, the deep hard heat of taking from the whole, first one leaf then another another another.           3.   The days are some sleepless rotation, bitter black coffee, sly dirt dawns, cold one at a…

The Long Hill

Posted on March 18th, 2013

It is March and here, miles inland, gulls are circling around the barn-buckled roof of my house. I imagine my recently acquired mid-century modern swan lamp feeling some sympathetic tug towards the window, to be out. To be away. The light is slowly dialing itself down between the houses. Everything going pale gold, the clouds sporting some darker breath at the horizon. Weather in the offing. Spring has yet to fully arrive, necessitating this heavy wool cardigan, the hiking socks I have on my feet, propped on an empty wine crate beneath the desk. But—we feel it running now, in the vein. The sap’s high. Leaving a store downtown on an errand, I feel something like breath on my cheek, and turn, startled to…

Gone, Fishing.

Posted on February 14th, 2013

A storm has started outside. The air is growing white as the breath of it picks up speed. The space heater by my feet churns in a loud hum. Two birds cut the sky through the window, here in this yolk-yellow aerie above Haywood Street. It is my job, for this year, to keep this gambrel-roofed house in one piece. Somewhere south and west, in a winter-dark river, is an eel weir. It is at least a century old. The wind is pushing billows past the glass, long plumes of cold. On a map of the current weather, I can see that my hill town and that other river sit roughly in the same deep purple band of snow. I wonder about the work…

Wild Goose Chase, Resolved.

Posted on January 21st, 2013

It does not have to be good You do not have to wok a hundred chiles Through immolation on your knees, weeping. You have only to let the soft loaf of your body eat what it eats. Tell me how you prepare, yours, and I will tell you mine. Meanwhile the dinner goes on. Meanwhile Fieri and the clogged icons of the airways are chewing across the landscapes over the squeeze bottles and the deep freeze the pizzas and the poppers. Meanwhile the Achatz, high in the Alinead air is making foams again. Whoever you are, no matter how lowly, the farm offers itself to your imagination, fat with wild beets, fibrous and exciting– over and over announcing your place in the plating of…

Burnt Ends

Posted on January 3rd, 2013

New Year’s Eve celebrations in Orange, Massachusetts, involve a long parade of giant puppets through the center of town.  A farm truck  tows revelers playing Thin Lizzy loudly, and your shirt feels sleeveless, spiritually.  Your sideburns ghost down over your cheeks, regardless of your gender.  A friend has manned the sweaty interior of the broad-assed mayoral figurine in prior years–this year, he’s elsewhere, celebrating with others.  The fog grows in the streets. But the evening really begins in a parking lot, a church parking lot, where you eat mediocre Chinese food out of a bag in the front seat of a Honda Fit, double parked behind a minivan.  The New Year tastes like MSG.  The New Year is already giving you heartburn.  The New…