A Literary Feast

Posts from the “Uncategorized” Category

Pink.

Posted on May 15th, 2020

I don’t know when it starts or why, when it does, but I start buying pink.  A pink phone case.  A pink water bottle.  Anything and everything that I will touch daily like a ritual is rosy.  I am alone in a house with a broken leg and I am being stalked by a man I briefly dated and my phone is like a gun next to my bed that I can’t get rid of that presses itself to my temple every morning, and I am buying pink like I just found out what a color is and it’s the only one I can see.  I have never been this person.  It surprises me.  It surprises other people.  My therapist wonders if it’s my…

Hug Atlas

Posted on May 8th, 2020

Your heart is a bucket.  Your heart is nails.  Your heart is a post and beam.  Your heart is an empty bell.  Your heart is an ocean. What is the wordless language of your chin on the top of my head in a sunlit kitchen, and your hand finding the heat where a threadbare shirt and old sweatpants meet.  What is the light at the window.  What is the first pancake, and me cursing it, and your noiseless chuckle that moves through my back to my front.  What is. Butter slowly melting, in a well-loved skillet. Have you noticed the way this clay curve fits into your hand, neatly warm, like the head of an infant.  Because that too. My legs find power from…

Coffee At Home

Posted on May 6th, 2020

I was excited for 2020 to begin. The docket for the year includes my daughter turning six, the completion of my master’s degree, my thirty-fifth birthday and hopefully me becoming a certified food scientist. In January I received an email about a new job opportunity. One that would allow me to leave the world of luxury food items to work for a company with a mission very much aligned with my own personal values and a promise of prioritized employee work-life balance. I accepted the job and gave my employer four weeks notice in order to finish (mostly) the projects I had open. Twenty-twenty was off to a great start. One of those open items included a trip to Italy for a jetlagged 50-hour…

Covidity

Posted on May 6th, 2020

COVID-19 Shelter-in-place food insults Gleaned from Facebook comment threads of my friends: A listless can of water chestnuts (credit: Hillary Hoffman) One forgotten smoked duck Bakery pizza A desperate recipe for kale pesto A “timeless” lone packet of instant oatmeal A Google search for recipes involving potato flakes Exploded can of store-bought tomato paste A Hershey bar left over from smores last summer They’ve “…been sprouting more faithfully these days.” A bag of carob chips An aforementioned coconut Freezer burned seafood Old box of Special K What you thought were dried currants Farmers market fatback from 2007 A solitary half of red onion A whim of gluten-free pancake bricks First-time baking bread A chided kubota A chest-freezer bottom medley A quantity of discarded curd…

Narrative Ecology

Posted on May 6th, 2020

For several months in sixth grade I couldn’t sleep. To solve this problem, my sister shared her bedroom. It had two beds in it (we lived in Texas, space came big and cheap) and my sister’s hushed whisperings before falling asleep cured my insomnia. Her words, her language that I spoke so fluently, comforted me then.             When we were young Julia was “the athlete” and I was “the writer.” These identities were fueled by our respective chosen activities of sports and poetry writing at Barbara Bush Middle School and Ronald Reagan High School (again Texas). The imaginary novel I would write was always about my family. It would be big and convoluted, the way my family felt. I knew deep down I would…

Immovable Feasts

Posted on May 6th, 2020

Next Year in Person I’m typing this hastily and I may not edit it much. Several things have changed lately—you’ve probably noticed—and somehow the idea of aspiring toward any sort of polish feels not only disingenuous but also unkind.             Throw together what you can, hastily if you must. Keep your people near and don’t turn away the stranger. Staying put will feel a lot like running. ***             “It’s getting to my head,” I tell a friend on the phone. “I swear I’m getting more Jewish the longer this goes on.” I mean it. There’s a pot of kasha varnishkes on the stove. Noodles, buckwheat, and enough schmaltz to hold it all together. It’s the ultimate Ashkenazi-American comfort food, and I’ve never had…

Heavy, Or Light?

Posted on May 6th, 2020

Greetings from beneath the refrigerator, bed, sofa, desk, dish washer, tub, toilet, television, desk again, washing machine, and kitchen sink, all the daily stations of the quarantined cross on this little circuit we’re all running now, so I’m glad I made this decision. Yes, I’m glad I piled all these things up before climbing under its multi-ton glory. Because this is what it feels like to be alive right now. Or, perhaps, being alive right now is a matter of weightlessness—the open expanse of time. Floating, freely. Spacing out, freely. Doing 200 jumping jacks, freely. Staying inside, freely. Everything is cancelled, nothing is happening, so all time feels light, effervescent, moving freely as water. But water is heavy, one of the heaviest substances. So…

Sad Pandemic Latte

Posted on May 6th, 2020

My So-Called Latte It was before 6:00 am, on some day in 1978 or 1979. It must have been spring or fall because my mom was wearing a burgundy velour robe, which would have been too hot for summer and too light for winter. This makes me around 4 years old. My dad hadn’t left my mom, even though she was basically the perfect Italian wife; she stayed at home with two kids all day but managed to wake up at the crack of dawn and brew him coffee and pack a lunch in a red and white Igloo “Playmate” cooler before he took the train into Manhattan to work for Sheet Metal Workers Local Union 28 (also called “tin-knockers”). Anyway, the coffee was…

If I Live Too Long, I’m Afraid I’ll Die: A letter from the editor

Posted on May 6th, 2020

In the past, I’ve never published the Farmer General sober.   I’m turning 39 in another week and a half, and shortly after that, it will be a year and six months since I quit drinking.  I haven’t touched another human being in two and a half months.  Last night, in a field, one of the two men I’m working on a farm with told me that he has suddenly grown a whole inch in the past two years and at 42, is now six ft. one. The numbers that divide days are a funny thing right now–the numbers that rule our selfhood and wholeness, our ability to allow or disallow certain behaviors, what we do to carve light and space into arcs and into…

Introduction

Posted on March 21st, 2017

It is somewhere in the neighborhood of five in the morning and you are standing in the bare bulb light of your narrow counter-less hallway kitchen holding your cat that you’re secretly worried is huffing paint every night and she has just drooled on your t-shirt.  You have been painting the back and only bedroom and, knowing its carpet is not long for this world, have been letting the paint fall where it may the entire time and now nightly you find her in there, on the floor in the middle of a half circle of three paint cans, purring, and you think you’ve created a problem.   So you scoop her up and think about how this is a tender broken-open sort of…