Monthly Archives: March 2015

Breakfast Table

They sat down at a table
in a restaurant near their home.
They both ordered eggs and coffee.
For her, two, sunny side up,
and a large coffee with cream and sugar.
For him, one, his coffee black.

“Only here can a factory worker become a governor,” she said.
“And a girl from the projects become an astronaut,” she added.
“The way I see it,” he said, “one loser somehow makes it,
and we all have to live with false hope.”

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Elegance

The violin and the red tree
remind me of the confidence
of French women.

The look is sharp
the air is fresh
and sexy is not measured by breast size.

Rich taste is testimonial
depth is a variable
and intimidation is the currency franca
where making a point, taking a stand
are part of the collective bargain.

National politics
and the dullness in the bedroom
go hand in hand in conversations
at dinner tables
triggering powerful, profound aspirations.

Joie de vivre is a national pastime.

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A Dish for the Ages

Having couscous for lunch
is a quest for comfort, down memory lane.
A few imposed traps stand in between
my remembering
partly due to a distant past,
and self censorship.

My earliest memory of this dish
may have been when I was seven.

Couscous, chickpeas, and raisins.
Cinnamon, chicken.
Its steam greets the mouth.
Warmth at first. Then heat.
Aura-rich, mix of flavors.

The cabbage on the plate stands high
as a mountain protecting its citizens.
The round ball is cut into four pieces.
Served with a hint of triumph.

Zucchini, a green stretched tongue
of many love affairs, is hot.
The heat is held inside it with passion.
Like a prison guard in charge of a ruthless criminal.
Even with caution, the heat threatens your lips, makes your throat cringe.

Carrot begs to differ. An orange opposition.
It accentuates— adds color.

Turmeric. Salt. Pepper, and double that in ginger.

The mystic ingredient is not my father’s magic hands.
Nor is it his lucky strikes at delivering savor.
It is simply olive oil.
It makes an ordinary dish into a giant of a character.

35 years later, I stand at the kitchen
recalling an act I watched almost weekly every winter.
I now play a father tormented with a heavy legacy.
Eager to please his son. The guests.
When I cook couscous I disturb the neighborhood
with a frightening smell that makes even the most civil stomach roar.

My son will still feast on couscous for awhile.
Dismiss it for many years. Then come back to it
with pressing urgency.
Maybe an intellect to support his quest.

On a good day of health, fresh mood,
a lot of rain, or to celebrate
I will satisfy his request for a fine couscous.

I wish he would remember
that his mom liked hers with
tomatoes, potatoes, squash, pumpkin,
and she swore that her favorite was
served with fish instead.

He knows the act by heart.
He would happily play my part.

couscous

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Exciting Life

You have been leading an exciting life. Help us find out why. From each category below, please check all that apply to you. Characteristics that were/are essential in helping you succeed:

A- Self

a. You are a narcissist
b. You like to be on the top
c. You are good looking
d. You like to bake
e. You believe your own lies
f. You are lucky
g. You sleep your way through
h. You work extra hard
i. You are seriously depressed
j. You were born that way

B- Family

a. Both parents are alcoholic
b. You were abused by a family member
c. You had a boring, miserable family and childhood
d. You were spoiled by your grandpa
e. Your parents are lawyers
f. At least one parent is Asian
g. Your parents have an open marriage
h. Your family vacations in nude beaches
i. Your father was almost never home
j. You are spoiled by your Mom’s lover

C- School

a. You were bullied at school
b. You always sat at the back of the classroom
c. You were attracted to your science teacher
d. Classrooms were auditoriums for plays inside your head
e. Your were good at hard science among other subjects
f. Your love crush never said “hi” to you
g. You like sweets
h. A few of your teachers invited you to their homes
i. You were teased indiscriminately
j. You never played sports

C- Work

a. You never worked in an office
b. You met your boss at a bar
c. You were the first to show up and first to leave
d. You confided in your boss your social failings
e. You borrowed ideas from everyone at the office, liberally
f. You did what you loved
g. You kept running notes on your colleagues
h. You always preceded stabbing a colleague with a generous smile
i. You take pride in promoting yourself
j. You were ahead of the competition

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