Friday, April 11, 2008

Self Help for Fellow Refugees

If your name suggests a country where bells
might have been used for entertainment

or to announce the entrances and exits of the seasons
or the birthdays of gods and demons,

it's probably best to dress in plain clothes
when you arrive in the United States,
and try not to talk too loud.

If yo u happen to have watched armed men
beat and drag your father
out the front door of your house
and into the back of an idling truck

before your mother jerked you from the threshold
and buried you face in her skirt folds,
try not to judge your mother too harshly.

Don't ask her what she thought she was doing
turning a child's eyes
away from history
and toward the place where all human aching starts.

And if you meet someone
in your adoprted country,
and think you see in the other's face
an open sky, some promise of new beginning,
it probably means you're standing too far.

Or if you think you read in the other, as in a book
whose first and last pages are missing,
the story of your own birthplace,
a country twice erased,
once by fire,once by forgetfulness,
it probably means you're standing too close.

In any case, try not to let another carry
the burden of your own nostalgia or hope.

And if you're one of those whose left side of the face doesn't match
the right, it moght be a clue

looking the other way was a habit
your predecessors found useful for survival.
Don't lament not being beautiful.

Get used to seeing while not seeing.
Get busy remembering while forgetting.
Dying to live while not wanting to go on.

Very likely, your ancestors decorated
their bells of every shape and size
with elabrate calendars
and diagrams of distant star systems,
but with no maps for scattered descendants.

And I bet you can't say what language
your father spoke when he shouted to your mother
from the back of the truck "Let the boy see!"

Maybe it wasn't the language you used at home.
Maybe it was a forbidden language.
Or maybe there was too much screaming
and weeping and noise of guns in the streets.

It doesn't matter. What matters is this:
The kingdom of heaven is good.
But heaven on earth is better.

Thinking is good
But living is better.

ALone in your favorite chair
with a book you enjoy
is fine. But spooning
is even better.

by Li-Young Lee from Behind My Eyes

This Recipe Is Easy As ...Bread

Loaf serves 6-8

1 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup wheat flour
1/3 cup wheat germ
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 /2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
a heaping 1/2 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 large egg
2/3 cup buttermilk
4 Tbsp melted butter
1 Tbsp honey
1 cup golden raisins

1. Preheat oven to 375. Allow egg and buttermilk to come to room temperature. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour through rosemary). In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk the egg, buttermilk, butter, and honey.
3. Slowly add flour to buttermilk mixture. Beat on low speed until just combined. The batter will be sticky.
4. Gently stir in raisins.
5. With a rubber spatula, scrape the bater onto the parchment paper lined baking sheet to form a mound that measures about 8 inches in diameter. Slash an X into the top of the loaf with a sharp knife.
6. Bake for about 28 minutes or until loaf is golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean. Then, allow to cool for about 5 minutes before serving. This bread is very nice warm or at room temperature.

***Get silly with this recipe and replace raisins with chopped, dried apricots and stir in fresh, chopped lavender in lieu of the rosemary.

Recipe by Cristina Paul

Monday, April 7, 2008

Blah-Blah-Blahg: Food For Nought

THEIR NAMES SAY IT ALL: "Don't hit me 'cus I'm... beautiful?"
I often wonder what yutz thought of the names of these vehicles. Someone is obviously enjoying their pharmaceuticals. I think I need a new job - or more medication!

Who names a car like this after a breathtaking optical phenomenon? If I were in charge of things, this automobile would simply disappear. For now, I'd like to suggest a more fitting name: Geriatric Wet Dream


This road leads nowhere but to a soccer game. Homer is presently furrowing his brows.


I think D-List is more apropos