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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Martha Ronk's Displeasures of the Table

I had not heard of this book until poet Megan Snyder-Camp suggested I might enjoy it. She was right. I think I like it so much for two reasons: (1) it's about food and (2) it's not really about food. Oh, and (3) it reminds me of Gertrude Stein's Tender Buttons, the section called Food.

I am giddy over Ronk's book and the size of it (it fits in a rather small purse). Here are a few excerpts:

From "Coca Cola":

Today it's hard to get anyone to go anywhere except the movies: dark, safe, sensual in an abstract sort of way, like coke. I know people who used to go everywhere, now watch TV every night. There is no city left, only threat and directions signs. "Stop," they say, or "go."

 From "Oatmeal":

The most forgiving  food is oatmeal. I eat it when I can't forgive myself or ones I most want to. Who do you think you are anyway, I think, who's going to make me, why should I? And why do I have to forgive someone for turning on me who can't think of how to keep anyone from turning angry of course the world is unjust and unfair. Peas Porridge cold and 9 days old.

From "Boiling Water":

What most people seem to like about food is what I find most taxing, metaphysically speaking. It is so transitory. One has to keep after it, keep bringing groceries into the kitchen, sorting through brown bags, going to markets, boiling the water, eating and then finding that it is time to eat again and then going to the refrigerator to get more and finding that one is out and also that there is no way to store up ahead of time so that you can keep on working and not get hungry.

Green Integer published Displeasures of the Table in 2001. Stay tuned for more excerpts.

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