dVerse Poets Pub: Me, myself, and I…..#2 Out of the kitchen

This prompt from Victoria today is so very good, I have to do another.  Victoria says ” write a poem using the first person–an apparent first person. Perhaps you will leave your reader wondering if you are actually the “person” of if this is a fictional character”….or not!  Come visit us for some excellent writing!  http://dversepoets.com/2016/02/25/me-myself-and-i-or-is-it-dverse-meeting-the-bar/

Out of the Kitchen, into the Fire….

When I went in, it was winter.
When I came out, it was spring.
Somehow the dayshoursnightsmonths
blurred together – a black and white film noir
fast-forwarded with parts cut out and thrown
somewhere in the confusion of the cutting room.

I worked as a bartender to pay for culinary school
and worked as a dishwasher, prepper, line cook, intern,
sous chef, chef, executive chef de cuisine….
hitting the markets before dawn
sometimes sleeping on the floor being too tired
to drive home and staying there,
in my womb, in my life,
sans lovers, sans life, sans anything but food
and competition and trends –
hitting the markets before dawn…
butchering sides of beef,
breaking down exotic seafood.
A parrot fish from Hawaii made me cry
as I cut apart its beauty
to present before those
only interested in status and trendy.
That day I had enough.
That day I walked out and never looked back.

I met the owner in the chill dawn of March
him coming in, me going out.
He saw my knife roll neatly tied
my knife holster from around my waist
and over my shoulder
and said, So?
I just said…So.

The Kiritsuke knives
glinted with the danger of an ancient katana –
the kitchen Samurai was laying it down.
Out of the kitchen and into real life now.
Those who can – cook.
Those who can’t – cook for those they love.
I raised my fist to the sky that day and swore:
As God is my witness,
I’ll only cook for those I love –
and the Blue Kiritsuke knives
live well in my home kitchen
and dream of when they were kitchen katanas
and won many a battle of food and taste.

And silently laugh when I rant about
locavore, gastrigue, molecular gastronomy, sustainable,
gluten free….house crafted…blahblahblah

and grin in delight at the smell of fresh lemon zest
and white wine and saffron…
and shine with joy when those I love
eat my food and make happy sounds.


free public domain image Shun Blue Kiritsuke

free public domain image
Shun Blue Kiritsuke

23 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. georgeplace2013
    Feb 26, 2016 @ 06:36:08

    Amen and Amen


  2. The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap
    Feb 26, 2016 @ 10:07:32

    Wow, great! I love the opening two lines. Would make a great starter for a novel. Big hug to you and hope all’s well. ❤


  3. whimsygizmo
    Feb 26, 2016 @ 11:09:34

    How wonderful. I feel like this is the beginning of a deeper story…like you have a novel in you. One which I would very much like to read.

    Also, I’m a little hungry now. 😉


  4. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Feb 26, 2016 @ 13:39:27

    I think that food cooked with love has to be eaten with love… The narrative tied to the knives worked extremely well.


    • kanzensakura
      Feb 26, 2016 @ 14:31:54

      My knife block is the most valuable thing in our home. My knives are part of me. Cooking for love Trump’s cooking for .money and reviews everytime. Watching people I love eating with love is beyond price.


  5. Victoria C. Slotto
    Feb 26, 2016 @ 13:42:22

    I agree with De…the stuff of which novels are crafted…This is so real, I can’t imagine it is fictional. The part about the parrot fish got to me, too.


    • kanzensakura
      Feb 26, 2016 @ 14:26:56

      Being chef de cuisine and building up a following is labor intensive and for a time, your only life is in that kitchen. Managing labor, staff, menus, costs, creating recipes, refining set recipes…I trained in classic French supplemented by Tuscan as an addition and cross certified in pastry. Because I had a good salary and received bonuses, I had good money which I was never able to spend. The owner made too much noise about being chic and au currant….after he purchased 20 parrot fish for an event…after butchering beauty for fad, I was done. Five years of being chef I tossed over my shoulder and moved back South. I spent a year in France, Italy, and Japan learning again to cook and love food. I cook for church, teach teens cooking, cook for the local Food Bank, and family/friends. The teens think my knife holster is beyond cool and I teach them every thing from sushi to classic buerre blanc…when I met Masashi, he was intrigued a white woman cooked real Japanese my husband’s gift to me was a chef’s shirt embroidered with Bad Ass Knife Master…lol


  6. Let's CUT the Crap!
    Feb 27, 2016 @ 20:36:41

    I like food and I like to cook, but I would hate to be told how to do it either for love nor money.
    My S-i-L manages restaurant supply stores. Love the chopping knives he’s introduced me too. Not the wonderful knives you use, but I am used to these and cannot do anything without them.
    Another wonderful story, Kazen. Your live sounds like the lives of many, ❤ ❤ ❤


  7. ghostmmnc
    Feb 29, 2016 @ 16:32:34

    Wonderful narrative. I could have read on and on it was so interesting. You do have a gift with your words. Sad for the fish, though.


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