The Duck Press

The Duck Press
“Maybe that’s enlightenment enough: to know that there is no final resting place of the mind, no moment of smug clarity. ”  Anthony Bourdain

Memories. I read today that his belongings are being auctioned off online. His artwork, his furniture, his kitchen paraphernalia, including his famous duck press. I will log on and see what I can afford and buy something.
Maybe even that duck press. I sit up in my tree, clutching my violin and letting the tears slide down my face. After all of this, they are selling his stuff. I close my eyes and remember. I begin to play my violin, weeping the whole time. After awhile, I climb down and leave. These memories were left here with the trees.

 

The Kitchen is Empty

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) or go to SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for a list of resources.

The Kitchen is Empty
‘I’m never a reliable narrator, unbiased or objective.” “I have a tattoo on my arm, that says, in ancient Greek, ‘I am certain of nothing.’ I think that’s a good operating principle.” Anthony Bourdain

the boy at the beach has traveled to places
we could not imagine.
the stars no longer follow his parents
as they drive through the night to their home
from the Jersey shore he so dearly loved.
The kitchen is empty –
his great story telling voice like
dark chocolate ganache is silent.
his narrow face no longer wrinkles with laughter
or sorrow nor do his eyes peer out to the end
of the horizon, seeing things only
he could see.
The kitchen is empty –
the knives lying in their coffin drawers,
stories are silent –
no longer being told with
understanding and humor,
with sorrow and truth.
the kitchen is empty.
the kitchen is empty.

Haibun: Things I learned in the CIA

Posted for Mish’s prompt at dVerse Poets Pub – finding beauty in the ugly.

Haibun: Things I learned in the CIA
“Skills can be taught. Character you either have or you don’t have.” Anthony Bourdain
Many years ago, I attended and graduated from the CIA – The Culinary Institute of America that is. I was paired up with a tall lanky homely young man with curly hair and large deft hands. Unlike the rest of us, he always had a piece of rotting fruit or vegetable on his work station. Out of reach of the knives and other items, but always there. I remember once one of the instructors yelling at him to get rid of that damned piece of rotten fruit. He would but the next day, another one took its place. I think the others felt sorry for me because I was paired with him but I liked him a lot. He was dryly funny and open to everything. We became lovers after a fashion and finally I asked him the question: Why the rotting fruit? He smiled and said, “in its own way, it is so beautiful. And we all come to this you know.” I would sometimes see him lift a pear, an orange, a bell pepper and look at it from all angles before carefully replacing it on the table. After graduation and working under some excellent chefs, he went his way and I mine. I never forgot him. And no, it was not Tony Bourdain.
rotting fruit
in its season –
so must we all

You Don’t Know Me

I will be posting this on Real Toads Tuesday Platform.

You don’t know me
As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life — and travel — leaves marks on you. Most of the time, those marks — on your body or on your heart — are beautiful. Often, though, they hurt.”Anthony Bourdain

You don’t know me.
I have listened to men making crude comments
about women in the kitchens I have cooked.
I have been beaten, stabbed, raped and robbed.
I have lost people I love due to
Illness, murder, and suicide.
I have been in the depths of despair,
I have danced on rainbows of joy.
I have loved deeply and been loved in return.
I have eaten the food from a James Beard Award winner,
I have eaten beans and beans,
I have starved.
I watched my mother dying
and identified the body of a friend dead by suicide.
I walked out on being a chef after having won an award
and almost hung myself that same day
but was saved by my little needy cat.
A year later I watched that cat being stomped to death
after my home was invaded and she hissed at the invaders.
I have seen lonely days and nights
And I have been alone by choice
And I have chosen my few friends wisely.
I learned the languages of water, trees and stones
and the language of the French and Japanese kitchens,
the language of the heart,
the language of cicadas at night.
I have dwelt in darkness of spirit
and darkness of the sweet night.
I have scars on my body and soul.
I have wept and laughed.
You don’t know me.

copyright kanzensakura
Kanzen in the snow 1957

After

For Marian’s challenge at Real Toads. We are to write a tetractys poem – 1-2-3-4-10 Syllable count per line.  I am deeply saddened by the suicide of Anthony Bourdain.

“As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life — and travel — leaves marks on you. Most of the time, those marks — on your body or on your heart — are beautiful. Often, though, they hurt.” Anthony Bourdain

After
I.
An
empty
place setting
at the table.
Pour the wine. Free spirit drinks with a smile.

II.
Knives
are still.
Dust settles.
Pans are empty.
The kitchen is silent and still, waiting

Suicide happens when a person’s emotional pain exceeds their ability to cope with that pain. But there is help. If you are in trouble, pick up that ten ton phone–tomorrow can be better, even if you don’t believe it right now. National Suicide Prevention Help Line: 1-800-273-TALK.

 

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