The Pickled Body - Issue 1.2 Amuse Bouche - Spring 2014

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the pickled body

Contents Issue 1.2 Amuse-Bouche Spring 2014



Geoffrey Gatza Oh I’m better now. Ate something that must still have been in love last night Resplendence

7 8

Isobel Dixon More-ish


Alvy Carragher Oranges still make me cry


Nikki Magennis Marmalade


Zoe Piponides Yes, please


Brad Geyer Drink Me


Dylan Brennan Howth Sketch


Special Feature: Amuse-Bouches Giles Clark Geoffrey Gatza Stephen Byrne Gareth Eoin Storey

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Lily Akerman Seize Minor Virtuoso


East Isle Belief

Karl Parkinson Poem for my Body Fucking Frida Kahlo on the Back of the Bus from Galway to Dublin

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Michael Naghten Shanks pouring salt is her default


Jessica Traynor This Virgin Mary Thing


Angela Carr The Talking Cure


Stephanie Conn Cutting Lemons


Bernard O’Rourke Entropy




Editorial An amuse-bouche is a single, bite-sized hors d’œuvre. Often complemented by a particular wine, amuse-bouches both prepare the guest for the meal and offer a glimpse into the chef's approach to the art of cuisine. The Pickled Body believes that, like any good amuse bouche, poetry too is made for the mouth; it comes alive the moment the words possess the tongue. For issue 1.2, we asked for delicious things, poems that pushed the tongue to action. In selecting the theme, we wanted to acknowledge the mouth’s role in understanding art. To that end, we invited chefs to create amuse-bouches inspired by the poems of Federico García Lorca, Carol Ann Duffy, Alan Ginsberg, and Robert Creeley. The result is a feature that showcases the visceral and sensual nature of poetry, alongside the creative energy and drive that goes into making food look and taste beautiful. Our bouches were well amused by the results. True to the theme, the mouth and its parts are the focus of some of the work in this issue. Angela Carr’s The Talking Cure draws us in ‘like a rotten tooth’, while Isobel Dixon speaks of ‘little sweetmeats’ for a ‘furrowed tongue’ in More-ish. And the mouth itself gets a workout with Lily Akerman’s piece Seize Minor Virtuoso East Isle Belief. From the mouth, we move down the body to the belly of Dylan Brennan’s poem Howth Sketch where eels ‘/they glisten and they wiggle’. Speaking of which, the body and its parts are everywhere here. Geoffrey Gatza offers up his ‘poet’s hands’ to plumbing in Resplendence, while in Jessica Traynor’s This Virgin Mary Thing, the narrator has this opinion on where men think poetry comes from: ‘Your poetry must come/from your cunt!’ In Bernard O’Rourke’s Entropy, the body is laid bare – ‘I take off my clothes/And let things in.’ Karl Parkinson’s Poem for My Body is a love poem to a body that is ‘a pneumatic fuck machine,/a cello string plucked by the finger of the lord’. Parkinson’s second poem brings Frida Kahlo in on the act: ‘You be the ground,/I’ll be the rain,/you the maraca,/me the hand’. The masculine and the feminine, and all of their parts, find space to shine. From Brad Geyer’s Drink Me – ‘that i came and/made sex fun again’ – to Michael Naghten Shanks’ pouring salt is her default: ‘& offers me the remnants that still stick to her fingers/I lick expecting sugar’ – the work here plays with the notion of food as body and body as food. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Zoe Piponides’s striking Yes, Please –in which, after The Pickled Body Issue 1.2 – Amuse-Bouche – Spring 2014


running through a list of various herbs and spices, the final decision is short and sweet: ‘Forget it then – just her/as she is, please/in here’. This issue also offers up a handful of fruit and their parts. In Alvy Carragher’s Oranges still make me cry, she tells us that ‘oranges are/many layered/clothed, skinned/fleshed’. Marmalade by Nicki Magennis speaks of the ‘brief and bitter scent/tang-stung lip and fingertip’. Finally, in Cutting Lemons, Stephanie Conn reminds us of the powerful link between food and memory: ‘and thinking nothing but the chop,/I am suddenly back in my grandmother’s flat’. We hope that you enjoy issue 1.2 of The Pickled Body. There is much to feast on here. We think Geoffrey Gatza’s opening poem, Oh I’m better now. Ate something that must still have been in love last night., and its opening line, say it all: ‘Nothing is dead in the house today’. Bon Appetit! – The Editors

The Pickled Body Issue 1.2 – Amuse-Bouche – Spring 2014


Oh I’m better now. Ate something that must still have been in love last night. Geoffrey Gatza Nothing is dead in the house today. Everything as alive as it was before Falling to sleep. The dust is a micron thicker and the hair on my head Reaches upwards another notch closer to the stars hidden behind the Glowing sunshine. We pretend to be alive when there is no work, live In shared bonding moments over food and television shows waiting For the other to engage in flashes of sex before we watch a bedtime Detective show and curl back in the warmth of our day’s reward, sleep. The organs churn while the belly turns to sour bells. The cello lows itself to sleep on the velvet couch lazed. Hoping to lull out dreams of days gone by, whistlestops And buggy cars roam the deserts of backyard forts. I hope these days remain constant in perpetuity. A hundred million billion trillion flashes recreating Lackluster, unrelenting peaceable moments in Kenmore.

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Resplendence Geoffrey Gatza For all the good I do, I could have been a plumber. Steering dreamlike laborers into a corner to remonstrate. Unclogging the copperworks with these poet hands Seeking gold among the spiders of scum and pubic hair. The refuse of human detritus piles higher and higher. For all the good I do, I should have been a plumber. Digging deeper to find, return to the owner, the lost ring Dropped down the sink’s drain, hiding in the j-tube Waiting to reflect light again, making glad the hearts Of the joyless fingers, missing the weight, the responsibility Intertwined amongst the significant and its signifier. The shine is the most artificial aspect of a diamond.

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More-ish Isobel Dixon Your hands have shaken me again. I crack like a pistachio nut, a salty gape. Ripe for the shucking, little sweetmeat for your furrowed tongue.

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Oranges still make me cry Alvy Carragher on summer days she sliced oranges so bitter they made us cry wedged in mouths anchor teeth in suck them dry she gave them to us fingers dry of juice she did not take the time to peel it back figure out the insides placed in clean rows on the chopping board held by a ring finger as she let the knife sink into thick skin dissected in wedges slice after slice they say oranges are many layered clothed, skinned, fleshed but she knew that sliced open in wedges all oranges look the same

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Marmalade Nikki Magennis At the table, I cut and parted pith from skin from pip from juice inhaled the brief and bitter scent tang stung lip and fingertip and lit the day.

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Yes, please Zoe Piponides Flesh pink buttocks with chips, please, on the rocks. Lavender and rosemary?

Yes please – lots.

Wrapped or splayed? I’ll have her both ways, if you don’t mind. D’you mean wrapped on a tray? Yep! Rather extravagant, isn’t it? I want the full works. I’ll unravel her myself and savour the perks. There’s a discount for DIY but packaging’s pricey.

On second thoughts, I’ll have her ginger-spiced with a sprig of mint perhaps?

Sorry, mint’s not in season, dear. Forget it then – just her as she is, please, in here.

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Drink Me Brad Geyer She wrote “Drink me” on her cue-ball scalp and painted a self-portrait long fuse from a port over burrowed spiders and furious red slit eyes in the middle of a rotting torso, mostly excavated and polluted. You're being fracked, i told her, but i know as little about that as i do what's in the straw that her shivered half-body sucks down in steady floods between the moments that i happen to be passing by the metal and chemical girl told me her boyfriend raped her, that i came and made sex fun again 6 years before a neoplasm parade marched through her careless sense of self like a steamroller over frozen eggs and spilled milk.

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Howth Sketch Dylan Brennan formidable crosswinds / splash syrup and ice-cream across lips and beards / hot and vinegary from our open mouths / drips grease from fried fish seals-grown-tired / of being elusive swim slowly and stare / X-ray eyes spy eels in my belly / they glisten and they wriggle

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Poetry is many thing s. It can be sensual like Neruda. It can claim the body like Cohen. There is a sumptuous quality to it, the thing that happens when you speak it, how it toys with the mouth. Think of the way it feels to recite Plath’s Daddy or Lorca’s Five In The Afternoon. Like an amuse-bouche, good poetry is the perfect bite. And it feeds the craving for more. The feature this issue celebrates the art of poetry and the art of food, with a collaboration between the culinary and the literary arts. We invited chefs to create amuse-bouches inspired by the poetry of Federico García Lorca, Carol Ann Duffy, Allen Ginsberg and Robert Creeley. The results are delicious. Thanks to the following chefs for their enthusiastic response to our call: Stephen Byrne, Giles Clarke, Geoffrey Gatza, and Gareth Eoin Storey. In creating their amuse-bouches, all four have used their sense of taste to the fullest – and if it’s true that we eat with the eyes first, what follows is a visual feast.

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Giles Clark Mutton suet dumpling, sweet onion broth and wild spring herbs. Inspired by the poetry of Carol Ann Duffy. The chef says: A picture of food from poetry, but no poetry from a picture of food. Pictures of food have made a generation of chefs self-conscious and inauthentic. A plate of food, like poetry, is temporal; what’s more it’s necessarily tactile and fleeting. Its sparkle, and all that it may make sparkle, is lost not captured, in freeze frame. But at risk of being a spoilsport – Carol Ann Duffy’s poems have a common thread of a sense of longing. I was surprised some to find them sentimental and melancholic. They are straightforward – they’re not wordy nor is there any referencing. What is essential is a rhythm and balance – an execution that elevates the text. An affecting purity to her writing then that I was happy to pick up on with my dish. A mutton suet dumpling braised in the juice of slow cooked sweet onions. Wild herbs – picked from a park in south London this morning are nettles, ramson, wild onion, alexander flower buds, crown daisy and wild carrot tops. They are served, not sprightly, but steamed, wilting and infusing into the sweet onion broth.

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Geoffrey Gatza An amuse-bouche created in response to Robert Creeley’s poem Theresa’s Friends.

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Stephen Byrne Yerma’s Yearning: Blood Orange-Cured Salmon with Sherry-Infused Fig, Apple and Olive Tapenade. Inspired by the poetry of Federico García Lorca.

The chef says: According to Lorca, “a poet must be a professor of the five senses and must open doors among them.” I think the same applies to chefs, even more so with taste since this is the chef’s biggest tool. Lorca’s poetry and plays are full of food references and items such as apples, almonds, figs, oranges, olives; all key ingredients found in his native Andalucía and all come together here to create this dish. I chose to use salmon because of its yearning to have spawn and then die (topics that feature throughout Lorca’s work). The salmon was cured with blood orange, beets, sugar, whiskey. The fig marinated with sherry vinegar and honey (to give an acidity balance to the dish). Green olive and apple tapenade with sweet and sour orange julienne; almonds, black olives, orange and elderflower as garnish. The flavours in the mouth are surreal, just like the poetry of Lorca and as torment, longing, yearning, desire, love, dark love, run throughout his work; these are the uncontrollable emotions I want felt when swallowing down this amuse-bouche.

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Gareth Eoin Storey Dessert: Meringue, cream, curd. Inspired by the poetry of Allen Ginsberg.

The chef says: There’s a line in Ginsberg's death to Van Gogh’s ear which I kept thinking about: “and I rarely have an egg for breakfast tho my work requires infinite eggs”.

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Seize Minor Virtuoso

East Isle Belief

Lily Akerman “I listened. Oh, you’re a pianist!” “No, a wood-gopher on ice.” “I am into it, ingrate, toe-carrion. Be proper. Tease a vindicator. Art tickles.” “Isn’t arresting enough.” “Feck. Didn’t I sing along?” “Some antic, active, itty sonatas. Napworthy art tickles you, phony.” “Aswarm I am, by no adventure. Touche.” “Collin, to wit, did proper tease me and during a wake.” “Arousing.” “No.” “Why no? Amazing tune-oozy Linda, just bear flattery.” “Teed, I elect sandpaper pulp on tuna fish ulcer. Be intimidated. I’m zen-less, stinging, aged. In deep-end dints. Heel, onus. Villain knells peal. No one I evilly (wildebeest-style) bully foresees my nerve. Virtue, oh-so-noble covenant, erupted in gin!" “You witty buddy…" "Mote! A lawless, sordid, forward demon!” “Sing!”

Eyeless Indo-Europeanist Noah would go for a nice iamb. Intuiting great Tocharian B properties of indicator articles is interesting, unaffected, enticing, a long semantic activity (so not a snap). Were the articles euphonious warm iambi, Noah’d venture to shake all intuited properties. Meandering away, carousing, no-eye Noah may zing to New Zealand, adjust bare, flatter, E.T. dialects, and pay purple pontoon official (Serbian, timid) dated dimes. Enlisting engaged independents, he’ll loan us villanelles, spiel Noah naïvely will dub East Isle Belief or Seize Minor Virtuoso. No bulk of uninterrupted ingenuity, but emo tell-all, assorted for wordy mincing.

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Poem for my Body Karl Parkinson I wake this morning, still in a body. 35 years in a body that I love. I rise to the wetness of the shower, I love the wetness and the dryness, the towel against my skin, daubs, scrubs, wipes my body. I look in the mirror and see my balding head, grey in my beard, I smile, because I still have a head and to go grey is wonderful, my tattooed arms, graceful, torso lean and feline, neck veined, cock, sublime pillar, ass a sweet little apple, legs and feet as Irish as the harp, my body which I love, my artful eyes and bird face, my flesh and bones all sumptuous, my heart a tribal drum. My body a pneumatic fuck machine, a cello string plucked by the finger of the lord.

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Body I bless you from crown to heels, let me kiss your loins, tongue your sacred crevices, my meaty church I enter you in supplication to your magisterial matter.

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Fucking Frida Kahlo on the Back of the Bus from Galway to Dublin Karl Parkinson Frida, with your monobrow and boyish moustache, I still wish to kiss that face, eat those lips. Tell fat Diego to fuck off, and let’s you and I dance in the Mexican dust, with monkeys at our side. You be the ground, I’ll be the rain, you the maraca, me the hand. Let’s paint self-portraits on each other’s backs, let’s drink the moon in a shot and lie together, two sweaty artists in the dirt.

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pouring salt is her default Michael Naghten Shanks S. & I sit on opposite sides of the diner’s booth waiting for food for coffee for a strawberry milkshake for conversation for a few fleeting seconds the realness becomes visible as our breath steams up the windows decorated with fake winter mist & snow the mirror behind her head is full of empty spaces & faces of shoppers only in the city for the day the day is over the xmas lights are on the diner’s speakers sing the same old song S. admires the owl she’s made & offers me the remnants that still stick to her fingers I lick expecting sugar grimace this is salt I say It always is S. says

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This Virgin Mary Thing Jessica Traynor What is it about this Virgin Mary Thing that makes men want to shock me? Your poetry must come from your cunt! he bellows at me, at the restaurant at large. I wait – but no fire comes down from the mountain to scorch my head and burn in the pit of my belly. Instead, a man at the next table chokes on the salted folds of the winkle he’s picked from his delicate seafood chowder. And I can picture them now – these men, these boys – stopped by the school shrine, drinking the milk of her face, breathing the sigh of her downcast eyes and feeling that secret tug in the guts at the splay of her simian feet and their grip on the snake’s fat body.

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The Talking Cure Angela Carr The day I pull my face together, paint lash and liner – the ordinary mask – is, predictably, the day you make me cry, as though the smudge of black across my lids is just the beginning; a surface schism. You draw me like a rotten tooth; another battle-blooded version of myself – raw and tentacled, untethered – and, as you show me the extraction, hold me up and turn me over, I hang there, and sit here – all tear-stung, throaty bile-burn, oozing rust-rivered, black-eyed jangle – and poke the ragged opening with my tongue.

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Cutting Lemons Stephanie Conn and thinking of nothing but the chop, I am suddenly back in my grandmother’s flat pinching delicate leaves between finger and thumb, rubbing gently to gather their lemon scent on my skin, careful not to rip the plant or drop the china saucer to the floor, and my fingertips grow stained with the thick red juice from picking loganberries off the bush at the back of my grandfather’s house, and my mouth smarts with the tang of seeds on my tongue, and I feel tiny hairs tickle my throat as I swallow them whole, and I am lifting pineapple chunks to your lips so you might suck the sweetness and remember flavour, and how you once walked on the cool sand sipping a piña colada under a tropical moon – a blade slices my skin and my mouth is filled with the taste of tin.

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Entropy Bernard O’Rourke There isn’t anything I want to do With you Just now. In the morning When you’re gone I’ll long For warmth in bed But now, Just now, I wear my soul On my skin. I take off my clothes And things get in.

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Contributors Lily Akerman was born in New York. She moved to Dublin on a Fulbright to write lyrics. She lives in Harold's Cross. Dylan Brennan Most recently seen in The Penny Dreadful Literary Magazine and Burning Bush 2, Dylan Brennan’s poetry and prose have been published in a wide range of Irish and international journals. He contributes regularly to Mexico-based cultural magazine, Pez Banana. His work has been translated into Italian and Spanish. Stephen Byrne is a poet and chef from Dublin, living in Galway. His work has been published widely, most recently in The Rusty Nail, The Dead Beats, Crack the Spine, The Galway Review, The Poetry Bus, Boyne Berries and RædLeaf Poetry India. His first book, a collaboration of poets called Wayword Tuesdays was published November 2012. He is also guest editor for Emerge Literary Journal and writes on his site http://therantingbeast.comx Angela T Carr is a poet, based in Dublin. In 2013, she received special commendation in the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award and won the Cork Literary Review Manuscript Competition. Her debut collection, How to Lose Your Home & Save Your Life, is published by Bradshaw Books in May 2014. Alvy Carragher ricochets between writing poetry and weeping over the hopelessness of it. She’s been put on lists and published here and there. In a deluded fit she became a slam-poet. Her blog With all the finesse of a Badger provides many with an appreciation for how together their lives are. Giles Clark read Theology and Philosophy at TCD while working at Patrick Guilbaud’s and spending summers at Alinea, Chez Panisse and Noma. Since then he has been working in London with The Young Turks at the Ten Bells, St John Bread and Wine, and now as Junya Yamasaki’s sous chef at Koya. Stephanie Conn is teacher from Northern Ireland. Her poetry has been published in a wide range of magazines and journals. She has been shortlisted for the Patrick Kavanagh Prize, highly commended in the Mslexia Pamphlet and Doire Press Competitions and selected for the Poetry Ireland’s Introductions Series. Isobel Dixon grew up in South Africa, where her debut Weather Eye (Carapace, 2001) won the Olive Schreiner prize. Her further collections The Tempest Prognosticator and A Fold in the Map are published in the UK by Salt. She co-wrote and performed in The Debris Field (published by Sidekick Books). Geoffrey Gatza is an award-winning editor, publisher and poet. He was named by the Huffington Post as one of the Top 200 Advocates for American Poetry (2013). He is the author many books, including Apollo (BlazeVOX, 2014). Geoffrey Gatza is the editor and Publisher of the small press BlazeVOX. The Pickled Body Issue 1.2 – Amuse-Bouche – Spring 2014 33

Brad Geyer is a twenty-six-and-a-half year-old writer from the suburbs of New York City. He likes words that sound like other words and tiny winter days that pass like streetlights on the motorway. Nikki Magennis is an artist and writer. Her new poetry chapbook Meeting Buddha In Dumbarton is published by Red Squirrel Press. She lives in Scotland, and makes hedgerow jam when she can. Read more at: Bernard O'Rourke is a writer, actor and journalist from Dundalk, Ireland. His poetry and short stories have been published in Burning Bush 2, Flashflood, The Linnet’s Wings, Number 11, Outburst, and Wordlegs. You can find him on Twitter (@guyserious), where his witty tweets go mostly unappreciated. Karl Parkinson is a writer from Dublin. His debut collection of poetry Litany of The City & Other Poems, was published by Wurmpress in 2013. His work has been published in If Ever You Go (One City One Book, 2014), New Planet Cabaret, The Stinging Fly, Penduline, Revival, The Poetry Bus, and elsewhere. Zoe Piponides was born in Birmingham, studied at Keele University and now lives in Cyprus where she teaches English in a state school. She writes and feasts on poetry, has edited fiction and is currently working on her first novel. Michael Naghten Shanks is editor of online literary journal The Bohemyth. His writing has featured or is forthcoming in publications in Ireland, the UK, and the USA. He has been listed for various prizes and read his work in Ireland and the UK. Visit Gareth Eoin Storey Irish born. Exiled. Early 30's. Cooking at PAN, Paris. Jessica Traynor is a poet from Dublin. Her first collection, Liffey Swim, is forthcoming from Dedalus Press in 2014. Poems have recently appeared in If Ever You Go (One City One Book, 2014), The Irish Times and New Planet Cabaret. Her short fiction has featured in Colony. Awards include the 2014 Ireland Chair of Poetry Bursary and the Hennessy Award in 2013.

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Since 2013. The Pickled Body is an online poetry quarterly edited, designed and produced by Dimitra Xidous and Patrick Chapman. The poems and artwork featured in this issue are copyright Š 2014 by their respective authors and artists, and may not be reproduced without permission. The Pickled Body is copyright Š 2014 by Dimitra Xidous and Patrick Chapman. All rights reserved.