Cooking It Up

I’ve been making stew all life long, with the marrow of my soul. And it was like there were specials on personal disasters in the market this week. Urgency comes in bunches, but is weighed by the pound. I was in a wreck, and now I feel like a wreck, my ankle swollen and tender as if shoved full of regrets. My bones and muscles ache so loud, I can barely hear those fluttering lives around me. I knew my brakes were not up to being emergency brakes, but assumed I could avoid emergencies. So why do I ignore warnings? I watched myself be out of control. Terror happened, even before the bang and yells. It just so happened my car was packed with my history. In the collision, photographs and messages stormed furiously over me. My loved ones faced me. Photos of myself, too, stared up at me (some taken in the darkness of my worst moods, in the loneliness of disbelief, when I didn’t trust my lover, myself, or my world). It hit me: a person’s past sweeps by as he drowns… Was I drowning? Naah, but… I was in a serious situation, and absorbed the bleakness for a long time…. This pull between OK or not. When I got back to my tiny cottage, I continued making the stew. Reluctantly put new sorrow in. It matters what goes in this. I know it does. Too much bitterness is easily caused. A heavy hand anywhere is disastrous. All this emergency feeling now, so there’s a wacky balance to the stew. It’s a pity: there’s too much self-pity. I’ve got a lot of angst to use up; about as much as I can stand. A badly bruised conscience, too. I throw that in. Now what? I have to remain the cook. I can’t let the ingredients take control. The stew’s had a lot of luck already. And wonder. And the great nuances of love. But I admit it needs more of something; something new. Everything is as tenuous as understanding. The phone rings. It’s a concerned friend, worrying about me. “I hear you’re in a crisis,” he says. I grab a dictionary, to read the definition: “That point in a disease when a decisive change occurs, leading to either health or death”. I gulp, and say, “I’m working on this stew, is all. It keeps me going. I threw in a cosmic day full of demons, but tomorrowI hope to add a cosmic day full of angels. Real deliciousness comes when it balances out.” There’s no recipe for this. It’s all intuition.
Poetry by Allan DeLarm