That on the silent horizon, something
Not a sunrise rose, half itself and half
The horizon, dragging its bulk, its lights
And salts, from under shifting sheets of sea,
Leveling the sky into shallow moats
Of sounds, flecks of birds, beginning again
To believe all brief and sideways dreaming
POETRY NEVER STOPS DEFINING AND REDEFINING ITS TERRAIN
Poetry never stops defining and redefining its terrain. It has done so throughout history, since Aristotle, Cascales, or Antonio Minturno. But this task, which seems like a kind of prison sentence, is also a fountain of intensity, a force.
Poetry Never Stops Defining and Redefining Its Terrain (English & Spanish)
What always pulls at me, like a persistent hand tugging on my shirt sleeve or at my pant leg, is the poem I haven’t written. Hey, it asks me, when is it my turn?
The blank code of my unwritten poem is inflated with announcements of what it could be and swagger. Much more than a poem already written, where limitations have already ended up imposing themselves and where initial intentions end up lowering their head in embarrassment…
“The bunker was the reality of totalitarianism, its hideous remnant and reminder. The beheaded, violated, mutilated ghosts of Nicaragua bore witness, every day, to what used to happen here, and must never happen again.”
—Salman Rushdie, The Jaguar Smile
In the early hours of July 17, 1979, Anastasio Somoza snapped shut the last of his suitcases, preparing to leave. He took one last look at his newspaper; little things like pens, paper clips, and dust lay scattered around the desk, his daily mess. He’d expected this departure for days, yet he was still rushed; he was irritated and scared. In the bunker office, the stiff leather furniture and the leather-covered walls gleamed as the dim ceiling light flickered. Behind him, caught in the somber solitude of that late night of surrender, hung a large relief map of Nicaragua, the country he had “inherited” and ruled, and was now abandoning. The country whose people he had abused, tortured, waged war against. The country that was now aflame at his doorstep.
From the kitchen of Bijoya Chaudhuri Handed down to her son, Amit Chaudhuri
Author’s note: I grew up in Bombay on my mother’s magnificent
version of East Bengali food, a cuisine reinterpreted and perfected—and often
added to with original recipes—by my grandmother in Sylhet and then my
mother in her decades in Bombay. The recipe below is included in my mother’s
Bengali cookbook, published in Calcutta in 2010, and translated recently by
Chitralekha Basu. But this is not a dish that represents East Bengali food; it
comes out of our contact with Bombay, and is not only my mother’s version of
a well-known Parsi dish: it is her response to my craving for it. Its main feature
is the chutney in its name, made with coriander and mint leaves and coconut
pulp: the seaweed-green condiment is one of the most delicious to be found in
the Konkan region, imported, here by the Parsis, and then by an East Bengali.
From the kitchen of Nirmala Swamidoss McConigley Handed down to her daughter, Nina McConigley
1 cup of red lentils (washed well)
3–4 cups water
2 tbsp oil
6–7 cloves garlic (cut in two)
1/4 tsp asafetida (sometimes called hing), you get this at Indian stores
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 tomato (add at the end)
Salt to taste
Fresh cilantro for garnish
with hunger and fear. I’d rip the crust
of my lips—and lick my lips; I recall
the fresh and salty taste.
And I’m walking, I’m walking, walking,
I sit on the steps by the door, I bask,
I walk delirious, as if a rat catcher led me
by my nose into the river, I sit and bask
on the steps; I shiver this way and that.