Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Southern Flavor


[Photo taken above and below is property of E Stelling, author of this website]

I have been submitting my poetry into literary magazines, and got a response from a local publication. They published this poem yesterday. I cannot scan the publication, but here is how the page looks. I got a whole page!

The poetry of Elizabeth Stelling caught my attention immediately.

She is a poet, but not the poetry that I’m familiar with.  Elizabeth makes food taste better… she cooks with her spoken words.  Her voice, full of the inflections that say “The South” churn like butter from sweet cream to my ears.  I needed to hear more.

I hoped that Wild River Review would be a good forum for her unique format. It is the written word… and the spoken one too.

“I experiment with Flavors”… Elizabeth Stelling, hails from Texas where she grew up, but after traveling and now in New Jersey works on the road as a personal chef, and restaurant consultant. Also currently teaching culinary classes, she still runs her small catering and staffing business, and shares her love of cooking with local, organic, healthy, and natural ingredients. Elizabeth is a member of Slow Food and the American Wine Society, Princeton, New Jersey. She has published written works of poetry and media pieces, as well as hosts Cultural Art Expression- Open Mic
.ChefE
Thank you Elizabeth for sending us into an aural state of bliss!

Corn Bread & Beans

Morning fires warmed our small feet
Only to be numbed by the cold that
Lurked in the wooden floors
In the feelings meeting us in our living room…
Hunger pulled us… one-two-three…
Into the kitchen
Watching our mother- steam rising- boiling water
Her shaking hands
Preparing poverties feast
Children’s piercing eyes… one-two-three
Hands pulling, faint cries of wanting;
A little taste, a little recognition…
Dizziness brought on by stirring
Anger- hitting the spoon on the pan
Sometime us…
Tears brought on by onions
A father walking out the door…
Life's dish of hard lessons
A burning after taste of cruelty…
Left us… one- two- three- four
With a craving for corn bread and beans…

© E Stelling, 1976

I wrote this poem when I was around fifteen, and have revised it three or four times, but I still fall back on my original version.

9 comments:

Rebecca said...

I love your photos, they both evoke a sense of history...oh silly me. I started posting this before I read the poem. Back to read the poem.

Rebecca said...

How exciting. You're published! An excellent poem and you wrote it at age 15...Holy cow. I don't think anything from my age 15 was worth saving. Congrats.

Chef E said...

Actually it is not my first(one other in the area), but I had not tried seriously reaching out since 02 when 'A Mother's Heart Speaks Volumes' was published, and have had media food related pieces published since. I was going to self publish, but was recommended by a published poet friend to get in lit mags and then let someone publish my first chapbook, so as to gain more recognition from lit groups and poets

Jessie Carty said...

i love the movement in this. Corn Bread & Beans is such a fantastic title. A potentially great title for a chapbook.

Congrats!

blueviolet said...

You are famous now!!!!

farmlady said...

This is an excellent poem. One of your best, I think. No wonder they published it. You are so amazing at this food / life connection. Food is such a part of where we come from and how we deal with the emotions of our childhood. This is a really good example of what you do.
Beautiful and strong...

Jeanne said...

Wow! You are totally taking off! Congratulations!

Nicolle Howard said...

I was just thinking about making Corn Bread and Beans today on such a cold dreary day when I read your blog. It must be serendipity.

pd3 said...

Congratulations! I love your art....your blog is amazing!!