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Issue 8

Cheese & Swine

FIVE POEMS

 

 

On the 14th & 15th May a select group of diners will sit down in The Greedy Pig on North Street, Leeds, at The Swine that Dines supper club for Cheese and Swine, a menu featuring five courses, five cheeses from cheesemonger George and Joseph and five poems by Writing Squad poets – all as part of the 2015 Leeds Indie Food festival.

 

1

Dale End Cheddar

Cheese and Marmite Consommé

 

Broth

 

Ever since George made his medicine

I’ve been dreaming of feeding people.

Mother calls broth soup for the soul

because angels ate it first. Some boys

call the floating mushrooms human

brains, so we imagine zombies

in the clear, still liquid. This is how

I describe it: as though eating heaven.

This is how they make it: the clouds

beaten into cheese, the stars crushed

into croutons. I discover Marmite

kissing the man who worships it, then

on Sunday we eat his house together.

The body is a temple. We feel pregnant.

I break the bread with him. We break

the bed, the body, the microwave.

 

Jasmine Simms

 

 

2

St James

Sheeps Cheese Salad

 

Salad

 

“Look at cows and horses; they have to eat all day

to stay alive.” My asparagus stalks boil in a saucepan,

bound in rope: hostages of my hunger. We all feel

tied down at times. I marinate mushrooms in a mix

of red wine vinegar, parsley, brown sugar and garlic.

“We’ll starve like this. There’s nothing robust

about a salad.” I can taste the sugar in the air, leaves

steaming in the sauna of a saucepan, their shape

relaxing into the space. Understand, there is more

to salad than its wholesomeness; its greediness

for light. There is much in this world that nourishes

that isn’t a turkey sandwich. Even now, chopping

the watercress, I am full with all the words for love.

 

James Giddings

 

 

3

Katy’s White Lavender

Brûlée

 

Bundling

 

There is a shade of early called lavender

rolling down the climbing bannister of morning.

How long we waited for August’s up thrust:

long-fingered blooms nodding amongst themselves,

conducting the haze of sleep-sinking bumblebees.

Something ancient here in the shears, in the shape of

bent stalks, taking flowers from the base, pruning,

laying out careful collections trussed the particular way.

Our lanolin treated hands won’t wash, whorled green.

There is no such thing as a lonely summer:

Francophiles standing in blue fields with

our muddy feet, our perfumed mouths.

Let the calendar linger here, wallowing in the

Sunday afternoon render of already-ending.

Now, with the rafters and the hooks all occupied,

the house smells like warm things, drawing in and

taking folded jumpers out of storage.

 

Fielding Ronshaugen

 

 

4

Picos Europa

Fritter

 

Vegetable Myths

 

The rocket leaf excites the sexual desire

of drowsy people, wrote Virgil.

He would know, gorged on cheese

at a Roman party.

All things grow in the Mediterranean basin

where Calypso watered celeriac in her garden:

thirsty stalks, waiting to blossom and

two millennia later, be described to pupils

in Greek mythology.

Calypso was not myth.

She was there, the soil was there,

the vegetable shavings left on the counter

for wandering warriors and classical poets

to pick over

 

Yuan Yang

 

 

5

Ricotta

Muttabaq

 

Five Year Anniversary

 

We have come out on her anniversary,

put on smart clothes, done something cheerful.

I couldn’t let him sit, going through her things,

cups of tea going cold besides him.

So, I have taken him out for dinner, filled him

with fritters and purees and consommé,

with ravioli and asparagus and mushrooms,

beautiful little courses he doesn’t taste.

She might as well be sitting at the table with us,

I’m surprised the waiters haven’t laid a place for her.

We order Muttabaq, wanting the sweetness of honey

and the comfort of soft cheese. I’m wearing

his diamond ring, we’ll pay on the joint account,

but as I break into each filo parcel, it feels like robbery.

 

Charlotte Wetton

 

 

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