Saturday May 25

DougVanGundy Doug Van Gundy’s poems have appeared in The Oxford American, Ecotone and The Louisville Review and have been featured online at From the Fishouse: an audio archive of emerging poets.  His first book, A Life Above Water is published by Red Hen Press.  He teaches at West Virginia Wesleyan College.

Poem (serves 8 - 10) by Doug Van Gundy
First of all, don’t rush the thing.
Don’t allow it to scorch or burn
or thicken into tar on the stovetop.
Like soup or stew, this is a dish served
by patience.  And don’t be tempted
to dress it up unnecessarily, adding
expensive and exotic ingredients
from the specialty grocery, making it
into something that it is not.  Truth be told,
if what you put into the pot is a little
past its prime, the salvaged scraps
from last night or the night before, so much
the better.  Spice it sparingly;
allowing the character of the
constituent parts to sing
through.  Once you get low heat
under it, lid it loosely
and walk away.  Alchemy cannot happen
under your direct gaze;  it takes time
and a little darkness
in order for everything
to come together, for the rescued
scraps to reemerge, soft and glossy,
rich and surprising and nourishing.