Saturday Jun 06

McCullough-Poetry Laura McCullough has four books of poems including Panic, winner of a 2009 Kinereth Gensler Award, (Alice James Books), Speech Acts (Black Lawrence Press), and What Men Want (XOXOX Press), and her chapbook, Women and Other Hostages, winner of a Flip Kelly Award, was published in the Gob Pile Poetry Chapbook Series (Amsterdam Press). Her interviews, essays, and poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Writer’s Chronicle, The American Poetry Review, New South, Pank, Contrary, Diode, The Painted Bride Quarterly, Prairie Schooner, and other journals.  She is the editor of Mead: the Magazine of Literature and Libations, is editing an anthology of essays by contemporary writers on the poetry of Stephen Dunn, and is the convener and organizer of the National Symposium on Race to be held in 2012.
Deliciousness is a Form of Justice

The science of deliciousness reveals a fifth taste –
added to sweet, salty, sour, and bitter –
that thing that might be called fat,
but is closer to protein with the water squeezed out –
think potato chips or parmesan cheese –
condensation, and the smell –
let’s instead say aroma, with its soft three sliding syllables --
all balance and pleasure in the mouth when said aloud like umami
and even, that quirky osmozome, from the French,
its Os piggy-backing off the Ms
and don’t you just want to wrap your lips
around something wonderful?
Is satiety what we all want in the end?
Or will you punish me now for willfulness
and withholding, your salt in one hand,
a magician juggling four balls of flavor,
none sufficient alone, and you thinking,
what I really need is abstinence, a little
more time alone with my hungers, and
then I’ll be ready to tell what I know.

Syntactic foam, marrow-like and hollow,
slowly release their drugs or flavors
depending upon the application,
and of course there are non human uses,
say, with glass – think glass in water form,
heated as it’s sprayed – a million spheres
resilient and fragile, glittery, miraculous
like zest alarming the palate, or smoke,
as from bacon or chilies,
folding over the tongue,
the breathlessness of heat
vaporizing in the nose
from horseradish and vinegar,
or the easing of anxiety
to a lower frequency from versed,
and then gone,
the world suddenly all balloon,
all transference,
like new red blood cells in the marrow,
or blood resting in a good roast
removed from the oven just degrees
away from too hot.      No gravy, on a bed
of celeriac and mango foam, some greens,
the slices thin, but toothsome, and in your hand,
a dial with which to bring yourself
to a boil, the moments of your life strung
together like colored and riotous balloons.