Linguini and Lovin’

I have a 2+hour meeting this morning and 20 essays to grade, so probably no new postings for a bit, but I did just read this wonderful poem this morning on The Writer’s Almanac website that is teasing me in oh so many ways this morning.  Food poems, like Piercy’s “In Praise of Joe” –a poem I blogged about very briefly here–is my new favorite literary genre.  I need to repost “Linguini”  here, with credit to Garrison Keillor for introducing me to it and to Diane Lockward for imagining and crafting it!  One of the most memorable events of 2008 for me is the month I spent travelling through Italy with my hubby, and this poem brings back such wonderful linguini and lovin’ memories. 

And that was the interesting thing about the food fiction class, too: how vivid and visceral the connection between food and physicality. While the class last term consisted of 24 women and only 1 male students, it was interestingly the latter who found that connection so clearly in every work. 

The meeting starts soon, so I must depart, but now I get to spend at least part of the meeting daydream about linguini and Italy…

Enjoy the poem.


by Diane Lockward

<!– (from What Feeds Us) –>

It was always linguini between us.
Linguini with white sauce, or
red sauce, sauce with basil snatched from
the garden, oregano rubbed between
our palms, a single bay leaf adrift amidst
plum tomatoes. Linguini with meatballs,
sausage, a side of brascioli. Like lovers
trying positions, we enjoyed it every way
we could-artichokes, mushrooms, little
neck clams, mussels, and calamari-linguini
twining and braiding us each to each.
Linguini knew of the kisses, the smooches,
the molti baci. It was never spaghetti
between us, not cappellini, nor farfalle,
vermicelli, pappardelle, fettucini, perciatelli,
or even tagliarini. Linguini we stabbed, pitched,
and twirled on forks, spun round and round
on silver spoons. Long, smooth, and always
al dente. In dark trattorias, we broke crusty panera,
toasted each other—La dolce vita!—and sipped
Amarone, wrapped ourselves in linguini,
briskly boiled, lightly oiled, salted, and lavished
with sauce. Bellissimo, paradisio, belle gente!
Linguini witnessed our slurping, pulling, and
sucking, our unraveling and raveling, chins
glistening, napkins tucked like bibs in collars,
linguini stuck to lips, hips, and bellies, cheeks
flecked with formaggio—parmesan, romano,
and shaved pecorino—strands of linguini flung
around our necks like two fine silk scarves.

“Linguini” by Diane Lockward, from What Feeds Us. © Wind Publications, 2006. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)

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