“The Cook’s Meditation” by Lenny Lianne

Lenny Lianne


I hate preparing the heart,
a mass of muscle that slumps
on the stone counter and waits,

still and soundless,
for me to wash it, remove
the crimson veins and clots.

For weeks I dream of the heart
as a bell sleeping high in the body,
waiting for strong hands to tug

the chord and draw out its music.
How many young women
idle away their lives

waiting for the one kiss
from the one mouth that bestows
sweet, drunken nights of music?

In the kitchen, I wonder why
the body is kept alive
by a muscle that can flutter

at a single touch on the cheek,
that can leap
at the sheer whisper

of the word love
as if it were a whole
carillon of wedding bells.

from Rattle #24, Winter 2005


Lenny Lianne: “I seem to gravitate toward writing poetry sequences that connect by a narrative thread. After writing about several historical subjects, I wanted to shift focus, so I’m retelling Snow White and calling the sequence ‘The Gospel According to the Seven Dwarfs.’ I’m enjoying creating new characters and reinventing, or more deeply understanding, the standard ones.”

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