Memoirs of a Mad Cook
There’s no point kidding myself any longer,
I just can’t get the knack of it ; I suspect
there’s a secret society which meets
in dark cafeterias to pass on the art
from one member to another.
It’s so personal preparing food for someone’s
insides, what can I possibly know
about someone’s insides, how can I presume
to invade your blood?
I’ll try, God knows I’ll try
but if anyone watches me I’ll scream
because maybe I’m handling a tomato wrong,
how can I know if I’m handling a tomato wrong?
something is eating away at me
with splendid teeth
Wistfully I stand in my difficult kitchen
and imagine the fantastic salads and soufflés
that will never be.
Everyone seems to grow thin with me
and their eyes grow black as hunters’ eyes
and search my face for sustenance.
All my friends are dying of hunger,
there is some basic dish I cannot offer,
and you my love are almost as lean
as the splendid wolf I must keep always
at my door.
by Gwendolyn MacEwen
from The Armies of the Moon
Toronto: Macmillan, 1972
Story of my life, our household.
He cooks, I eat.
I grow wider, he grows leaner.
I eat his food, I don’t eat his food.