It’s a place that used to be a volcano (but I didn’t know until I got back and googled it). I was in a volcano and didn’t even know it!
3 miles roundtrip. I’m improving as a hiker. I borrowed one of those camelback things that has a tube you can suck on as you walk, so I was just sucking on water throughout the hike, like I was an infant nursing from an inanimate object. (I had to pee three times on this short hike). I’m improving as a hiker. Maybe someday I can do it alongside other people. The southwest is a beautiful place. I’m not just a terrible hiker, I am also a cliche-generator: I am only loving this place now that I am leaving it.
After the hike I lay in bed for hours, wrote a poem called HOW STRANGE A BORROWED POET ON BORROWED LAND.
“We gave birth to so many babies our uterus slipped out and we had to wear a special girdle to keep it inside. We almost gave birth but the baby was turned sideways and all that came out was an arm. We almost gave birth but the baby’s head was too big and after three days of pushing we looked up at our husband and said, “Please forgive me,” and died.”
(The body as foreign / grotesque,
the body as impending death.)
A lost child. About 7, 8 years old. Girl child. Expression of a face that had been wiped. Back erect, expectant. I was in charge of watching her, charged by whom, I don’t know. Her face got muter and muter and finally she hid herself in some corner I couldn’t reach.
I made soup today to make the house smell familiar again. Familiar like unadulterated by worry /
I was gone for two weeks (race and creative writing conference in Montana, then a roadtrip all the way to Louisiana and back) and came back to a house besieged under a thin film of abandonment.
Yes, musty, but, also, I think I’m about to kick up a lot of changes with my life, and I have neglected somehow to fully grasp the consequences.
I bought a whole chicken, butchered it into pieces, and made soup, all the while clutching my middle, something inside me throbbing with pain, me walking slightly bowlegged like I’m not actually walking around, I’m not actually real, I’m not actually trying to cook a thing to cure something inside me:
Slice lots and lots of ginger (I used two palm-sized ones)
Lightly fry ginger in some oil for 5-10 mins
Add rice wine (about 1-2 cups) (I used up the last of mom’s homemade one which is red, hence the red-tinged picture) (I need to ask mom how to make red rice wine) (Pretty sure this was from a bottle she fedex-ed me probably 1-2 years ago) (otherwise any chinese cooking wine/rice wine/wine wine would do)
Add in all the meat, fry them around and around for a while (picture below taken at this stage)
Add in hot water to fill up pot
Simmer for 30-40 mins
Season with soy sauce, salt, whatnot
Eat with rice or noodle
House is purified with smell of ginger and chicken fat
How do you say it.
Ginger red wine chicken soup (or drunken chicken soup) sets me right again like a hug from the inside.