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Showing posts from March, 2013


My sister and the Artist-in-Residence and I follow an heirloom recipe for polvoron so rich in butter that if you drop one from a height of 2-feet, it won't crumble. We arrived at this figure through repeated tests. Shaping polvoron could well have been my first experience of entering a meditative state of mind. But I never enjoyed wrapping them individually. In our house the polvoron is stacked in a pyramid on a cheese plate and consumed on-the-spot. I also used to get blisters from packing the heavenly powder in so tightly. We need a good pair of molds. Not the cheap, tinsel-like stuff you can get these days. When I was a kid we had an old pair of polvoron shapers made of copper. I wonder if we'll ever find polvoron molds like that again. Wishful thinking on a Monday morning.

Conviction Envy

Insomnia, Listening Three times in one night a small animal crosses the length of the ceiling. Each time it goes all the way one way, all the way back, without hesitation or pause. Envy that sureness. It is like being cut-flowers, between the field and the vase. from Seventeen Pebbles by Jane Hirshfield For the longest time I thought the title of this poem was Envy. Because I've always looked with wonder at people who project the fullest confidence in their capabilities, their skills and talents, their beliefs. People who talk big, walk tall and live even bigger. This poem -- and the way it fits in my life -- could just as well be called Conviction, which I sorely lack... which brings me back to Envy. I have conviction-envy. It's like penis envy, only worse.