Shrimp Souffle by Annabelle Bonebrake

Shrimp Souffle

“When people can email me the shrimp souffle instead of the recipe for it, then I’ll get email!”

-Diane De Prima, First Thought Best Thought: The Art of Spontaneous & Inspired Writing Taught by Four Legendary Mentors of the Craft

Diane De Prima was devoted to the artifact of a work. She loved a transcript she could hold in her hands, one that could be pressed and made a keepsake. When online publishing became possible, she wasn’t interested. I sympathize. I’m working on a collection of poems about houses in California, and it’s been maddening to do my research online. Taking video tours, looking at pictures, reading descriptions of gardens and architecture-- all these virtual experiences evoke a sense of longing. I long to touch the wallpaper, taste the dust, hear the tourists murmuring, and smell the wood polish and decomposition. I want to be there with all of my senses, but here I’m stuck with surrogate sight. It’s become the way of so much of everyday life. When I get off Zoom calls, I’m somewhat relieved to have talked to a friend but equally pained in my desire to be with them (really with them) in the same space.

So, I sympathize with Diane De Prima, and I laugh at us. It’s funny for writers to reject the intangible, wordsmiths slinging images from one imagination to the next. But it’s a funny world, always messy. One conviction bleeds into the next. At night I have dreams of getting lost in large crowds. I wake up and daydream of dinner parties. Bring on the post-quarantine touching! I keep texting my friends. Until then, I’m going to keep working at emailing the shrimp souffle because the fool in me believes in some cabalistic way it can be done.

7 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Your Story By Marisela Gomez

I grew up watching telenovelas with my mother and sister. We would laugh, cry and immerse ourselves in the dreams of our heroine, while pining over the handsome love interest. The dramatic plots of th