Issue 2.2

Summer 2022
2.2 Aya B

Aya Bram

Reflection


I have written some poems on the subject of vegetables and the work and magic of preparing food. These poems were written as reflections of the meals I make and feed to my family. Struggling with mental illness makes preparing meals a big effort. Sometimes that effort is dauntless, sometimes impossible and I rely on quick boxes of mac and cheese and ramen. Sometimes that effort is meditative, healing, a break in the haze and I take my time with slow roasted roots and pan fried mushrooms. No matter what it is I’m cooking, or the state of mind I’m in, I feel a sense of magic in the simmering pots. The comforting sound of boiling water, the satisfying hiss of a good sear, the clatter of pans, the heat of the kitchen, and the many mouth watering aromas of cooking food all generate a feeling of ritual and alchemy and a way to share myself with others.

Cellar Spell

Set an intent for a plain tongue

Light six candles

Perform under the Worm Moon

 

Vision:

Enter through the cellar door

Step into the dark underhome,

pass musty smells,

hanging fish,

dusty shelves.

At the back of the cellar are rootbins.

Hold each veg gingerly

against your dominant palm’s heart.

 

Chant:

Mighty beetroot, I invoke thee

               with roasting fires

               and orange skin oils

 

Mystic carrot, I invoke thee

               with chili peppers

               and chicken quarters

 

Mashed potato, I invoke thee

               with rosemary butter

               and horseyradish

 

Chew                                                (slowly,

                                                            grinding the plantmatter

                                                            against molars

                                                            as mills grind grain

                                                            as cows grind grass)

 

Devour the rugged patterns

of these earth written skins —

let the ripple maps

of their rough surfaces

become the spelled patterns

of thy bumpy tongue

Finish by burying the chewed plantroots

in the garden

outside the mind’s homestead.

Cover with wormy dirt

and soak in moonbathed water

 

 

 

                                                                           ( Bury molars in with the mash

                                                                           Bury hairlocks   in with the mash )

Aya's Book Recommendations

On Ghosts by Elizabeth Robinson

Dark Matter by Aase Berg

Ascend Ascend by Janaka Stucky

Humanimal by Bhanu Kapil

Aya Bram is a poet and mixed media artist. She is a founding member and the book designer for Snail Trail Press (snailtrailpress.org) and one half of the artist's website Spectre Sequence (spectresequence.com). Her work has been featured in Night Music Journal and

Dream Pop Press.