Tuesday, March 20, 2012

fasting and eating

cookbooks like this abound, but don't tell the whole story

i'll be micro-blogging today because i start a fresh term today and i'm madly putting together a new course on the literature of place.  i'm up early working on this, but, quickly, here are three things about today:

1) i'm starting a three-day fast.  fasting is a tradition i grew up with, and it's done for several explicit purposes, once a month on the first sunday.  in my neighborhood, the deacons, twelve-year old boys, come to your house and collect fast-offerings after church.  then they say a prayer for your family while standing at the door.  then you donate the cost of the meals your family missed while fasting and the donations go here to help feed and clothe and house the needy.  (this is an important institution that speaks to our utopian and communal beginnings.) people also fast to achieve inspiration, answers to prayers, and to gain spiritual clarity.  today i'm fasting for those reasons, but also, honestly, i'm going to arizona in a couple weeks and need to wear a bathing suit.  and, for reals, aunt carol told me last week that after 48 hours of fasting ketosis sets in and you get a little bit of a hunger soar.  "life gets so, so simple," she said, making her week-long fast sound like the best high in the world.  so, body hate, ketosis, remembering the poor, and spiritual clarity will ricochet around in my head, heart, and flesh for a few days, and i guess that's the point.  to address complexity with the simplicity of the fast.

2) i woke up and read the second post in a brilliantly written mini-series about mormon-belt food and culture from rebecca lindenberg over at the best american poetry.  this is some of the most detailed and nuanced writing on the subject i've encountered, and i now know where i'm going for tapas next time i'm in boise.  luckily i'm not hungry from fasting yet.  also, rebecca has a new book of poems out that has received much praise and notice.  i'll be reading, not eating, her work for the next few days.

3)   rehearsing with the byu chamber orchestra this afternoon.  they're performing a piece set to my poem how to be spring for tenor and orchestra.  i'll be reading sections of the poem before each movement of the piece, but what i'm most concerned about here are sartorial questions.  i'll be up there the whole time, for the duration of a long-ish piece, so do i go sequined soprano diva although i'm not singing, or do i wear a low-key black dress and try to pretend that, shucks, i'm just the poet?  i mean, the audience should have something pretty to look at shouldn't they?  my laws, you all know what answer i want from you.

legwear:  nada.  i'm in my nightgown still.

inspiration: mormon-belt food writing.

looking forward: to my ketosis high.  aunt carol better not be lying, dammit..


  1. Sequined diva, of course! But tell us what the shoes are...

    1. well, gal, i haven't figured out the outfit yet. i'll let you know about the shoes! i'm in a bit of a shoe crisis lately. can't seem to find a pair i love.

  2. Low-key black dress or sequined diva?! That's not even a question.

    1. i have a short sequined skirt. does that count? not short as in mini, but short as in not maxi. not sure how to style it at all. never worn it.