C. T. Holte was born in Minnesota before color TV; grew up playing under bridges, along creeks, and in cornfields; went to lots of school; and has enjoyed gigs as teacher, writer, editor, and some less wordy things. Recently transplanted from California to New Mexico, he is enjoying the fiery chiles and sunsets. His poetry has appeared or is pending in places like Words, Touch, California Quarterly, Survival (Poets Speak, vol. 5), The Raven’s Perch, Songs of Eretz Poetry Review, The Daily Drunk, Origami Poems Project, Pensive, Tipton Poetry Journal, and Better than Starbucks, and has been hung from trees to celebrate the Rio Grande Bosque.
Poetry below inspired by a week-long cooking vacation in Positano, Italy
I listen to the waves crash
far below on the spiaggia,
as I wait for my pant legs
to dry on the clothesline strung
on the terrace of the palazzo
overlooking the water,
our temporary cooking-vacation home.
The waves bring random flotsam–
like the ancient-looking tile
exposed on the wide, sandy beach
by yesterday’s storm surge–
until the next high tide
drags it back into the unending swell.
I watch for waves like the one
that caught me unawares
as I strolled on the breakwater,
soaking me up to the knees.
I wonder how long it will be
before my pants are dry:
there is another cooking class in an hour.
Chef Luigi told us that
Alfredo is not really Italian,
but no matter: it tastes good.
I have promised Luigi
that when I get home,
I will keep practicing to make
Bolognese as good as his,
big batches simmered all day,
to be ladled on fresh-made pasta–
which will be marvelous,
because he taught us yesterday
that it’s all about the flour and fresh eggs.
I am eating all the pasta I can,
with as many sauces as possible.
For balance, I order good wine
at every meal, matched to the pasta.
And, of course, great antipasti and salads,
since their health benefits outweigh
any potential excesses of sauce.
(I think chef Rosa might have said
something like that. Anyway, it’s possible.)
My taste-buds say, Salute Italia! MANGIAMO!
Poetry in this post: © C. T. Holte
Published with the permission of C. T. Holte