Tuesday, February 05, 2019

GF Company's Coming. Dominic's Dialect Dispensation. Mexican Schools Baroque. Tet

The GF Chicano Cooks
Gluten-free Chile Relleno Casserole-Company Style Because We Have Good Eggs
Michael Sedano

Farm-to-table eggs taste better, they really do.
Crustless vegetable custards, aka Quiche, get put together licketysplit and make an elegant setting after suitable baking in a hot oven. Fast, easy, elegant--just what the cook with other things to do looks for in nutrition. The Gluten-free Chicano is no exception, especially when his daughter's McDonald's Urban Farm (link) this season features uniquely colored hen fruit. These beautiful eggs deserve special treatment, so company wasn't coming but the Gluten-free Chicano made the just-layed eggs fancy-style by beating them to a hard fluff and baking a faux cheese souffle con chiles.

There's no requirement to beat the egg to a hard fluff then diluting with cream. Fast, fast, fast, use a fork to break up four to six whole eggs, proceed.

For company-style, I used extra egg whites because i kept three yolks for Hollandaise sauce the next morning.

Get the oven to 375º or 400º.

You can use canned whole chiles; I had a bag of Hatch mild from Alfredo Lascano's La Pelada (link)

Grease a presentation-quality shallow dish. Lay the stemless chiles whole on the bottom. Chop if you must, or use canned and chopped chile.

Grated cheese makes a flavor difference. Tillamook sharp yellow cheddar is the Gluten-free Chicano's preference, though adding some Vermont or Irish cheese makes good sense, if there's on-hand inventory.

Those beaten egg whites get mixed in with the yolks, a cup of half and half or a combination of whole milk and whipping cream. Melt ¼ stick butter and stir it in.

Add pinches of salt, black pepper, ground cayenne.

Pour the eggs onto the chiles and cheese. Dust the top with Paprika.

The Gluten-free Chicano cooks for two. Increase the volume of milk and eggs and fill that pie pan to the top to feed four. 

Put the assembly on a pie pan and slide into the oven. Neglect it for 45 minutes.

Test then allow to sit for five minutes or more. Servings will be steaming hot.

The custard is ready when the jiggling stops and a blade in the middle comes out shiny and uncoated. Don't open the door. Leaving the casserole to cook in there without spilling heat out an open door ensures the eggs fully cook. The biggest trouble people have with custard dishes is a soggy middle. (Microwave that to fix it.)

Ingredients (carb counter):
¼ lb or 2" off a chub or 1 loose-pack cup grated good cheddar cheese.
4-6 farm-fresh eggs from McDonald's Urban Farm or a local farm-to-table producer.
1 cup milk or half-half or cream plus milk. Add milk if you need more volume to feed more people. (carb advisory-check)
¼ stick butter.
Chopped spinach, sliced onions, minced or slivered garlic, bacon crumbles, diced good ham. Bake a sliced tomato on top.

40-45 minutes.

Mastering the basic savory custard with cheese is a gateway to fine, fast, easy elegance. Next you'll be making Spanish Tortilla and wowing your dining guests and finicky eaters. 

Reheat leftovers for a few seconds in the microwave, covered.

Review: Veteran, Poet, Collects Disconnected Memories.
Michael Sedano

Dominic Albanese. Disconnected Memories, poems by Dominic Albanese. Port St. Lucie, FL. Leaky Boot Press, 2019.
 ISBN: 978-1-909849-69-3

“Sure, ay bin comin’ to touwn…” I said in my best Norwegian bumpkin dialect. Mrs. B’s eyes grew wide as she rose from her desk. As nonplussed as possible she suggested I find something closer to home for the monologue contest. I selected Barnaby Conrad’s The Death of Manolete, did it in SAE. I got the point. Don’t do dialect that ain’t your’n. Especially if you don't know the lingo.

My oral interpretation must have been funny peculiar, not funny ha-ha. Printed language and oral representations are langue et parole apart. Print cannot make the sounds of someone saying the words. Countless writers have done dialect text, a few successfully in English, magnificently successfully by raza poets. But I speak the language, I'm not held back by the text itself.

For some readers, text written as dialect distracts even as it calls attention to the bridge between speech and language, writing and talking, them and me. Others will see the line and hear the sounds back on the block and in the word savor their own compressed moments. Dialect does that, too.

Dialect writing possesses a distinct aesthetic that touches innate gregariousness for those who speak the dialect, that creates interest in exogenous readers looking for the "smell of the crowd." 

For some poets, not writing dialect, i.e. "straight" composition, could muck up their connection to their muse, that's the way they learned to write English. That's not the case for the writer of Disconnected Memories. Read the poet's biography in "straight" prose and note he's capable of clarity, spelling, coherence, all that shit.

This Critic reminds not just Albanese, because he's not alone in electing the dialect style. Alurista's most recent collection (link) offers a glaring example of dysfunctional spelling that can dilute the poetry in the syllable. Meaning resides in the reader despite the poet’s intent. Orthography represents a writer’s best chance to get their own meaning across. 

Dominic Albanese does dialect poetry the right way. Recently, he's brought forth a collection that earns respect for the poet qua poet and makes it worth the effort to decipher, overlook, or forgive his printed representations of oral communication. For all I know, this is how the vato talks and he's not writing, he's quoting.

I think I got his language OK, but I’m not going to endeavor some explanation of stuff like this one time I was writing an explicacion du texte on a line from e.e.cummings, “my jaws all gone”. I reasoned the persona must have been punched-out or had gum disease, pobrecito. My professor gently corrected my misunderstanding. Cummings is broke, his “jack’s all gone." Anglos say "jack" for "lana."

if only
I had not been
so ready to go mad
be bad
n have wild adventure
(still pissed off over Vietnam)
I would have got that shop
n been
a grumpy ole guy like he was
looking back… no telling

Albanese closes the 131-page collection with those lines. Spelling doesn’t distract, much, although the poet could go to extremes to catch the sound of that voice. Aurally, one spelling could go “be badnhave wild” more closely copying elisions natural to speech, but “badnhave” or “nbeena” would stop a reader in her his tracks like an arroba in a line of Chicano literature. The spelling conventions Albanese pursues with grammatical consistency fashion an “eye dialect” that shapes the page, bringing a visual coherency to a page on its white space.

Eye dialect aside, Dominic Albanese writes vitally important words. The young guy went through the Vietnam war and writes poetry about it. This poet has done something few people did and it’s time for Unitedstatesians to read about it. Some a ya will cry yr eyes out.

Albanese probably speaks the English of Brooklyn and Coney Island. It’s the sound of where the kid grew up among unmeltable ethnics; Italiano settlements, internal colony cultura with bilinguals living with monolingual immigrants. Albanese’s youthful recollections tell of wise guys, blueberries, ethnic expressiveness. Mother. Father.

never had a company
or a Enterprise
for me to
inherit… no wage slave… day by
week paycheck
truthfully I was
ashamed of his
honesty… acceptance
was way more attracted to
wise guys… steal it… fuck it…
what they gonna do
put ya in da Army n send ya to Vietnam
bet yr ass they would
then some years of rebellion

Vietnam. Novelists have the luxury of developing the intense terror and landscapes of combat—the helicopter scene in Mexican Flyboy (link) leaps out of memory—Poetry's economy is the perfect language for the unspeakable.

That war he fought inhabits this soldier’s mind, it hits him even retroactively, he remembers the past against what happened later.

When the poet was a kid not knowing it, Vietnam was already digging into his psyche, moments distilled and stored away until he needed their succor. In “Sleepwalk,” an old man relives fondly a boy's record hops, slow dancing to Santo and Johnny in adolescent heat. The poet's innocence is offered as an antidote to Vietnam and its ravaging aftermath. 

“don’t dance, float… I will show you”
that and Anny had a baby
uhuu uhuu
kept me alive
in Vietnam
I met her again we were both in
our twenties… she remembered tole
me “you were so sweet”
50+timeless years ago

The note of chagrin at the end illustrates the humor that offers another good reason to read Disconnected Memories. "Sweet" is just what a horny guy doesn't want to hear, it's like saying let's be friends. Irony's many faces permeates Albanese's poetry, adding a dimension most readers yearn for and get in ample measure.

When the poet gets back from the war, in 1966, he sees loveliness on the San Francisco streets of the summer of love. He connects with a hippie chick and he’s ready to whatever, head over heels horny GI still struck out of his wits by the tours in the jungle. She looks into his eyes:

pain blood tears… a fear that she
said scared her… then she kissed
me before I could kiss her
we spoke of future… she said to me
I recall tone intent vibrations of words
“you will need a lot of time. more time than I
am willing to spend, but only love can let those colors
come out”
I never saw her again

Regret weaves in and out of Albanese’s life, things that never happened or almost, as well as what that 18 year old kid got put through. Every Veteran knows this—everyone who put on the uniform and absented themselves from home will never get back those 13 or 18 or 24 months. But only 7% of United States Americans have ever served in uniform and know what it feels like to step off that transport and admit you made it back, you're home.

ok I was 18 in Vietnam
let me see if I can just run
this waka noddle down
in 56 a bit longer en that ago
under duress… from Dulles
Ike sent Iron Mike n 600 troopers to
that swamp… for to defend economic policy
nothing more nothing less
as a “workers paradise” drank em self dead
Never forget 911 (I know I jump around)
Nixon killed 30.000 people a week
in Cambodia… (who cares?) right
be glad for Jerry Ford… he only hurt ya
with golf balls
then comes Ronny Ray gun
at about nine times a number a week

This soldier recognizes he was part of an unending war, nothing to regret, that’s how it is, fifty years on after his war, United States wars have never stopped. Vonnegut’s tag line, after living through the Dresden fire-bombing in World War II, completely encompasses the Veteran's lot: “so it goes.” 

For poet Albanese, there’s no regret, the old soldier has hope.

an old Ford Falcon drives by
better days written in blood on the side

Dominic Albanese lied in his title, Disconnected Memories. These poems are connected to the hearts and minds of the Vietnam generation. Us old people, the Love Children of the sixties. All of us.

But not solely. You few who pulled shock & awe against those hapless Iraqi conscripts, you Reservists who got extended time and again, read Disconnected Memories, you'll connect your time with your comrades across time. Kosovo. Ethiopia. Not South America, please.

Too bad those freaked out PTSD homeless guys can’t read these poems. They, too, have stories to connect, but this isn’t about them, it never is. 

Old Soldiers aren’t going to be alone getting hooked on Disconnected Memories. People who read poetry, who seek commanding expression and arresting ideas, will tell their friends to order the collection from Leaky Boot Press. Everyone knows poetry doesn't sell, so prove everyone wrong and buy Disconnected Memories.

Distribution is the bugaboo of all modern publishers, bookstores stock only limited publishers. Fortunately, mail and UPS narrow the distance with the flick of a virtual plastic card. Ordering from Leaky Boot is Poetic Justice:

Kris Haggblom
Poetic Justice Books & Arts
1774 Port St. Lucie Blvd.
Port St. Lucie, FL 34952

Website ordering: www.poeticjusticebooks.com

Email order/inquiries:

Dominic Albanese Bio from Publisher Website
On the whole I would rather be in Philadelphia - W. C. Fields on his tombstone - I have been writing poetry since I was twelve years old, and within sight of where I am sitting at the moment are more than seventy-five notebooks full of poems. When I returned to the United States from Vietnam in March of 1966 I spent at least fifteen years--in the words of Bryon--being "mad and bad and dangerous to know." I suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, a malady that could not then be named--for a few years I had an almost terminal case of it. Crime, drugs, chopped reality, fast motorcycles, women, rum and cocaine, all of these just about killed me. I went to prison for a while. Through all of that I never stopped writing poetry, even if some of my poems from those times are as dreadful as the years themselves were. - I live a life now I could once only dream of, I got and stayed sober, I stopped being a thug and a lout. I have been mentored and taught what it is to be a man--and to be a good man at that. I have long known that it's not what we say we are that makes us who who are, but what we do. - Each poem in Disconnected Memories is a response to something that happened in my life, so you could say, in a way, that they are autobiographical. Some of the poems are quite old, some are quite new, but that's unimportant. What matters to me is what you, the one reading my words, makes of these fragments of a life. - Dominic Albanese is an American poet, mechanic and Vietnam War veteran. He has published five previous books of poetry: Notebook Poems (Finishing Line Press, 2014), Bastards Had the Whole Hill Mined (Les Éditions du Zaporogue, 2015), Iconic Whispers (Les Éditions du Zaporogue, 2015), Then n Now (Les Éditions du Zaporogue, 2016), Only the River Knows (Les Éditions du Zaporogue, 2018). Dominic lives in Florida

Beyond Baroque Site of Four Mexican Schools Literary Events • 2/10/19  4 to 6 p.m.

Beyond Baroque
681 Venice Blvd, Venice, California 90291

First of four in Narratives of the Southwest Series at Beyond Baroque: 
Mexican Schools: An Evening of Resistance Featuring Poetry by 
Angelina Sáenz, Fernando Salinas, 
Irene Sanchez, & Matt Sedillo
With narration by Sean Arce 
February 10, 2019

The fight for tomorrow has always started with the struggle for education. History past and present comes to meet in an explosive evening of poetry, prose, and narration grounded in historical research and educator/parent/student testimonios. The fight for tomorrow will be won in the struggle for the past. We are not just teaching history, we are making it.

Year of the Pig

1 comment:

Antonio SolisGomez said...

great review of disconnected memories em, te aventaste