“Recipe for a Pornographic Carrot Bread” by Meeah Williams

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I was writing a porn story for money and interrupted myself to bake a loaf of carrot bread.

I preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Many people think that poetry has no practical purpose but I want this one poem at least to prove them wrong.

I prepare a medium loaf pan by spraying it with Pam.

I grate two cups of carrots and set them aside.

In my porn story, the woman is waiting for her lover in a park after dark.

She is standing inside a jungle gym and reflects how it is the iron parody of a gilded bird cage.

“This is where children play,” she thinks to herself, deliciously ashamed.

She feels her high heels sinking into the soft sand.

She has been told to dress like a streetwalker.

There is un-PC element of male dominance in this story and I am unapologetic about it.

You shouldn’t lie, at very least not to yourself, about what gives you pleasure.

“Art is like ham,” Diego Rivera said. “It nourishes people.”

I mix together one and a half cups of flour, a half teaspoon each of salt and baking powder, a quarter teaspoon of baking soda, and a half cup of sugar, although you can use up to a cup of sugar if you like it sweeter.

Finally I add a lot more cinnamon than the recipe suggests, which is only two teaspoons.

Those are the dry ingredients.

I want this poem, in some way, to nourish people.

I think porn stories get a bad rap; after all, they give people the most intense physical pleasure possible, with the possible exception, perhaps, of eating, and they do it using only words.

In a separate bowl, I beat two eggs, then mix in a quarter cup of milk, two-thirds cup melted butter (or vegetable oil),  and a teaspoon of vanilla extract.

These are the wet ingredients.

Sometimes I come to a shuddering climax reading a porn story that was written a hundred years ago by an author long dead.

I think, isn’t that amazing?

That someone dead can make me come, can touch me like that from beyond the grave?

Isn’t that real magic?

Isn’t that a kind of proof of life after death?

I mix the wet ingredients into the dry, add the carrots and three-quarters of a cup of chopped walnuts.

Where I left off in the porn story, my lover steps out of the dark and orders me to turn around and bend over.

With one hand, he grabs me by the long hair and yanks my head back.

I feel like a lamb about to be slaughtered. 

This is important.

I’m suddenly staring at a small patch of stars visible between the trees which have already begun shedding leaves.

It is early October.

He reaches under my plaid schoolgirl skirt and yanks down my panties.

I’m wearing fishnet stockings with garters so there’s no need to pull off anything else.

I feel the chill air on my naked flesh.

He spits in his palm.

You pour the batter into the already greased loaf pan.

You bake it on the top shelf of the oven for 45 to 50 minutes.

He enters me roughly from behind.

He pumps and pumps and my knuckles on the bar of the jungle gym rub painfully into the flesh of my cheek but I don’t move.

There is, obviously, a strong masochistic element to this poem for which I also make no apology.

I close my eyes and open them when he comes and through the tears the stars inside me are somehow joined to the stars in the sky.

It’s as if I’m seeing semen spread across the heavens.

You check for doneness with a toothpick inserted in the middle of the loaf.

If it comes out clean, it’s done.

You remove the loaf from the pan and let it cool.

You eat it warm and you enjoy.

 

Meeah Williams’s  work appears in lots of places, most recently in  Otoliths, Uut, The Ginger Collect, Former Cactus, Anti-Heroin Chic, Barren, Vulture Bones, Burning House, and Ex/Pat.  She has work forthcoming in Okay Donkey, Neon Mariposa, and Philosophical Idiot. She lives in Seattle and tweets at @pussy_nagaski

“BEWITCHERY” by Meeah Williams

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So instead of executing me, they blindfold me, tie my hands behind my back, and drive me miles outside of town. There they leave me to my fate. To prove they aren’t entirely heartless, that they’re Christians after all and better than me, they shove eight dollars into my dirty palm. “Good luck, baby!” I hear one of them yell, laughing, as they drive rattling off in the pick-up.

Naturally, it immediately begins to rain. I stumble around aimlessly in the mud for a while. The soaked blindfold slips down. The binding on my wrists loosens. Eventually I come upon a farmer who has a thing for half-bound barefoot girls with no future. He takes me in. He warms me by his fire. He fucks me silly.

Sometimes at the very height of intimacy, he puts his big calloused hands on my throat. I don’t even flinch. “Go ahead and kill me if you like,” I say. “I don’t even give a fucking damn!” I mean it, too. If you don’t mean it, the spell won’t work. He howls like a wild beast and comes inside me, shouting obscenities like a French poet. Then he covers me with kisses as if he’s hiding a crime under white roses.

One day, I’m boiling peas and it hits me, “Wow, I really am in love.” No one could be more surprised than I am. Meanwhile, he acts so nonchalant, self-satisfied, as if he planned it all along.

 

Meeah Williams’s  work has appeared in Otoliths, Phantom Drift, Uut, The Conium Review,  The Ginger Collect, Anti-Heroin Chic and lots of other places, more places than you’d expect for someone seemingly uninterested in communicating with the world outside herself as she so often appears to be. She lives in Seattle and tweets from @pussy_nagasaki.

 

“LUCKY 14” by Meeah Williams

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The assistant bank manager was dressed in camouflage; it’s no surprise, they all are nowadays. He was, he said, sorry to inform me that my loan application had been denied. He didn’t look sorry, though. He looked like my father looked when he told me I was dead to him.

Luckily, I have learned to equip myself for precisely these kinds of devastating moments. Here’s how: I go deep inside myself, into the desert, and like in any desert, it’s not long before there’s a man on horseback, who gallops up to save the day.

“It’s a magic coin,” he explains, reaching down from the saddle to hand me what looks like a burnt potato chip. “Take it to any casino in the land. You can’t lose. You’re sure to make your fortune.”

I take the chip, thank the crusader, and watch him gallop away in search of the Holy Grail. This being the desert, there’s always a casino close by. Fountains, palm trees, gold-plated lions—it’s everything you’d expect.

I step inside like I own the place, the only way to step inside anyplace. The air is Arctic—so bracing! I walk right up to the roulette table and put my coin down on lucky 14. The ball falls into the slot marked 25. I lose everything.

Now with no loan and no lucky coin there is no way I could ever be—well, what was it I wanted to be, anyway? Rich and famous? That’s a laugh.

The assistant bank manager and my father were right to turn away from me like I was dead to them. I turn away like I’m dead to me, too. I feel like Lazarus stepping from the tomb, no longer Lazarus anymore.

 

Meeah Williams’s  work has appeared in Otoliths, Phantom Drift, Uut, The Conium Review,  The Ginger Collect, Anti-Heroin Chic and lots of other places, more places than you’d expect for someone seemingly uninterested in communicating with the world outside herself as she so often appears to be. She lives in Seattle and tweets from @pussy_nagasaki.