102 degrees in San Jose Saturday. Broke 100 Sunday. Wicked hot ever since my writer's workshop at Foothill College - so much so that heat came into personhood. Virtually its own character in one thread of my white peach poem. (I like to write multiple versions sparked by differing inspirations -- then weave and snip them together later.)
If my brain was functioning I might recall the economic study that shows industrial nations congregate around temperate zones. Equatorial = poor. Who needs studies? I do not doubt that these languid days I cannot muster energy, or productivity, for much except poetry. (Yep, summer turning brains turn to mush.)
Peaches waltzed into my head as the fan whirred, the air limp in the stultifying college room during the writing workshop two weeks ago.
Peach. Why peach? That wall set against the stained glass Art Deco door....is it coral, salmon, copper, better yet Copper River salmon, smoky rose or perhaps peach? Whether it's the book, poem, love letter - alright maybe even marketing copy - I care about words more. The words selected are not accidental, they're richly evocative, archetypal. (Fair enough, you cannot always tell this from the blog.)
Archetypal? Yes, peach evokes fruit - a fragile vulnerable, sensual one - evokes tender surrender, giving flesh, evokes the forbidden ripe fruits of the garden of Eden, evokes the garden of Gethsemane, evokes praying until dawn, evokes the Tree of Life, evokes fertility, evokes creativity and the feminine, evokes sultry July peak ripeness, evokes the orchards beneath the concrete of Silicon Valley. It's the perfect choice for all the themes of my book. It's perfectly clear that all the other pinks are not.
"Peaches are one of the most delicious summer fruits. I prefer the white peach, which is the most flavourful, scented and luscious, though also the most fragile. As a boy, I used to remove some of the velvety skin from a nice white peach and then suck up only its nectar," writes chef Bernard Loiseau - very heavenly evocatively.
I'm entirely entranced. I'm wooed reading the rest of the copy for Monseuir L's recipe Roasted White Peaches with Yellow Peach Sorbet and Red Currant Sauce. He languishes on peach words: Téton de Vénus, Belle de Vitry, Anita and Manon. He courts us with the story of peach origins from China to Persia to France and Italy. I travel everywhere with him and arrive paired with mint and cinnamon. Delicious...writing.
Plus there's something sweetly innocent and refreshing about recounting our passions as young children when they are our passions today. I remember being carried away by chef Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential and certainly not because I chose the book (rather it was my women business owner's monthly book club's selection five years ago). I was sold because the first few pages were remembrances of food intertwined with stirring memories of childhood:
I ate ray in beurre noisette, saucisson a l'ail, tripes, rognons de veau (kidneys), boudin noir that squirted like blood down my chin.
And I had my first oyster.
Now, this was a truly significant event. I remember it like I remember losing my virginity -- and in many ways, more fondly.
August that first summer was spent in La Teste de Buch, a tiny oyster village on the Bassin d'Arachon in the Gironde (southwest France). We stayed with my aunt, Tante Jeanne, and my uncle, Oncle Gustav, in the same red tile-roofed, white stucco house where my father had summered. - Anthony Bourdain, Kitchen Confidential
(Me? Passion stirred and inextricably tied to books. That's why the grand love affair with books, with words. My fondest memories as a child are with fairytales and myths. Stories - and storyworlds - allowed me to fly beyond the horizons of my birdcaged childhood...but that's another post.) What was your first love?
Good stories exudes care, devotion, consideration, cherishment. Like making love: "I think Doc has said [something like] "sales is real; marketing is bullshit." That's like saying "orgasms are real -- and sex is bullshit." ...People like a little foreplay. It's the romance that makes them feel special. Marketing's fun. It's the promise of the world class customer experience. And that promise, if delivered seductively enough, can actually enhance the experience," rejoins Harry Joiner (couldn't resist pun) in a comment on Hugh McLeod's gapingvoid blog.
I don't know Harry from Adam, or Eve, but I sense he's a man who can appreciate an upcoming post (or series depending on my bravado) on how becoming a great lover transfigures you into a superb innovator and marketer.
Few few marketers are attuned to romance. Take a close look at the next press release, next marketing brochure, next product packaging you come across if you don't believe me. Romance? Think not. It's pushing the line into rape.
One tweak Harry, nix the seduction (connotes: manipulative, creepy clingy, whats-in-it-for-your-notch-on-the-bedpost). Please do woo me, oui. But I'm more into mutuality of interest. No pressure. Let's see where this slow dance unfolds, k?
p.s. Piqued your interest, below is the current draft of thread 1 of the poem-in-progress. (The second thread was triggered by contemplating Harry's Bar white peach puree and prosecco inspired by Renaissance painter's Bellini's painting The Agony in the Garden, and later, Michelangelo's Dawn located in the Medici Chapel. Thread 2 adds depth, layer and textures of meaning, like Sufi poetry, when woven in.)
Did you know that white peaches like White Ladys and Snow Kings are available primarily through local farmers? I like Kashiwase Farms peaches. "White-fleshed peach varieties were known in Europe as early as 1655, although they were so delicate compared to yellow peaches that they nearly disappeared from commercial orchards."
thread 1, white peach bellini dawn
the bounce of a white peach in your hand
low jazz overtones
lullaby sleepy fuzz heat
tonight's ebony moon casts
no shadow no shade
pure ivory sheets drenched
in your perfume
our bodies a poem
one word breathes
against each other
sweet glaze trickles down your back
yearn to sprinkle slivered almonds
and glide my tongue dripping
glide my body
the window open
sighs moan with birdsong
bite into voluptuous giving
flesh of White Lady
gobble me falling
away clean halved to the pit
we are splashing cool desire
dripping juice in the Trevi fountain
feet rub against copper half-pennies
& shoulders against marble crevasse
your lips, mouth, sink into taut
skin of Snow King
swirled with prosecco
puree me into libation
puree me unto dawn
p.p.s. Borrowed headline from a tech story in the Monday San Jose Mercury News. I coax you to have a White Peach inspired salon in the next few weeks. (Harry's Bar resembled a salon in its day: "Since its inception nearly 70 years ago, Harry's Bar has played host to writers, artists, celebrities and aristocrats -- all attracted to the simple yet elegant atmosphere, great cocktails and cuisine.") I'll share some of my White Peach Dawn Salon curator's notes in a bit. Perhaps a new parlour blog off to the main room here hosting these longish curator notes for salonists?
images I couldn't resist the recipe - or the photo. (Sure got me eating out of his hand.) I've got Art Deco on my mind because I'm envisioning vintage Parisien + Art Deco inspiration for my boudoir. That a door at the Chrysler building in NYC, the most erotic city according to The Sex Life of Food. (Peaches, apples, the forbidden fruit thing: get it?)