Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Songs of Vegan Brunch


(From menu writing, Jewish deli on Houston Street, NYC)

Bagel, I was in the deli on Saturday night.
I saw nothing of you anywhere.
I was at the counter and the other pastries were there,
But no bagel.

Have you gone to another house?  or bakery?
Why don’t you write?
I was sorry.  I walked home half sick.

Tell me how it goes.
Send me some kind of a letter.
And take care of yourself.

East Coast Coffee Cake

Breakfast for the World,
    Crumb bringer, Measurer of Wheat,
    Player with Toppings and the Nation’s Fruit Handler,
    Cinnamon-y, sweet, surprising,
    Cake of the Big Flavor.
They tell me you are wicked and I believe them, for I have seen your sugary crumbles under the stove light luring the vegan boys.
And they tell me you are delicious and I answer: Yes, it is true I have seen the Baker mix and go free to mix again.
And they tell me you are tender and my reply is: On the faces of women and children I have seen the marks of hunger satisfied.
And having answered so I turn once more to those who sneer at this my cake, and I give them back the sneer and say to them:
Come and show me another cake with lifted head singing so proud to be sweet and crumbly and spicy and satisfying.
Flinging refrigerator magnet curses amid the toil of baking loaf upon loaf, here is a short bold cake set vivid against the little soft donuts;
Fierce as a dog with tongue lapping for action, cunning as a savage pitted against the wilderness,
Baking, crumbling, re-baking.
Under the crumbs, sugar all over his mouth, laughing with white teeth,
Under the terrible burden of destiny laughing as a young vegan laughs,
Laughing even as an ignorant fighter laughs who has never lost a battle,
Bragging and laughing that within his cakepan is the pulse, and under his sweetness the heart of the people,

Laughing the stormy, husky, brawling laughter of Veganism, wrapper-less, aromatic, proud to be Breakfast, Crumb Bringer, Measurer of Wheat, Player with Toppings and Fruit Handler to the Nation.

Read the original Carl Sandburg poems Bilbea and Chicago.
Recipes available in Vegan Brunch by Isa Chandra Moskowitz.

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