It should come as no surprise that poets are often exceptionally fine cooks, savoring food the way they savor words and at the same time recognizing that just as a gathering of words does not necessarily mean a good poem, neither does a mixture of ingredients necessarily mean a good recipe. In Cooking with the Texas Poets Laureate, the editors, all members of Dr. Paul Ruffin’s 2014 graduate Editing/Publishing class, solicited recipes and food-related poetry and prose from Texas Poet Laureates of this millennia. The result is a most unusual gathering of personalities equally comfortable with the spatula or the pen.
It’s taken a long apprenticeship
to make waffles in the shape of Texas.
First there were mountains over Waco.
Then the Panhandle sank.
A few more false starts when
the Red River swamped Oklahoma
and the Rio Grande dripped into Mexico.
Now I can make perfect ones.
All I have to do is take care
to stop pouring the batter a little shy
of El Paso, Dalhart, and Texarkana.
For some reason, Brownsville needs more.
Otherwise, my grandchildren complain they
don’t have the tail of Texas to bite off.