Licking the Spoon

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“Joanie DiMartino’s poems savor the experience of being a woman.  Many of them are inspired by food and cooking, whether it’s preparing her grandmother’s legendary spaghetti sauce or making cornbread in an historic Dutch oven, exploring the mysteries of anorexia or her own reluctance to devour a female crab.  But along with a woman’s sensibility she brings a voracious appetite for language to the table.  No wonder she has titled this, her debut collection, Licking the Spoon.”

–Sue Ellen Thompson, author of They and The Golden Hour

 

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Sample Poem:

Milch

Goodwives spoke of ‘white meat’: milk,
mammary glands, breasts, nipples, with these they fed
their young.

They feared buttery spells from impish
churns, soured mother-teats; left divers
accounts of their bristling
dread of dairy magic.     Kitchen witches, accused,

once blamed a spectral succubus for spilled
cups and watery cheeses, the night orb
a single pale drop: curdled, evil eye.

The slender maid on the milking
stool enchanted with rhythm against her pail: a steady
incantation of liquid,

like colostrum, the woman-cream,
transformed into a superstitious witch’s milk: rich,
forbidden.

Originally published in New Growth: Recent Kentucky Writings, ed. by Charlie Sweet and Hal Blythe, Jesse Stuart Foundation, 2007.
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