Sunday, January 6, 2013

charged food

I wasn't able to be at the last pst because it was the same day as Feast! (the poetry reading I curated) but I did the cooking and dropped of the meal for a talk called "The Chaos of Lust: Sex and Altered States of Consciousness" which was presented by a clinical psychologist/sex therapist and her massage therapist/painter partner. Catch words from their talks' description: chaos theory, extension of ego boundary and ecstatic bliss.  I realize my first thoughts emailed to the speakers ran to cliches- phallic shapes, drippy finger food and doughnuts, but the response back raised my hackles... "It doesn't matter what you cook," he said, "just how horny you are while cooking it."  Uggh. I know he meant make it Like Water for Chocolate by investing the food with charged yoni energy, but it offended me. I have no desire for public exposure (or am I defensively hiding my single, dateless state?)

Its easy to equate food and sex; both are essential experiences that are nice to share but are ultimately privately embodied experiences. Attraction sparks longing and desire (never sure what's the difference... longing seems tied to nostalgia and exists in the head whereas desire seems bodily?) Either way- food is an object of attraction. Do we flirt with food? We certainly experience infatuations and obsessions (negative?) and have passions (positive?) Hmm- does food flirt with us? I have certainly been catcalled by Malliard reactions, ripe fruit, and un-gendered melted cheese.

What I came to was a menu that intended or not must have revealed something about my visceral relationship with food stuffs. A vaguely embarrassing Asian-esqe menu (based on deep-seated Orientalism and a desire to consume an eroticized exotic other?) that combined silky textures with alluring salty sweet flavors. There was nothing hot-- no intensely spiced challenging offers. I suppose, in this instance at least, I went for comfort and pleasure without the enticement of pain.

Finger slurping sticky-sweet slow-roasted wings,
Miso bathed umami-rich melt-in-your-mouth eggplant,
Jade rice with hidden treasures,
Steamed Kobocha infused with sake and soy,
Meaty sweet Medjools and fleshy dried papaya that needed gnawing,
torn apart pomegranates,
Chocolate pudding with whipped cream.

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