I was walking through our kitchen yesterday,
I got a phone call from a friend who is
also an aspiring poet/writer specializing
in food and, shall I say, "sensual
writing." As I was listening to her
latest passages, one of my chefs set a hot
pan of roasted corn down on the counter
to cool right by me. He had roasted it in
the husks and I tore off a little of the
ridged, warm, pliant wrapper and pressed
it to my lips.
"Oh man," I helplessly let out.
My friend on the phone replied, "Norman
likes that part, eh?" But it was the
corn. I didn't explain. I didn't wish to
diminish her happiness. But now I was hopelessly
distracted into a glowing memory connection
and while limbs were writhing on the other
end of the phone, the only ears I wanted
to nibble were coming into view through
It was an early dusky evening in the late
summer of my rural Illinois childhood. Our
windows were always rolled down in the summer
then - and as we pulled into the church
parking lot it was as if an airshaft to
sweet heaven was pouring directly down and
engulfing us all. I couldn't get out of
the car fast enough. The men and women working
there had bushels upon bushels of corn that
grew in the fields all around us and were
working feverishly to meet the crowd's demands.
Whatever else was served escapes me.
It was the corn with the farm fresh butter,
hot and dripping past my shiny jaws.
The honeyed corn smell mixing and meeting
with the grill's charcoal wood fires smoke.
It was facing the tip and knowing just to
bite those tiny white nibs at the end for
the zenith glorious rays of its light saber
It is corn. The Fifth Element.
I'm Norman Van Aken and that's my word on
Van Aken's Homepage