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--- C L A Y   M A T T H E W S


Inside a kitchen drawer inside an owner's manual

inside the third section inside a word you find

the meaning of power, as common sense surrenders

to the agency of technical jargon: press on

to bring life to this otherwise lifeless machine.

I have no use, really, for anything other than

a sharp blade and deep pot, but I have mixers

for the mixing, blenders for the blending, fryers

for what I wish to submerge in hot oil. Language

befriends the person who knows what he wishes

to do. If I possess cabbage and no notion of recipe,

the stock pot stops meaning a goddamn thing.

I've got zesters for the cocktails and Zest soap

for the shower and I use both of these for the waking

of my otherwise sleepy soul. To be without

zest is to be without gusto, without enjoyment,

without vigor, without what on the better days

my mother called life. O, the madness of a kitchen

counter. That which holds each appliance on its cold surface

like a digit. We have one, and we have two, and we

have three beyond which the numbers begin

to lose their meaning, as they stretch themselves

into a fabulous array of vowels and consonants,

holding ground against the next new gadget,

which as they say on television will revolutionize

the industry, as well as change our lives forever.

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