friday feast: julie larios spices things up!

#6 in the Poetry Potluck Series, celebrating National Poetry Month 2010.

 photo by ClixYou.

Hola! Como estas?

What a treat we have today! With her highly evocative poem, Julie Larios is taking us to the colorful, bustling Market in Tepoztlan, Mexico, truly a place to stimulate the senses and get those creative juices flowing.

Mexican cuisine is characterized by such a wide variety of flavors, colors and textures. And it all begins at the market. What fresh fruits and vegetables are in season? Will you be seduced by a papaya, or fall in love with a beautiful tomato? Don’t forget the spices — stock up on chili powder, cilantro, cumin, and cinnamon. Of course you will get some chocolate! Feast on the possibilities, take something home, then create something wonderful in your own kitchen.

photo by Hermann C.


Black avocados, yellow mangos,
bowls of menudo to start the day.
Tall, cold glass of fresh horchata,
green papayas, pink mamey,
pork pozole, pumpkin seeds,
chiltepines, round and red,
coconut juice and gold guayavas,
then the different names for bread:
little shell and little piglet,
little ear and little horn,
now a cup of spiced hot chocolate,
sweet tamal with cream and corn,
pineapple popsicles, sugar cane,
guava jelly, caramel flan,
herbal tisanes, magic powders:
Market Day in Tepoztlan.

© 2010 Julie Larios. All rights reserved.

photo by _flix.

Julie tells me she is working on a new poetry collection about street food. Naturally, she is partaking of some highly delectable “research” of the lip-smacking kind: “simple, traditional, inexpensive food-cart food” from all over the world. Are you in the mood for Mexican tortas (sandwiches made with chipotle sauce)?

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play it again, julie!

#12 in an ongoing series of posts celebrating the alphabet.

photo by Zyada.

Ladies and gentlemen, please select a clarinet so you can play it later in this post.

Exquisitely talented poet and maestro, Julie Larios, is here for an encore performance of her deliciously ingenious double abecedarian, “A Night on the Town.”

This vigorous roller coaster of a poem first debuted on Julie’s blog, The Drift Record, back in June. I was amazed, astounded, and absolutely ablaze with wonderment. Double ABCs! *swooning* A to Z down the left, Z to A down the right. Perfect lines, a funny story, a donkey and the Rhapsody in Blue! She even used the word, “glissando!” (FYI: a glissando is a glide from one pitch to another.) Love that word. Say it with me, right now: g-l-i-s-s-a-n-d-o. Don’t you feel all shimmery and flowing in a particularly passionate Italiano sort of way? ☺

Friends (especially those of you who aren’t regular Poetry Friday participants and may have missed it), this poem is especially for you. Whenever Gershwin or any other musician/composer is mentioned, please pick up your clarinets and join me in a group glissando. Make those notes glide and glisten! (Thunderous applause for Julie’s lexicological dexterity is optional, but after reading this, probably unavoidable.)


by Julie Larios

A man goes into a bar with a donkey. A small jazz

Band is playing, and the man says, “Hey, my donkey

Can play Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue on a sax.

Drinks on the house if he can’t.” “No way,”

Everyone in the bar says. A woman named Bev

Finds the donkey a sax, but the real sax player, Lou,

Gets annoyed. “Any idiot knows you need a clarinet,”

He says, “for Gershwin’s opening glissando.” Everyone agrees.

I’m not sure,” says the donkey. He and his owner confer.

Just get me outta here,” the donkey whispers, “P.D.Q.”

Keep your shirt on,” says the man, who has his hopes up.

Look,” he says to Lou, “how about Bernstein on a cello?”

Maybe I Feel Pretty…?” calls out another man.

No, no, no,” says his date. “Play Dance in the Gym!”

On a cello?” everyone snorts, and she begins to yell.

Please get me outta here,” whispers the donkey again. “Quick.”

Quickly,” corrects the man. “it’s an adv. not an adj.”

Right, I stand corrected. But I really think I….”

Suddenly the bartender, a big guy with tattoos, says “I wish

The donkey knew some early Louis Armstrong.”

Under the circumstances,” the animal concedes, “if

Virtually everyone in the bar will sing along, I’ll be fine.”

Woody Allen should be filming this,” says the drummer. “And

Xavier Cugat should be the bandleader. That’s basic.”

Yeah, or maybe Spike Lee and Calloway.” “Calloway?” “Cab.”

Zubin!” someone shouts out. “Spielberg and Zubin Mehta!”

Copyright © 2009 Julie Larios. All rights reserved.

For the glissando of all glissandos, you must watch this short Rhapsody in Blue film directed by Adrian Marthaler. It’s cooler than cool, the cat’s pajamas. No donkeys here, but there’s a hotel lobby, a bar, a sturdy female clarinetist and one beast of a piano player.

*taps baton and raises arms*

Play Part One.
Play Part Two.

photo by pho-Tony.

Thanks for the musical feast, Julie! ♥


P.S. Julie and Carol Brendler have just started a new blog, Jacket Knack, where they will post every Monday about jacket/cover design. Check it out!

 Certified authentic alphabetica. Handmade just for you with rhapsodic love and blue donkey ears.

Copyright © 2009 Jama Rattigan of jama rattigan’s alphabet soup. All rights reserved.