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Editor’s Note

James R. Adair

During these long days in lockdown, I’ve found myself thinking more and more about food: which restaurants have drive-through and take-out available, what to add to my curb-side pickup from H-E-B, and especially what new dish to cook. My wife and I cooked most days even before the coronavirus precluded other options, but we’ve had a renewed interest in attempting to prepare new dishes or trying variants of familiar dishes. Why is that? I don’t think it’s necessity, because there are plenty of pre-cooked options from both restaurants and stores. I suspect at least part of it is because of nostalgia. In normal times, food brings people together. “Comfort food” is called that not because the food itself provides comfort but because it reminds us of good times, happy times, with family and friends. In these strange and difficult days, what better way to celebrate temporarily distant loved ones than by sharing a meal with those with whom we share a home?

The May issue of Voices de la Luna focuses on food and its relationship with art and literature. In its pages you’ll find many references or allusions to food and drink, starting with the cover, an art installation at the Saint Arnold Brewing Company by artist GONZO247. On p. 27 you’ll find more art from St. Arnold’s by Nicholas Papas, a Houston-based liturgical artist, along with his thoughts on food and the arts. If you’re in Houston after the pandemic has passed, consider visiting St. Arnold’s for its award-winning craft beer and food, but also to see some amazing art by these two artists and others.

Our featured interview is with Angela Covo, founder and editor of Edible San Antonio and instructor at the Culinary Institute of America in San Antonio. She discusses her work promoting healthy eating, including the integration of locally grown crops into the daily diet of San Antonians.

Our featured poet is a familiar name in the local poetry scene, San Antonio’s newly installed poet laureate Andrea “Vocab” Sanderson. A jazz poet who emphasizes poetry as performance, she is the first spoken word poet to occupy the laureate’s chair in the city. Of course, she not only speaks poetry, she writes it too, and she shares several of her poems with us in this issue.

Local authors Nan Cuba and David Bowles contribute their thoughts to our ongoing series Writers on Writers, describing their early forays into writing, their inspiration, and future directions of their work. Daniel John, James Moran, and John Bibb Hickman share their works of short fiction with readers as well. Our Spotlight Artist Angelica Raquel is an MFA student whose early interest in zoology and ecology influences her artistic work today. Ed O’Casey reviews the latest book by local poet C.L. “Rooster” Martinez and adds an in-depth interview with the poet as well.

Not surprisingly for an issue focused on food, several of the poems and images featured in this issue contain references to the culinary arts and cuisine of various cultures. I hope you’ll find it a delight to the eyes and the palate. Gotta go—I’m hungry!

 


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Themes for future issues
August 2020: The Nineteenth Amendment
November 2020: Beethoven at 250

Current Voices

 

Fire Fruit

Andrea "Vocab" Sanderson

Give me an artist whose life hasn’t been spoon fed, who had to scrap for bread, dang near fought from the dead. It’s been said that, we write our best when we’ve emotionally bled. So, we have been led down a path of pain to spread our hearts out on a canvas of life. Gobble up all the turmoil and strife. My sorrow is ripe for the picking. Now that’s a new type of Strange Fruit, plump with nectar-bittersweet juice.
 
Who made you feel it deep within? Who brought the connection that lured you in? Whose web spins and when you are in, you don’t struggle to be free? Who is it baby, who is it baby? Was it Sarah Vaughn or Ella Fitz? Was it Nina Simone, with her pouty lips? Or Chaka Khan? Patti Patti, Miss Mahalia, or Janis? Sade, with her hypnotic hips?
 
     Tell me: whose fruit have you bitten?
 
All these ladies got my kryptonite, every time they step to a mic! And at night when I can’t clear my head, can’t calm my heart, their voice is a torch from a subtle spark. My dark can’t hold them, but my belly can. I eats their fire fruit and understands. I swallow the pyre and my tongue is ignited with their tune. I eat their fire fruit, until I am consumed.

 

St. Arnold in the Alcove

Nicholas Papas

 

Sweet El Paso

Laurence Musgrove

When I visit, I expect to drink Agave beverages And eat Chile Colorado at L & J’s. On my last trip, I sat at the bar At Elemi’s with a friend And had rabbit tacos with mezcal. Upon our request, our host Showed us our options And recommended a Rey Campero. Copper distilled, this espadin From Oaxaca, Is both fruity and peppery. After a few sips, I was 6 years old Watching my mother Remove her nail polish. Again and again, she doused Cotton balls With sweet, sweet acetone.

 

Sweetmeat

Angelica Raquel

 

young and naked

Maggie Munday Odom

us, at the peak of our middle school innocence, two best friends, eyes wide and hearts bright with spontaneity midnight in your front yard we shed everything and wore nothing but paint. the whisper of the night air flicks against bare skin naked feet in the dewy grass soft fingers carefully selecting a shade a cold squirt of color onto my palm all at once, a rainbow maroon swirls down my thigh lavender traces the curve of your breast lime green sweeps my jawline rust is tangled in your hair a splash of copper on my cheek a stroke of mustard on your bicep crimson down my spine spots of navy on your nipple your magenta handprint on my stomach hands and bodies and color explore the universe of each other whirling together into a kaleidoscope of us young and naked, bright and free

 

 

Gourmet Chef

Larry D. Thomas

For but a Greek salad, over his clean, lithe fingers, he pulls his eggshell gloves fashioned from the liquid of milkweeds, euphorbias, poppies or plants which yield Indian rubber. To leafstalks of celery and the red pulpy fruit of tomatoes, he takes the keen edge of his knife. For its greens, he tears the long loose leaves of romaine lettuce, and douses them with oil he’s crushed from the dark ripe ovaries of trees, leaving a choice few intact, clinging to their stones, sprinkled with the curdled, crumbled milk of sheep or goat, closed in the plump parentheses of Italian peppers.

 


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