Jonathan Corle (Jon) is a poet and lifelong resident of Pennsylvania living in Chester County. After retirement from the financial firm he founded, Jon became an adjunct professor in the Close School of Entrepreneurship at Drexel University. His interests include reading and writing, cycling, golf, and travel with his wife, Diane.
for the Contessa of Mozzarella
We learned about the weekly farmer’s market from our new foodie friend, Deb, at the pool. So early Saturday morning we head over, find a parking spot near an old Banyan Tree at the Promenade where vendor’s canopies line the asphalt surrounded by palm trees and hibiscus making a fragrant garden mall.
I stop at Doug’s Seafood and fill my bag with fresh Tripletail, Corvina and a pound of Sea Scallops beautifully white and plump. My wife talks with the Latino at the fruit and produce stand buying some items before moving on. The tomatoes she purchases will become part of the il Tricolore salad at lunch.
As we make our way to DeRomo’s, I buy sweet basil, roots damp, green leaves lustrous ready to pair with the vine-ripened tomatoes. At the back of the store, Jessica stands regally over a white mountain of curd and rubs handfuls through a stringed implement into riced pieces. Then she sprinkles handfuls of coarse salt on top.
From the steaming stock pots on the burners behind her she scoops hot water on the cheese, this melts it and allows it to be worked smooth by a wooden paddle, a scepter she so deftly moves in a pattern practiced every workday until automatic. When ready, she raises some cheese from the milky brine stretches it and squeezes it to a balloon shape. Then the plunge into the ice bath to cool the orbs. When the whole batch is finished, she takes the bowl places it on the back counter and wraps each ball weighing and pricing it. She offers me the first one and says, If you will be eating this today, don’t put it in the refrigerator just leave it on the counter. We did. So delicious the fresh green, white, and red layers.
SALTINES WITH APRICOT JAM
Years before the eponymous telescope orbited my friend, Bill, lived in San Marino and spent afternoons on the porch with an astronomer.
Each night, the man went to the observatory on Mount Wilson to make a timed series of photographic plates of the same sky section.
On those afternoons, they would eat crackers and jam and look at the 3x5 foot plates on a light table where the stars appeared as pinpoints.
By scientific comparison, the man discovers the stars are moving away from us: REVELATION! The universe is expanding.
It’s not every day someone corrects Einstein. When I eat saltines with apricot jam, I think of Bill’s story and one degree of separation from Edwin Hubble.
JUST OUT OF REACH
I have decided to free the line. The sky is cobalt, the grass emerald fingers of the Magnolia tickle the wind its white cupped flowers hold sunshine. I sit this late afternoon under our new sunshade and this is as far as I get before the line seizes like the fishing reel that drowned in salt water months ago that I tried to fix without success this morning by watching a YouTube video. Who knew reels were carburetor-complicated? Back to freeing the line—going with the flow here comes Mr. Judge with his word gavel like he knows poetry any better that I do. Hemingway once said, “Write as best as you can and finish what you start.” I write crap and never finish what I start. Instead, I escape into the fine poems of others like a druggie to get a high disheartened by the potency of their lines feeling defeated by my own unfinished work and afraid to try the process of sober revision; too often I sulk at not saying something true worth remembering that someone else has not already said better. The fat line, like the fat golf shot goes nowhere. Now my voice only slurs my words.
SOMETIMES A RIVER BRANCHES For A.M. and D.D.
This mighty river has a New England genesis. Time-honored and just, it has branched before and will branch again—yet be the same river. Branches with Dragon and Wildcat names carry rostered seedlings from family trees on its banks. In the pick and roll of time these will mature and be remembered beyond season record books and legend by those who got in the flood and coached and those who cheered gladly keeping pace on the river’s banks. This grand river flows in many interdependent branches. At times they come together in eddies of respect to test skill, strength, and resolve in forty minutes of competition.
THE LAYMAN’S GUIDE to INKBLOTS
In the beginning there was the Swiss maker ink on folded paper: creation received. Standardized images made almost a century ago fantastic symmetrical ambiguities.
Ten Rorschach cards shown in order by an observer, a clinical psychologist, sitting next to the subject asking the same question, What might this be?
Subjects from soccer moms to serial killers see the plates as they are but respond in words and body language coming from who they are noted by the observer.
After the session of stimulus and response the clinician analyzes his notes, using experience and the ever-present bell curve seeking the subject’s psychological state.
Spend time with inkblots, even make some and a Tetris effect takes over, you will see symmetry everywhere, like the monochrome underside of an osprey floating on a cloudless azure plate of sky.