Listen. Go get ten tablespoons of sugar,
eight teaspoons of baking powder, four of salt.
Get two cups of yogurt, two of milk, two of flour,
one of cornstarch. Last, a dozen eggs, the yolks.
This isn’t just a poem, it’s a recipe. Save the whites.
Sugar, yolks, yogurt, milk—all mixed. The rest
sifted together before everything tumbles into a
grainy slurry of batter. I remember Howard McCommas
not believing it. “Yogurt? Cornstarch?!” he said,
just like that, and who could blame him? (The
Hindenburg brought down miles from the tower
by the sheer gravity of pancakes!) But whip
the whites into meringue and folding that gently in
make of the slurry a froth to pour on a medium
griddle by the ladle. They fluff so light and,
though I warned him, Howard, pronouncing them the
tastiest cakes ever, wolfed seven and had to lie down
’til noon when they hit and lay in his stomach
like swallowed free weights. That’s how this depression
Struck, except without the salt, sugar, baking powder,
Yogurt—none of that. Only a kind of eating, an
Airship crashing, something going down in flames,
The Blaze disguised by meringue—You know, there’s
No Way not to eat, but the recipe serves a dozen.
—Richard R. Guzman
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