#Micropoetry Monday: The Lighter Side

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Orange hated being compared with Apple,
as he was quite pithy & had a zest for life,
whereas Apple,
although not without a peel,
didn’t know the difference
between a screwdriver & a mimosa.

He was forgiven for his culinary sins—
squirting ketchup on hot dogs
& spooning sugar in his grits—
when he made the cruelty-free,
gluten-free,
& flavor-free brownies that,
nevertheless,
put them all in a good humor.

Deciding to peel off some pounds,
Apple, Banana, & Pear Shapely
went to the gym,
only to have Hourglass
give them several karate chops &
pour them into smoothies.

#Micropoetry Monday: The Lighter Side

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He brought her fresh milk every morning,
& she gave him fresh eggs,
which put a bun in her oven.
When the big cheese came home
& saw a skim,
curly-headed ginger snap
running around,
he waited for Mr. Grade A
(who’d lived up to his name
among the baker’s dozen
whose husbands were away)
& turned him into a hunk of Swiss.

When the Big Cheese was away,
the mice loved to chatter.
When the Big Cheese came back,
she found that their story
about being spread too thin
from the daily rind
was full of holes.

She was always told that too many chefs spoiled the soup,
but Amelia Debilia didn’t listen to her mama.
She found 3 TV chefs—
the annoying English Basil with the Gumby pompadour,
the Asian Ginger,
& a sprig of a woman named Rosemary—
all who tried to make the world believe
that the only way to eat meat was mid-rare.
She chopped them up fine &
sprinkled them into her cast-iron pot,
creating what she deemed fusion cuisine.
When her unknowing mama tasted what she had done,
she’d shaken her head & said,
“You have to remember to take their clothes off first.”

Book Review: Death by Chocolate

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These books are as guilty a pleasure as a box of Russell Stover’s (especially if they’re full of Roman nougats).  Death by Chocolate was the first book I’d read in this series (I’ve since read three), and they’ve all been entertaining.

Being a lover of Southern fiction, I was a bit disappointed these were set on the West Coast.  However, I think if the author added a few extra details besides the types of flowers that grow in San Carmelita, California, and what the buildings look like (such as naming some actual haunts, fictional or otherwise), that might endear me more to that side of the country.

The way these books are “teased,” I was led to believe that food (especially the sweet kind) would play more of a central role, but sweets just happen to be what the main character likes to make and eat.

I love that the Savannah Reid character is a plus-sized woman who is comfortable in her own body (and is still attractive to other men); what’s more, I love that she happens to be single and not worried about old maidenhood or her biological clock ticking (even though the latter I could relate to).  Her “partner-in-law,” Dirk Coulter, is a loveable curmudgeon without coming across as a stereotype. These two characters are well-developed, even though Savannah’s calling people “boy,” “girl,” and “sugar” and such can be a bit much sometimes (a la Paula Deen).

Savannah’s assistant, Tammy, is like a carbon copy of Nancy Drew; she’s rather bland and uninteresting, not to mention a bit of a broken record, calling everything Savannah eats “crap” because it isn’t healthy like her crap.  But, people who are really into clean eating tend to be annoyingly vocal about it, so that’s realistic. Of all the five main characters, she adds the least but just enough.

Ryan and John are loveable–who wouldn’t want them for friends?  Even though they’re almost too perfect, they are way more believable than Savannah’s siblings, who are more caricatures than characters; I think the author tries too hard to show that Savannah comes from a dysfunctional Southern family because damn, are her siblings over the top (a la Peg Bundy).

I do enjoy the references to Granny Reid (though she needs more unique adages).  I hope I will read a book where Savannah goes back home to McGill, Georgia, and gets some “sage wisdom” (pardon the cliche) or unravels some interesting yarns.

As for Savannah’s cats, Diamante and Cleopatra (why do all single women have to have “fur babies,” though thank God, that phrase isn’t used in these books, though Savannah does refer to herself as their mother), they’re about as interesting as most cats (which is not very).

The author’s ideas of The Deep South seem to come from books and movies and her imagination rather from actually living there.  I’ve read up on Sonja Massie/G.A. McKevett, and, according to several bios, she has never lived anywhere near the South. I think it takes an exceptionally skilled writer to be able to capture Southern culture without having lived in it (visiting doesn’t count), but maybe that’s why the books aren’t actually set in the South, so that was a good call.

If the author would keep Savannah’s relatives in Georgia (with the exception of Gran), the books would be better because those storylines add absolutely nothing.  The real fun is in the relationships that Savannah has with her friends and the mysteries themselves, which are pretty good, even though they lack that “twist” element we Americans have almost come to expect (thanks a lot, O’Henry).

What I like about these books is that the quality of each one has been consistent.  Maybe that’s because this is a series, but still, that’s important.

I hope Savannah will eventually stop being a doormat when it comes to her family (like kicking her sister out of her house for ordering porn and making her pay for it).  This might be the reason why I don’t like her family in the books. Are they all as screwed up as Savannah isn’t? I guess I’ll find out when I catch up.

When it comes to Savannah’s parents, I’m finding it hard to believe that the same woman and the same man bred nine children, only to have them taken away by the State as being unfit.  Usually, women like that have a ton of kids by different dads, so that’s one redeeming quality her parents had.

The profanity in these books is pretty mild, which I appreciate.  These are stories I’d feel comfortable with my teenage daughter reading–when that time comes.  

#Micropoetry Monday: The Lighter Side

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Chaos & Control were 2 of a mother,
Chaos, preferring the surf side any day,
Control, poolside & the sound side
only on green flag days.
Control retained her hourglass figure,
whereas Chaos had been as shapely
as every fruit in the basket.

Sir Benedict was a good egg,
always on the sunny side,
though sometimes he got scrambled
when he came out of his shell.
He could also be hard-boiled when unwell,
when his chicken-hearted mother,
who was bit on the overly easy side
would coddle him,
basting him with soup–
courtesy of one of his relatives.

Mr. Ruffles was known for his candies—
his chocolaterie being a real jimdandy.
Yet he was pounded into mincemeat,
when he dipped the shroomy truffle sweets
into the magic that made him randy.

Sweet Little Nothings

Build a bridge with chocolate

Cookie thought Brownie was stuck up,
& Brownie thought Cookie was stuck on himself,
so they were stuck in their unfriended state,
until along came Candy,
who, distressed at their unfriendliness,
offered them each a hand,
building a bridge of commonality.
When Cookie & Brownie realized
they were better together,
Candy melted
from the fresh-out-of-the-oven warmth
that radiated between them,
only for another battle to begin:
Cookie thought their new alliance should be Crownie,
& Brownie, Brookie,
but both couldn’t have top billing.

Poem-a-Day November 2018 Writer’s Digest Challenge #24. Theme: Salty

Tasty

When Ms. Pepper met Mr. Salt,
she saw him as her equal—
until Miss Sugar came along
& invited him
to sprinkle his crystals
atop her silky caramel.
It was then,
& only then,
that Ms. Pepper realized
there wasn’t anything
that Mr. Salt could not do,
for he complimented
the savory,
as well as the sweet,
perfectly.

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2018 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 24

Poem-a-Day November 2018 Writer’s Digest Challenge #23. Theme: I Can’t (Blank)

I Can’t Eat That!

I can’t eat gravy out of a packet or jar (no MSG, please),
I can’t eat potatoes out of a box (why, when the real thing
is so much cheaper, pound for pound?),
or margarine in any form (I can totally believe it’s not butter);
I can’t eat cranberry sauce out of a can (no jiggly, ribbed silos for me),
I can’t eat green bean casserole (concocted with Campbell’s chemicals),
or sweet potato casserole (because I just don’t like orange potatoes);
I can’t eat “whipped cream” made of oil (as if spun into white gold
by the nemesis of Rumpelstiltskin),
and I am thankful to be fortunate enough to be able to make that choice.

2018 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 23