As August draws to a close, a proper tiki drink seems like a good idea. Now, this one’s a bit different, not being rum-based, but, it is a blended drink, with fruit flavors, falernum, and orgeat, so it is right at home in the tiki theme.
The Raiment We Put On
Do you remember? We were in a room
With walls as warm as anybody’s breath,
And music wove us on its patterning loom,
The complicated loom of life and death.
Your hands moved over my face like small clouds.
(Rain fell into a river and sank, somewhere.)
I moved among your fingers, brushed by the small crowds
Of them, feeling myself known, everywhere,
And in that desperate country so far from here,
I heard you say my name over and over,
Your voice threading its way into my ear.
I will spend my days working to discover
The pattern and its meaning, what you meant,
What has been raveled and what has been rent.
It’s one of the least appreciated cocktail ingredients out there, as far as I can tell: Bénédictine. Most of the time you won’t even see it on its own, but sold pre-mixed with brandy as B&B. Now, the idea of B&B is to use brandy to reduce the sweetness of the herbal liqueur, and generally I can understand that. But everything else gets adjustments like that when it gets used, so why not Bénédictine?
Your humble host has hinted at the deeper meaning of things, that sex is not the end, the goal, but rather the leap off the starting block.
Poet Sharon Olds has done it beautifully, and briefly, and better than I by a long shot. Not that I won’t delve into the topic again in prose, but her poetry summarizes so much and so well that I have to show it to you.
The caipirinha is, famously, the national drink of Brazil, and the Olympic festivities seem like just the right time to introduce it to the Garden.
A little while ago we looked at a poetic suggestion by a Mr. Cavafy. Here, below, he tells a little tale of sudden attraction and subtle flirtation. It shows much of what we’ve discussed here before, and more.
I should maybe point out that C.P. Cavafy was a Greek poet, and his work either attracts very good translators or very naturally comes across well when brought to English. In any case, the loss of whatever meter and rhyme it began with doesn’t do any harm to a beautiful, insightful story.
It seems a pointless tragedy to waste time not loving. When you start looking, the number of poems and songs written to that effect is pretty startling.
And it’s not a new thing.
Last week’s highball, the Florodora, was described as being among the most refreshing summer drinks available. The Deep Blue Punch seems to be a popular one as well, judging by the number of people reading it here. One notes that they are both on the sweet side – the latter more so than the former.
This is no slight on them, certainly, since they don’t overdo it. And make no mistake, your host (and Villa bartender) has no trouble enjoying drinks of whatever sweetness. But there is something to be said for the light, clean, and refreshing quality of a beverage which has very little sugar of any kind, or at least more tartness than sweetness.
…which is also advice on poetry.
When They Come Alive
Try to keep them, poet,
those erotic visions of yours,
however few of them there are that can be stilled.
Put them, half-hidden, in your lines.
Try to hold them, poet,
when they come alive in your mind
at night or in the noonday brightness.
(Constantine P. Cavafy)
…but just in little bites for now. So to speak.