Thursday, August 12, 2010


Day 185...and a random young man walking by is now reading The Satanic Verses, by Salman Rushdie, to see whether there is really something in it that provoked the death threats. I told him about when my niece was photographed with Rushdie, when he visited her college. The photo gave him red eyes, so he did look remarkably satanic.

And I am allowing myself one poem a day from What Feeds Us, by Diane Lockward, an indulgence like a fine chocolate. The first was the title poem, "What Feeds Us," and I can already tell the book will break my heart and make me smile; also, that I've found a kindred spirit, as I, too, have written a poem ending with a woman knowing she needs to eat.

Likewise, with "The First Artichoke," the second poem in Lockward's book. I remember my first artichoke, eaten as a kind of research, as well as a pleasure, with my friend and fellow actress, Lorel Janiszewski. I was directing her, I think in the Organic Theatre, in a one-woman play she had written called Art-I-Choke. She is brilliant, so it was funny and pithy and poignant somehow all at once. And surely she prepared the artichoke we ate in her kitchen.

A stage manager would have prepared the artichoke she ate onstage. Right, Lorel? Nobody would have trusted me with that....


Lorel Janiszewski said...

Kathy, I remember your directing Art-I-Choke and how grateful I was that you understood everything I was trying to do with it. You have always been one of my top boosters artistically and I treasure that. I say booster because I'm reading (well, listening to) Babbitt. And loving every second of it.

I'm pretty sure I was the one who cooked every artichoke involved in the play.

A little side-note: I googled myself the other day (and if you say you don't google yourself now and then, you're a liar and a fool) to discover that a publicity photo for Art-I-Choke had been up for auction! I didn't pursue it any further than seeing the listing, but I assume the Reader, the Trib or the Sun-Times or one of their (ex?)employees was trying to make a few bucks whilst trimming their archives. Just goes to show that Great Art keeps resurfacing.

Kathleen said...

Yay for Great Art-I-Chokes, cooked by you!

Wow, Babbitt, eh?!

Kathleen said...

Also, thanks, Lorel, for reminding me that it was not really a one-woman show, though we did rehearse just you most of the time. There was a plumber in it! And she did such a good job as the plumber that I just remember her as coming through and fixing the plumbing!