It's one day past Thanksgiving, so done with gratitude, we resume the daily round of getting and spending, buying and selling, eating and drinking.
Tropic is almost a separate continent of variations along the stainless counter, conjuring equatorial indulgence and slippery suggestion. Pure hedonistic surrender, the colors streaming in along the trade winds of the imagination, the heat pressing down on evaporating rainwash.
The Caribbean held a special attraction to Hart Crane [1899-1932], a High Modernist poet with an explosive verbal facility, whose charged metaphors and severe rhetorical flourishes concealed a suppressed frustration and rage about his closeted Gayness. Submerged beneath the oppression of morality and polite society, his work became the histrionic enactment of this frustration, albeit concealed behind obscuring layers of artifice.
O Carib Isle appeared in Poetry Magazine in October 1927. Its heavily clotted diction and complex twisted grammatical turns may have seemed less eccentric than they do to our ears, but even in its time, it was perceived to be enjambed and cluttered with intense emotion and puzzling contractions, unlike anything that had come before. Considered romantic at the time, today we can see that its extremities were actually modern, emerging from metaphysical preoccupations more characteristic of the 17th and 18th Centuries than of the 20th. Reading it for content can throw your mind into knots and loops, and it takes time and patience to fully appreciate the overall effect of such dense designs.
As the carousel of days and mixes turns, I pick one from the spin, a happy coincidence of rum and fruity flavors which perhaps catches the spirit of the holiday season. Here in the Bay Area, we're receiving our first precipitation of the season. Our roofers, who began replacing our shake shingles two weeks ago, finished just in the nick of time, a couple of days before the downpour. Gratitude as luck? Perhaps . . . .
1 1/2 golden rum
1/5 banana liqueur
1 tsp pineapple gum syrup
1/2 part fresh lemon juice
2 squirts Peychaud bitters
Stirred together and poured into glasses with ice.