Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Feverish Spice Plants By the Sea


Ah, sea rocket, succulent and spicy, perhaps my favorite of all the plants I forage. Sea rocket is truly mysterious. It roots right in the sand where there is no water unless you dig down almost all the way to China, but its leaves are thick and juicy. Sea rocket is related to arugula, and tastes like its domesticated relative, but is even spicier. I love to wander the edge of the dunes and pick it, eating some raw, taking some home with me to saute with olive oil, garlic, and sundried tomatoes. I wondered today, as I was picking it, if it was Lorca's "feverish spice bush of the sea," he summons in his poem "Malaguena."

   Death
is entering and leaving
the tavern.

   Black horses and sinister
people are riding
over the deep roads
of the guitar.

   There is an odor of salt
and the blood of women
in the feverish spice-plants
by the sea.

   Death
is entering and leaving
the tavern,
death
leaving and entering.


A feverish plant! A plant that gives one fevers that burn so hot one must run into the sea. I bet Lorca knew this plant well, or one like it. I will be at the Farmers' Market with a bushel-ful if you dare to try it yourselves.









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