Arthur Ginsberg 


I like asparagus. How a slender 
green shaft drives its candle-guttered 
prepuce into the light. I'm not trying 
to intimate anything sexual, only that 
I admire such quiet power, all done 
anonymously in the dark. For comparison 
take broccoli; misshapen shaft crowned 
with annoying little spherules, that 
break off and litter the salad bowl. 
Asparagus is best eaten al dente, 
still keeping its head erect, until 

the final bite. My wife grasps each spear 
by its butt end, and, moving her fingers up 
toward the tip, bends the spear, snapping it 
in two, then steams the fibrous parts 
for their juice. I have never tried 
this by-product but she swears 
the essence makes her powerful. 
Mouselline or Green Goddess sauce will 
cause the little tips to swell with extra flavour, 

as if, the king knew his courtesans were doting. 
Julia Child has tested every cooking method: 
peeled, unpeeled, boiled butts, steamed tips. 
She prefers the French technique; peel, 
tie in bundles, plunge into a large kettle 
of boiling water until tender. Bourgeois salute 
to a king! Serve with chicken breasts, brains, 
sweetbreads and a chilled bottle of Vouvray. 
Never mind olfactory hallucinations at midnight, 
ablutions when the king will exact his tax. 

Copyright 2000, Arthur Ginsberg 

Arthur Ginsberg is a Seattle neurologist and the author of a volume of poetry titled Walking the Panther (Northwood Press, 1984). His writing has been published in several journals, including Arnazella, Beacon Review, Spindrift, Embers, and Prickly Pear

Switched-on Gutenberg/Vol. 4, No. 2 
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