The Artichoke Women

I love the smell of Artichokes cooking. It’s earth in a boiling pot. It is memories of adults when I wasn’t. It’s the women in my family sitting around a long table, in a small room, pulling leaves, speaking loudly (Don’t hit your sister) and low (Did you hear what Andy did to Maria?) and laughing.  I love that, to eat an artichoke, it is both feral and fine: lightly dip the leaf in butter, flutter to release the excess and then scrape your teeth with force along the leaf to pull up the treasured meat. Begin again. And again and again. That is, until you get to the heart. It’s all about the heart of the matter, they taught me. Bite into the middle meat, thick. Watch out for the spikes. This is a delicacy to work for, toward and to savor. Butter drips down the chin of the victor. Smile. Smile while it does.

Arianna Astuni lives in a tall 100+ year old colonial in hip, but quiet, Highland Park, New Jersey with her partner and their teeny chihuahua, Moskato. She is an educator, author, publisher, and proprietor of a small school in quaint and bustling downtown Metuchen, New Jersey. Under her authorship, over a dozen books have been published in various test prep fields. Her love for writing is part of her. It’s not simply reading good writing; it’s writing frantically in tiny notebooks profound things. If she had a second love, it would be travel. As a former journalist, she has lived and worked in Egypt, Paris, London, NYC and various places up and down the east coast. She resided in Cairo, Egypt for 3 years to help start up magazines get their footing. She worked as associate editor and lead writer for the well-known magazine Enigma. While poetry is her first love, she is currently working on a book called “Off Season Traveler”, a collection of prose pieces from travels over the last 20 years.


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