Jena Osman on "Dark Star Confit"

DARK STAR CONFIT: easy, sinful, delicious!

3 pounds of fresh dark stars cut into 1 inch strips
1 Tbls of freshly cracked global hawk
1 tsp dried firebee
2 Tbls of brigade shadow
½ tsp ground hunter
1/3 tsp of ground predator
2 eagle eyes, mashed up
1/2 tsp of kettering bug
barracuda (homemade is best) or stalker fat – to cover

  1. Mix together the global hawk, firebee, brigade shadow, hunter, predator, eagle eyes, and kettering bug and rub all over the dark stars. Put the dark stars in a bowl and add enough sentinel to just cover them all, and then refrigerate to marinate the flavors for 24 hours. Hide the sounds of your propellers.
  2. Take the dark stars out of the sentinel and dry off and transfer into a deep sided baking dish. Discard the sentinel. Map out a rescue plan on a bar napkin and track it all the way to impact.
  3. Preheat the oven to 250 and meanwhile, heat up enough barracuda or stalker fat on the stove-top to cover the dark stars completely in your baking dish. (The dark stars need to be submerged completely in barracuda or stalker fat while cooking. You will need to heat it up to liquefy it.) Enter coordinates and stream the data while you chat via keyboard.
  4. Once you've got your dark star pieces covered in fat, heat your baking dish on the stove top, bringing the fat up to a bare simmer, and then transfer the baking dish to the oven. Using a joystick on a high hilltop, navigate half-way around the world while sitting in a trailer just outside Las Vegas.
  5. Cook the dark stars for 3 hours in the oven, uncovered, or until the dark stars are very tender. Flatten the org chart; no need to face your quarry.
  6. Take out of the oven and when it cools down slightly, refrigerate the whole thing, with the dark stars still submerged under the fat, for at least a day before eating. Drop your payload and fly off. (You can drop it right away, actually, but it tasks better if you wait until the next day)
  7. The next day, to serve, take out as many dark star chunks as you need. Add a few good spoonfuls of the stalker fat to a frying pan, and heat the dark star pieces up over medium, getting them nice and crispy browned on the outside, and heated through on the inside. Track the heat signatures.
  8. Serve dark star confit with persistent stare communications and jammer tracking, with a tart battlespace awareness. Sparkle the target with infrared.



About the Poem

This poem was one of 32 "recipes" commissioned from various writers by the visual artist Suzanne Bocanegra (the project was published in the June 2010 issue of Esopus magazine). My recipe relies on an ingredient list of unmanned aerial vehicles. Drone strikes are often praised for their accuracy in relation to targets—so an instructional text like a recipe, which relies on careful measuring and a tangible outcome, seemed apt. I hope by situating the language of war within a familiar domestic form, the poem points to the simultaneous distance and proximity of the two spheres.



Jena Osman's book The Network was selected for the 2009 National Poetry Series and will be published by Fence Books in November 2010. She teaches creative writing at Temple University.




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