The Catalyst

A Writing Teacher Writes (plus some writing prompts and recipes)

Sex is Such a Bore April 19, 2013

Filed under: Poems,Writing Prompts + — Christopher P. DeLorenzo @ 6:13 pm

This week’s post is a bit non-traditional. I’m usually humble about my accomplishments, but I thought the good news that I recently had a poem accepted for publication in the literary magazine BlueStem might inspire you all to submit your work. 

The poem will appear in the June issue on-line, along with an audio-file, but I’m sharing it here with you for your enjoyment.

The prompts this time were:IMG_1325

I’d rather be baking                                                 

Sex is such a boring topic

Done talking


The resulting poem is below.


Sex is such a boring topic

lap dances and push-up bras

porno tapes and sex clubs

saunas and leather chaps.



I’m more interested in creating

that frittata, baking cornbread

with buttermilk, finding a recipe

for the garam masala.


I don’t care who’s having an orgasm


if anyone has ejaculated

this morning

or if there’s a drop of Eros

left in the tube.


Keep your handcuffs, your jockstrap

your butt plug

I’m perfecting a Devil’s Food cake

a vanilla rose frosting

I’m considering homemade lasagna.


Let someone else wear the French

maid’s costume, the thigh high boots,

the crotchless panties;

by all means, enjoy the rubber sheets.

Take my place in the sling.


I’m trying to master the biscuit,

the lemon bar trifle,

the blackened sea bass.


I want to roast the broccoli,

blanch the asparagus, ice

the orange pound cake.

I want to candy my own rose petals.

I want to fill you up with all of this.

I never want to stop.








Lemon Bars and Heroes April 12, 2013

Filed under: Recipes,Writing Prompts + — Christopher P. DeLorenzo @ 8:53 am
Tags: , , ,

I’m feeling really generous this morning, so I’ve shared several writing prompts below, and also my Lemon Bar recipe. I do recommend using Meyer Lemons if you can find them; they give the bars a sweeter taste and a beautiful color.  IMG_2505

Writing Prompts:

Our little hero

Like sun, and salt, and cinnamon

It’s a bad sign                                  

I’m floating alone here

But is he an asshole?


Lusty Lemon Bars

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Use an 8 x 8 Pyrex (or glass) square pan (metal pans won’t work as well)

Ingredients for crust:

1/3 cup butter, softened

1/4 cup sugar

1 cup flour

Beat butter and sugar together until emulsified. Hand mix in flour until crumbly.

Press into the pan and bake JUST until the crust begins to turn blonde and looks slighlty darker at the edges (about 12-15 minutes). Keep an eye on this: if you over bake the crust, it will be tough.

Ingredients for filling:

2 eggs

3/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons lemon zest

3 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Beat eggs and sugar until frothy and light: about two minutes, then add lemon zest and juice. Add flour and baking powder. Pour over hot baked crust and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the center is set and reveals brown spots.

Cool, slice, and dust with powdered sugar.


Emotional Smarty Pants April 5, 2013

Filed under: Vignettes,Writing Prompts + — Christopher P. DeLorenzo @ 6:33 pm
Tags: , , ,

The prompts this time were:           IMG_2383

My little life

September is always a new beginning

Intellectual masturbation

What I wrote is below.


It’s all about emotional intelligence for me: people who understand feelings. My Ma was like that. She had compassion down pat—hand on your head when she walked by, lunch when you were hungry, a snack when you were cranky—she was consistently emotionally engaged.

It seems strange to me that Ma had it and her first born didn’t. My oldest brother was extremely intellectual, but not very emotionally intelligent. Some of my colleagues at the university are like that too. There’s a lot of intellectual masturbation going on on college campuses. A lot.

Personally, I like to keep my masturbation and my intellectualizing separate, but I sometimes get cornered at a party or a cocktail bar by an emotional idiot with bad breath who’s eager to show me how intellectual he is. These guys try to impress me with their literary prowess. But quite honestly, I really don’t care if you’ve read everything by Dickens. Don’t get me wrong: he was an amazing, prolific, social commentator, but I’d rather talk about Kylie Minogue or baby elephants (that’s not entirely true; I could talk for hours about Toni Morrison, or James Baldwin, or Aaron Smith, but these intellectual masturbators who just want to talk about the dead white guys while they sip Tempranillo bore me to death).

I prefer to spend time with people who like to cook, who hug and kiss you goodbye, who flirt like pros, have nice smelling soap in the bathrooms, who spontaneously dance at a party and can teach anyone how to Salsa.

I like back rubbers and question askers and animated story tellers who wear interesting jewelry and enjoy cheese. I don’t really care if you gave a TED talk, or invented a new prescription drug, or know all the elements on the chart hanging in the chemistry lab. People who hurt rabbits and mice are not emotionally intelligent as far as I’m concerned.

Tell me about the biofuel you are working on, or the local urban gardening program you’ve just begun; take me to your favorite ice cream bar and get down on the sidewalk just outside with a French bulldog, and you’ve got my interest. That gives me something to think about.