[The Big Smoke reading group]
In "Cooking Lessons," Adrian Matejka presents one of the incidents for which the heavyweight champ, Jack Johnson, was arrested. Johnson speaks to his lover Belle after striking her with his fist.
Strangely, Johnson tells Bell, in short, how grateful she should be. He even mentions that “Shakespeare had a man/play Desdemona, didn't he?” suggesting that men are somehow supposed to give women direction. In this poem, Matejka is revealing Johnson's deeply troubling treatment of women.
What did you think on most regarding "Cooking Lessons," and why? That is, what captured your attention most concerning the poem's main themes or the use of language in the poem, and why did that capture your attention?