Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Asparagus People

Assholes exist in all of the seasons.  Yet, as fall stretches into winter my tolerance of them diminishes.

I'd like to think that my demeanor at market is courteous, helpful, and educational.  There are many people that come to me asking for recipes or inspiration of how to use different vegetables.  One woman recently told me that my initial enthusiasm for kohlrabi was what introduced her to what turned out to be a favourite food, and something that she's looked forward to being in season again during its months of unavailability.  When one gentleman bemoaned not knowing what to do with so many radishes to capitalize on a bargain, I suggested he try making radishkraut.  Later he told me that the radishkraut was excellent, and it inspired him to research other fermentation techniques that he was looking forward to trying.  These sorts of interactions have kept me inspired.  They don't keep me warm in the high winds and deep chill of mid-November, but they give me a reason for standing outside at market.

Then there are asparagus people.  It is a pet peeve of mine, a collision that completely t-bones the unsuspecting fuck that asks for it, but I take no prisoners when it comes to stupid questions.  I mean, in the diminishing growing season of Ontario, the median between summer's bounty, fall's rich display of hearty greens and colorful abundance of squash, and the abysmal shit of the winter months, why do you come to a farmer's market looking for asparagus?  Its not the thing itself: I fucking love asparagus. I personally consume at least 10 kilograms of its green stalks every short, precious season - not including what gets canned into the larder.  I am sad that the season is bereft of tender stalks, or tender anything.  Kisses need to be braised in November.  Yet you come to me in the shivering grey, using "its cold today" as a salutation, and tell me you can't seem to find any asparagus.  Maybe you are completely oblivious: 'Was it a bad year for it?'  Or maybe, what's worse, you really don't care that asparagus isn't in season and need to have it anyway, no matter how much methyl bromide it gets doused with on its way here from Peru.

Forgive me. My blood pressure is high and then there is the whiskey.

What offends my sad little heart is the hubris.  The way we, as a society, want to have everything, all of the time, no matter what real limitations should prevent us from having it.  We get those flaccid imported stalks whenever we want them with no anticipation, with no expectation.  It should be that what we eat is a representation of the land, of what is good and flavorful when it is good and flavorful.  From that loose and arguable respect of nature doing what nature does in its own time culture is formed, cuisines develop, traditions grow. But, refrigeration is pretty good, so we can get an edible, not-quite-fresh vegetable whenever we want it.  The acclimatization to this modern norm dulls us into tepid acceptance of uniformity.  It tarnishes our appreciation of what is exceptional when its right in front of us.  Its excessive masturbation killing a healthy appetite for passionate sex.  I think it makes us dumb.  Really, I think its unacceptable.

The cusp of Winter makes me reflect on these things when I drink the cold nights away.  When I see you at market I will happily teach you how to make your cabbage so bad it'll be good again in a few months. I will tell you how to store your onions until March. If you ask me if I have asparagus, I will make fun of you, and in so many words tell you to go fuck yourself.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Heaven sits atop water: toward an ecstasy of fat

Eat cheese, friends! Save your tallow! Leaf lard! Fuck margerine! Vive la beurre! Fuck your couch! Don't discard the best parts of your food! Eat less boxed food! For the love of God don't eat cereal, eat eggs!  I've been right all along!  I'm not crazy, I swear to God, I am perfectly sane!  Listen to the bald guy! Listen!

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Still waters run deep

No matter how dry or bleak the night gets,
Superfly on repeat, no end of the fight yet
the whale is my nemesis
vengeance my police,
beyond the mad sheep I hustled my fleece

the sun's too hot, the land's too cold
the richness of memory obscured in the fold
beside all the beasts a land with no colour
goddamn it man the plan of no other
I run my own ship, fuck what you heard
ribs broke, skull crushed in by the herd
another word for coward is compromise
stare death in the face with sober wide open eyes

hitch up, shots off, open wounds in the switch up,
I took the cash in the bag, ducking low in the mix up,
beats for criminals trying to clean up the street
bodies hung inside meat lockers, vanish discreet
on my way from the country on a shadowy fleet
the man on my passport says he's from Crete

unstoppable animal hail from Canada
fuckers complain but the cold isn't bad enough
by the middle of January everyone's had enough
in three feet of snow stand screaming I'm mad enough
you live your life once with no chance of a repeat
and you waste every minute stuck to the tv
fuck you're all frail, sickly and mild mannered
on the worst day alive I wouldn't throw down my hammer
I'd drive spikes in the earth and build a line across time and space
from the location of now to the destination the mind encased
mensch to mensch squared not tense or impaired
face chiaroscuro lit by a flair
there's no beauty but tragedy
mountains from tremors
no triumph but struggle
gilded by tenners
operatic proportions and a ribald propensity
there's nothing left here but the fire forging what's meant to be
that's what meaningless meant to me
in the glare from the moonlight
try to make it cohere
our culture hero broken, paralyzed fear
mind riddled by rot
might never stand strong
maybe's he's forgot
but he attempted to engage the whole thing with his thought, right?

Writing cryptic riddles
for cats with their fiddles
no one understands if stuck in the middle
vision particulars communicate ill
drink from pleroma drunk from your fill
nothing else matters but determination
in the face of foreboding
lost out in space
slap my thighs goading
all you little poets to throw down your pens
you can only contemplate truth
when wearing Depends
all this talk about Zen
a heron descending
on a fish in the river
all your foolishness blending
in a deeper mythology you don't understand
worn like a t-shirt you bought from a band

I'm drunk and unbeaten freetstyling a battle rap
its February bitches RJ's bringing the trouble back