Friday, February 27, 2009

regional silverware

we got a coupon

expires February 31st

some days i hope i last that long

others, not past the 23rd,

four days of revealing

the darkened corners

of three year old unfinished business,

one day of draining

into a slowly cooling tub

(but i’ve not got it in me,

that roman trip that falls

on a well placed blade,

just before being conquered

i know it.

christ nick,

i’m not sure you had it either

if not for the drugs)

when you throw up

and it’s made of well cut diamonds,

rare as the Strangemorning,

hot as the things hiding behind the sun –

don’t you think you’ve peaked,

doesn’t a glass half full become quite a boring issue?

but there are ridiculous beats

that bring us out of winter

bass drums that make it warm

milwaukeeans who aren’t always drinking

humid and dry and nowhere inbetween,

peter, peter, making stew,

pete, you’ve got a lila blue

and a room of chops,

shaken in a glued-down chair

green lights on a road of stops

small car with curious hands

quick stops for pissing

long times for wide states

signs, the welcomes of governors

at night, in the rain

through eastern pennsylvania

up and down again,

through jersey and her bastard trucks

toward the ocean

seldom seen

near the hudson

far from clean

belly up, the less of luck

some misplaced loudmouth

spouting at the wrong fuck

shaking his fists and dying his death in a cold arrival.

i’m here to see it

i’m here to want home and enjoy the one i’ve made

i’m here to raise the whisper of a midwestern spoon

to the curdled scream of an east coast blade.

lung breathers

all torn around the room, sleeves slid downward

and i’m done again with brain drops on the window outside.

some mad cricket can’t see no one’s interested

contains the why is bleeding by, blazing sped of offish vectors

driven mad by brainy sky, hazing head of office lectures

make it work the way i asked and care enough

and stop your contents.

my stirring hand needs more beer when i’m not allowed.

there’s been so little weather and it makes us sick,

sun that rises like it has to, three or four minutes of brain,

out to the ocean, where no one feels the pour

and lungs make the quiet not so,

heaving liquid down the hatch, panicked death of a mad cricket

if i’d gills, the blackened divide, sharing space with upward endless

would be the mile i’d walk around

leaving legs for a breathing, a melted sort of walkupon.

it’s raining on my house of water,

i care enough, i’ve found my contents

right beside the bordered bed

of living laterally,

rotating far from any sort of real dark place

i’ve never made in my mind the nothinggrand

like waves can make without the effort

saying not and still it means

the icy stare of space betweens

i think a few have, but most of them are dead,

conquered, quite plainly

knights of infinite resignation with no castle to defend

Friday, February 13, 2009

transplanting lunch ideas

so yes - this is leftover facebook garbage somehow making its way onto this blog of such high standards, but don't bitch to me about it. complain here:

The Cunninghams
565 North Clinton Drive
Milwaukee, WI 53223

i figured it made sense to follow 'thirsty' with hunger. because when you can't have something, the best thing to do is worry about something else unattainable, like fried cheese curds.

so the '25 random things' from facebook needed a little work, in my mind.

this is what i was 'supposed' to do:

"I'm not sure where this original project started but I got tagged and decided to continue it by tagging those of you whom I consider to be great friends or I haven't heard from you in a while and would love to hear what you have to say. Hope you'll play along because it would/will be fun hearing from you.

Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you.

(To do this, go to "notes" under tabs on your profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, type your 25 random things, tag 25 people (in the right hand corner of the app) then click publish.)"

but there are a few things diverting me from this specific task:

first, i can't stand the word random. it is perhaps the most overused word of the last decade, and usually by college freshman naming a facebook album. a random picture would be of the inside of a purse, or of an unrecognizable ceiling tile - not of you and your friends holding cups of beer and dancing badly, often scantily clad.

secondly, i'm a jackass, and i think i'm clever. really. i mean, look at my profile picture - if that isn't a smug, self-important jackass, i've never met one. and the real point of these things isn't to 'hear what you have to say' because people consider one another 'great friends.' this is the internet. real friends use visits, and phones, and yes, i suppose e-mails too. the point is to throw your own self-important-jackass-spoutings into the facebook world because you don't yet have a blog. well, i have a blog, but i'm REALLY excited about myself, so i'll take every opportunity i can get. and i like to meddle.

thirdly, i'm hungry. it's what i'm thinking about. tasty things. so this is where my energy goes, since i cannot eat anything at the moment -- my 25 things are tasty things. like bacon. bacon will definitely be on there.

so this is where i should say things like "you should really make your own list of tasty things, because i want to know more about you," and "it'll help us connect on another level" -- and if you feel like it, great, but really, i'm just taking this opportunity to write about tasty things.

in no particular order:

1. chicken tikka masala: i know it's the least indian of the indian dishes, but it's consistently satisfying almost everywhere. a creamy tomato-y sauce, cilantro, some of those other things they put in tasty things, basmati rice. quality. find an indian lunch buffet this weekend and eat everything they serve, but definitely have some of this.

2. the 'bronx bomber': basically a breakfast wrap they make at a bagel place in pleasantville, ny. it's only $4, and it's got sausage, ham, bacon, eggs, cheese, onions, hot sauce... i feel like i'm forgetting something. maybe salted lard?

3. the frisco burger: i haven't had hardees in as long as i can remember. i don't even know if they make this anymore, but if not, i'd eat the leftover ones they've been keeping in the utility closet.

4. saganaki: greek cheese sprinkled w/flour, sauteed in butter, dashed with lemon and cognac (or brandy) and set on fire. serve with bong rips and leather couch nap.

5. vegetable pakora from chapati: in northfield, mn. yes, more indian. with coriander chutney, perhaps the best appetizer possible. lots of places make these poorly. chapati isn't one of them. em and i used to hope they'd be on the lunch buffet, and a few times, we even brought concealed tupperwares for buffet!: part deux - at home. i'm not ashamed.

6. milwaukee's kosher dill midget pickles: be happy you live in wisconsin. find them near or on the bottom shelf at your local grocer. when em and i lived in ohio, we once brought a case of these back with us from madison and gave a few as gifts to our undeserving co-workers at dubois bookstore. the 17 or so jars remaining were selfishly rationed over the next 4 months. i think a jar even made it to bonnaroo that year. get the kosher ones though, they seemed to be more garlic-ish.

7. big mike's subs: no, i know you think i mean milio's. we cannot succumb to new ownership naming. and i definitely don't mean jimmy-johns. em likes the veggie w/sprouts and avocado, i like the italian (godfather?). get yours with a pickle too, and a lemonade, then head on over to michael's for some frozen custard.

8. beer cheese soup: good god am i from wisconsin. it sounds like the kind of thing you'd have at a bar or you dorm room the night before the worst vomit-fit day of your life -- but it's actually something i had for the first time at a fancypants-ish restaurant (weisgerber's golden mast in hartland).

9. waffle fries: i used to hate waffle fries. why did i hate waffle fries? i don't know. that was a dumb you, me.

10. bagel sandwiches from bagel and deli in oxford, ohio: expensive, but generally quality. i liked the 'tanya harding club,' and any breakfast bagel sandwich with bacon.

11. cajun chicken sandwich: while i'm in oxford, i may as well head next door to skipper’s and get one of these. bar food, but good bar food, served with... waffle fries. nice.

12. 3 year-old cheddar from sendik's in wauwatosa: more wisconsin bias, but i just can't find cheddar this good anywhere, not in ohio, not in minnesota, and certainly not out here in newyorkland. and anything that approaches real aged (measured in years, not months) cheddar is like $78/lb. but at sendiks, they usually have a few - 2, 3, 4, sometimes 5 or 6 year old cheddar for reasonable prices. the 3 year old is young enough to still be creamy, and old enough to have a good, solid bite to it. i once had a meal at my brother's that consisted of 3 things - marinated grilled tenderloin, a glass of some decent shiraz, and a pile of sendik's cheddar. that meal is in my meal hall of fame. no, you can't visit.

13. the gcb: the gcb is a garlic cheeseburger served at marvin's in greencastle, indiana. both my brother, and hayes' brother went to depauw in greencastle, and we've often talked about making a marvin's roadtrip. just for gcb's. why have we not done that yet? i heard they changed the recipe. we may have to confirm this. UPDATE: apparently, there's a Marvin's in STEVENS POINT, WI NOW!?!!?!? much more manageable roadtrip, albeit minus the mystique of indiana.

14. cheese pizza @ hollywood north in sleepy hollow: of the new york style pizza i've had, this has been the most consistent. not under/overcooked, and reasonably priced. i got a large pie a few weeks ago somewhere else with 3 toppings and they charged me like $22. and it was soggy and undercooked. i killed them all. no, not really.

15. popcorn: jesus, i almost forgot popcorn. making popcorn isn't a quick snack for me, it's sort of an event. i've reverted to almost strictly popping kernels on the stove - then some butter while it's still in the pan, cover it back up - then more butter and salt in different layers into the bowl. and i dig it when movie theaters sell popcorn outside of where they take tickets, so you don't have to bother with the whole movie part.

16. english muffins: i grew up on bay's, but i bounce back and forth between bay's and thomas.' really, i think it's butter i like, but it's nice to have a crunchy/chewy vessel for the butter.

17. bacon: bacon.

18. alouette garlic and herb spread with wheat thins: i'm still trying to find a 128oz. tub of this - i can get big boxes of wheat thins at sam’s.

19. pineapple-upside-down-cake
: i’m not usually a cake kinda guy, but em makes these every once in a while, and they’re awesome. and doing this list made me remember that i think there’s at least half of one at home right now. now that i have dinner covered, i just have to figure out what to have for dessert tonight.

20. ritter-sport: chocolate bar squares – the one with the biscuit is the best, apparently they have one with cornflakes? available in the fancypants chocolate section of a lot of groceries. and at jungle jim’s – weird world food marked place in ohio. they also sold some Nordic version of the kit-kat (much better chocolate) called kwik lunsj.

21. grilled cheese at the cage @ st. olaf: em and i were going through a scrap book the other day, and i found a receipt for one of the 12,500 grilled cheeses i ate there – it was $1.95. part of my shock may be my east-coast cost-of-living goggles, but damn! and they were big grilled cheeses on thick bread with tons of cheese – the kind where you order it with fries and mozzarella sticks thinking you’ll still be hungry – and then you finish the g.c., and you’re so full you can only manage a handful of fries and 2 m. sticks. i’ve yet to encounter a grilled cheese with that sort of power since. with inflation, i suppose it’s a whopping $2.25 by now though.

22. fresh veggies: i’m totally kidding.

22. sammy smith’s oatmeal stout: wait. i can’t do that either. even though it could qualify as a food, if i start down that path, this list will never end.

22. astronaut ice cream: okay, that works. either the neapolitan or the ice cream sandwich. similar to the popcorn situation, i’ve learned to appreciate museums where the gift shop is outside of the ticket-taker station.

23. george webb w/coupons: i realize that times have changed, but this is still a sick deal. back in the day, i would go to the ymca with hayes to play racquetball and walleyball (volleyball in a racquetball court – lots of bank shots to the unprepared face), and we’d go across the street to webb’s for lunch and each get eggs (scrambled), toast (raisin, always burned) and hashbrowns (or bacon) and a double cheesburger each – for $6.84. that’s $3.42 each. ridiculous. a 15% tip is $1.03. bring a ten dollar bill, and you’ve got enough for two hearty lunches, and two bags of doritos and a whatchamacallit from the vending machine at the y as an afternoon snack.

24. fried cheese curds: again, i’m obviously from wisconsin. and really, fresh cheese curds too, good and squeaky. but fried? good god. i don’t care if they’re $4.99 for a 3”X 4” cardboard dish at the state fair or summerfest – it’s worth my $25 for enough to be satisfied until we find the funnel cake guy.

25. bacon: again, bacon.

so that’s my answer to the 25 random things.

please yell (with violent text) at me for all the things i forgot. or just make your own list. but do it when you’re hungry. people say going to the grocery when you’re hungry is a bad idea, but i think it’s worse to go when you’re full, cause then you’re all ‘wheat thins and dip, i don’t want that’ and then later you’re all sitting on the couch watching everybody loves raymond and you’re all ‘why didn’t i get some goddamned wheat thins and dip? i’m starving, and all i have are fresh veggies!’ but even then, don’t forget that you got 4 pounds of bacon at sam’s last time and it’s in the freezer.