Sunday, April 05, 2009

Review of Algae & Elegance at the Raspy Puppet

A rasp, as many of you know—I learned it myself in high school shop class—is a wood-finishing tool with big teeth. So it’s a little ironic that the “Elegance” at the Raspy Restaurant is toothless, or maybe I should say “gumsome.”

Not that it’s bad to please the gums as well as the tongue, nor are the algae concoctions at the Raspy without texture as well as flavor. The evening my wife Merino and I went, she ordered the house special Giuseppe "Tim" Botta had recommended, Golden Algae Pourage. To be companionable, I ordered the Three Bears Honey Salmon and Seaweed. Each entree came with a choice of sides. Merino choose the slivered newt salad and I went with the copperhead medallions in pea soup.

Though a young person passing behind me (I don’t think it was one of the waiters) opined that it looked like “dyed cat barf,” Merino’s Pourage was a visually appealing melange of colors, green, tan and black or blackish, nicely presented on a pond-colored plate. She was enjoying it when, unfortunately, I was forced by a certain fussiness to withdraw from my mouth a long golden hair, the other end of which was in my shrimp and seaweed. From its length and texture I deduced that the hair was from the head of a human, not the coarse synthetic of a puppet's transplants.

On that basis, I have to give The Raspy a full four-antacid rating.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

This Just In

According to Tim Botta, the five most significant books of the Clockwise and Counter-Clockwise Schools of Poetry are

1. The Slide Whistles of Autumn by Morty “Botanical” Sherbet

2. Inter-Departmental Mail by Bluto Pippy

3. Wild Flapjacks! by Minerva “Sizzler” Plankton

4. Rate My Cocoa by Storch

5. The Drinking Bird by Hydrox Spurs

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Tim Botta's Second Batch of Answers

1. Where is the real Village of Liver and Onions?

O, Liver and Onions—the real deal—appears somewhere in the mysterious works of Oliver Onions. This village of cuckoo-clock wood and spectacular scallop-bulb streetlamps is a favorite destination destination for the with-it or without-it traveler. Welcome to the Village of Liver and Onions. Some claim that this particular dish was invented elsewhere, winning a silver medal at some exposition or other. But we know better. Wake up in our elegant dining room and indulge in this universally reviled specialty. I recall laughing my head off as a child when I saw a book in the library called "Onion John."

2. What happens to liver if I won’t eat it?

"Give me back my liver!" Remember that one? A girl in a darkened gust is telling us ghost stories.

3. You’ve written a book called “Wireless.” “Wire” has many definitions, especially when it’s spoken aloud. Are all the definitions of “wireless” the opposites of the definitions of “wire,” or am I wrong to think in terms of opposites.

Thanks for the plug. Imagine a wireless world! I suppose that the non-existence of an object is the opposite of that object, but perhaps the opposite is true. At the binary winery all is sweet or dry.

4. Who was Uncle Tonoose, and what was his favorite magazine?

Which wine goes best with liver and onions? Uncle Onion—sorry, Uncle Tonoose—would know. Beside Uncle's favorite itchy chair—ah, those tiny metallic strips in the fabric—do I imagine?—waited Tonoose's magazine stand. Though he had many magazines in the rack, his favorite was a collection of crude cartoons.

5. What past current event caused you to give up some mental or physical obsession you had been savoring guiltily?

Something "scared the liver out of me," as she used to say. Unsavory liver. Many cords are connected to that power strip. I trace it on onionskin paper now. From that trance, the sudden tumble of onions woke me.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Tim Botta's Responses to Tom Lisk's Questions

1. How should dry erase markers be advertised?

As you know by now, I teach in the community college system, so I was immediately drawn to this question. Since the quenchless appeal of dry erase markers is their remarkable impermanency, the advertising of dry erase markers should be marked by the permanency of the slab-like absolute. I work with such tools each day. I am grateful for the suspense of uncapping, before an audience, the dry erase marker and applying it to the white board, not knowing if the resulting line will show up bold or weak. Include this suspense in the advertisement. Also stress the advantages of dry erase versus drenched. The question of advertising or marketing is complicated since I do not purchase these markers in a store, but find them in a cabinet, when I can.

2. Tell us a little about the opposite of temptation?

Trembling, he shuts the cabinet and slips out of the supply room, his supple briefcase bulging with supplies: boxes of lush staples, boxes of paper clips (the French call them "trombones"), dry erase markers. Since the first stage of temptation is always the presentation of the object, the opposite of temptation consists in hiding that object completely from the other's awareness. Not so the supply room, with its blatant label on the door of the cabinet, in block capital letters (OFFICE SUPPLIES) as though in some cartoon. Temptation is display.

3. What three words rhyme with "sasquatch" and why?

Gotcha! If you botch this sasquatch question, backtrack to question two and look in the briefcase. Hot chai! Why? Ask the sasquatch.

4. Who?

Low odor. Chisel. Conforms to ASTM D4236. NON-TOXIC. In various colors, but the green hard to read. Before an audience of composition students, he uncaps his pen. Its provenance is a mystery, even to them.

5. What is the exact meaninglessness of life?

He likes those moments alone, erasing the board of marks. He even likes the pseudo-kleptomania of the supply room, taking only those supplies that his day requires.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

You, with Your Tattoo, and I was Safe

This afternoon when you were above me astraddle the bronze gelding outside the library I knew I was in love with you and had to say so almost with tears of joy in my eyes, though you were laughing--no, because you were laughing, using your knees to prod the stiff horse’s greenish flanks the color of a finger patina left by a friendship ring, and not knowing what to do with your arms, since there were no reins to hold, because it was a wild horse (nature skeptical of mounted heroes, of course), one of three splashing in puddles cast of mingled copper and tin and (long after it hardened) a contribution of rainwater directly from nature, but the saying seemed to have no effect on you, and I would have mounted with you if there had been someone to give me a leg up, as I had helped you by lifting you to my shoulders, wobbling and straining while you laughed and carried on, saying “no, no,” all the while trying to get your leg over the huge animal’s back and as, in the aftermath, I would try to help you get down, though you slid easily from the smooth bronze and I only broke your fall.

Bulter Guillermoy, from Gilded Geldings and Horse Pesterers

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Bird, of Course

Might as well admit bewilderment

Must a voice sound confident?

Mind dies, body lives.

Every moment is incomprehensible.

Plum blossoms on a red branch

stuck in a plastic tumbler on a table

of varnished flooring pine.

Smooth surface of someone’s suffering.

Ernest Dow,"Might" from This is it, My Friend

Friday, September 05, 2008

Kate Gets What She Paid For

An Iron, a Goddess, Mercy


seems to be

a reasonable

place to begin

but tea would be even less malleable than thé

than iron is to steel

heavy, hard, dull-with-rust steel,

steel. Temper yields, bends,

makes her stronger, flexible

against any iron divinity;

right/wrong needs mercy.

bending asks for less,

the soft shine like lead

leading one place, one process

after another, justice falling at

the mercy of unstrained

aprés moi le deluge

melting queen and god(dess),

Deleuze incongruous in oregano.

Laissez le canaille mange gateaux

Mange merde et puis mort, reine blanc.

Et laissez les bon temps roulez

The bloody time and the terror

roll on steel wheels, on stones,

wheels mercified with rubber against

the rain (la reine). Les oiseux ancien

squint. Flattened spears, bronze age

cuirasses, wooden samurai armor

precurse the tongue depressor.

A hundred million years ago

unknowns roamed a strange

planet without mercy, without tea.

Lester Mot, from "Pardon My French Fries" in So You Want to Be a Parakeet Handler, p. 60 almost 61