Anchovies Juris d. Ahn Part 1 “Fishy Smell” I mean anchovies I write sardines, I live in fear of becoming my father doesn’t the fear betray you too? I blame cans with keys and misremembered games -- all of us stuffed in a closet, body on body breath on breath, innocent doesn’t mean not erotic, erogenous adults take a gift too far in either direction, if you ask me You don’t, and so we draw a line and say “That’s the problem with culture.’ like this one glorifying you and me, occupying this small space with its excess of others Previously, Mesopotamian and Sumerian cults adopted the cattle pen as model for non-royal housing, architecture continued today, sanctified, sanitized sacrifices hidden in the floors, ceilings walls No wonder, occasionally, we get a whiff, a slightly fishy-smell
Part 2 “Fishy Taste” There was a book, published by my favorite occult press called, ‘Zen Without Zen Masters’ I never read from cover to cover, this doesn’t mean I don’t remember the method For example “You solo-dine at your favorite restaurant and order your favorite meal. Savor it. The next day, go back, now order something you hate. Savor it. become the person who would love, love not the commercialized love the real ecstatic deal -- Love, love for one moment transforms the whole world, a cosmos of the singular, “Ahh!” or “O” depending on which end of the Innocence and Experience, spectrum you lie. See how easy, it is to become someone else? We’re doing it right now -- cloth on cloth, skin on skin this closet, a biological Faraday cage, wrapped as we are in each other’s electro-magnetic-cardio fields, our hearts synchronizing, freeing us from other transmissions Although my resistance has faded with age I could never get over the fishy taste.
Part 3 “Oysters are Different” How can an autobiography, use the second person? I would argue although you wouldn’t listen, placing me outside where I belong autobiographies rely upon their eaters, at this table at least, let us be honest, avoid hyphenation, and the dilution by let’s, don’t you agree? See, you’re already a participant, the most important member of this team. Now, since you know, how I love them, you ask, “What about oysters?” “Well, Oysters are different” I could stop there, Oyster haters would celebrate “Yes, they’re different. They’re slimy. They’re too salty They cleaned New York Harbor, until our greedy ancestors ate them up with a never-ending dawn to dusk dusk to dawn slurp And you would be correct -- Don’t you feel good? This is about you, not I, remember? I meant the opposite, this side of the keyboard, with your foot pressed against my ear, and you lying on my chest, each inhale strained as much from the weight, as the Co2 buildup If you don’t stop tickling me, they will find us too soon this packed together, will become a distant memory frozen in a block of time, waiting to become an ice- sculpture, dripping with impermanence at the end of our banquet -- I describe oysters as the taste of ocean under the dock, to which the naysayers say “Ewww.” Maybe I should say “Tidepool,” instead? The sense of discovery, the obliteration of self by the trapped sting-ray gliding over Brown-red-white sand, as unnamed Green-blue fronds wave gently at their passing. This is right, isn’t it? You can feel it, the sweet-salty, wet punctuated by dry, ocean outside calling our ocean inside -- my parents knew very little about wine for 10 years I harbored a deep distrust of mussels -- not for the gathering -- despite the cuts, the hanging in tidepools the glistening rainbowed black rocks the hunter-gatherer genes fully satisfied -- the cheap white -- destroyed the taste. I didn’t know any better and like you, if you followed the same trajectory__________________________ out to the edge years before experience taught us better. Once I was hungry in Homer, Alaska hitchhiking all-day taking a break from the fish factory, sitting on the wooden delineation between land and liminal waters, where East becomes West and back again, depending on the tide, Saw the pizza joint, on the docks, sitting over waved waters, framed by the cry of seabirds And both snow-covered and steaming______volcanic mountains interrupting the transit between Russia, China, Japan and other bespoke horizons, contributing to my decision to order steamed mussels I’d been wrong all along, again Our rightness was suspended, in garlic and butter with good sherry and parsley, shallots grown locally in andisol loam What does this have to do with anchovies? A good question, unless, you are for or against defeating the purpose, creating a division where previously, only a whole allegory on the transience of taste, lay between the tableware -- I would be forced to answer “The reason we are in this mess, is the ill-considered conversion of taste into morals Enforcing the arbitrary as if inevitable like those damn Puritans and their silly cloths -- I always thought anchovies were a good idea Having adopted the fancy-restaurant while special occasioning or traveling ethos of hand made omelets and trying everything, going further later in the day, tasting what lay embedded on crushed-ice As has been stated, previously I loved the snotty oyster and if it had tentacles give me -- Of course, they’re smart, but I cut back when I saw them outwit, smarter than most but still a favorite with dolphins, the brighter happier mammals. -- The very, very adult treat anchovies on a pizza seemed a natural part of the imagined tests Innocence believes before passing thru developmental- stages -- Why is your hand crushed down, between producing a shiver and a new longing? As a middle-aged adult traveling with my partner’s adult children in Denmark, at the Pizza place, because as Americans, you need to, don’t you? Of course, being on the continent a shared landmass produces authentic Italian, by which, it seemed, less marred by industrialization than what we were habituated to. Remembering the mussels, ordered an authentic Napoli pizza starring anchovies, and some of you will believe me at a deeper level than others when I say, “They were disgusting,” I also said “Every few years I need to order anchovies to remind myself how much I hate ‘em” And of course, no one got it I remember as teens, raw eggs swallowed by the dozen or the time, I had everyone eat graveyard dirt it seemed like the action we needed and wanted to change the direction of the situational discomfort Once you have seen a waiter, mix a bowl of caesar salad dressing by the table on the cart with the one wobbly wheel You can’t go back you can’t unmix the raw eggs and the Parmesan Reggio and the peppery fresh cut-grass olive oil and garlic. Despite the tuxedo, his energetic whisking would fail without the bass beat of the anchovies
Parts 4 thru 7 on the ‘morrow, maybe, y’all.