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September 25, 2023

The Psychotic Kitchen

By Charlie Brice

The Psychotic Kitchen
With thanks to Piotr Skarga for blessing us with
The Lives of the Saints

I made chicken soup today. I took
            the writhing, wailing, whining, flesh-
aggrieved, chicken carcass and boiled it
            for an hour in my big pot while I thought
about the Christian martyrs who were
            boiled alive. Some of them were

boiled alive, right? I know that
            one saint was flayed alive, another
was roasted. The nuns told us
            that he said to his torturers, "I'm done
on this side, turn me over."
            Which reminds me -- the first purchase

my wife and I made was a dual controlled
            electric blanket. We first slept together
in July, 1971, in Denver, Colorado.
            It was 90 degrees outside, she had the AC
on and turned her electric blanket up to Nuke.
            I had dreams of going to hell -- unsettling

for this former Catholic boy after
            some terrific sweaty sex. So, even
before we married, we bought a dual
            controlled electric blanket. We've
been married for 47 years. I guess
            it worked. It just shows what

capitalism is capable of -- something
            for which I'm plenty grateful.
While I'm at it I'd like to thank Sartre
            for upbraiding Heidegger for his outlandish
contention that "death is my ownmost possibility."
            I can see Sartre guffaw through all that Gauloises smoke,

lean over to Simone, and whisper, "My death
            isn't my possibility at all. I'll be dead.
I won't have any possibilities, but you will,
            mon chéri. You'll have to deal with
my nauseating corpse, en sois, and arrange
            my huge-ass funeral" (which she did).

I'd also like to thank Saul Bellow for
            having his deranged scrivener, Herzog,
ask Heidegger just where Dasein landed
            when he fell into the quotidian. It's good
to get concrete, even if it hurts.
            Finally, a big shout-out to Nietzsche

who taught me that an existentialist
            is a tightrope walker.
But what about the chicken carcass?
            The little chicken carcass'
screams were horribly loud --
            well they would have been loud

if the chicken had been a Christian saint.
            Oh and the smell. What does boiled saint
smell like? What did the guy they roasted
            smell like? Pretty bad, I bet. They didn't
have teriyaki sauce in those days.
            If you roasted a saint today, he'd

be marinated in teriyaki sauce
            and he'd smell pretty tasty during
the whole process. Teriyaki sauce --
            now that's progress! You'd still have
to put up with the screaming, the nuns,
            and, of course, The Lives of the Saints.

Article © Charlie Brice. All rights reserved.
Published on 2019-07-01
Image(s) are public domain.
1 Reader Comments
12:43:08 AM
Very funny! We have to laugh at death, I guess, or it'll drive us nuts. I very much like chicken in teriyaki sauce. Never tried a Saint. And indeed, capitalism has made our lives easier, an electric blanket sustained a marriage, wow, it's cool to have a poem that says "fall into the quotidian."
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