Soup to Chase Away the Blues

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A snap and a pinch of dandelion fuzz

14–21 miniature marshmallows, minced

A sip of gasoline siphoned from a Chevy Corvair Greenbrier Sportswagon

3 hand-crumbled mistletoe leaves

The sappiness of an imagined romantic affair in the late evening, suffused with the wispy sensation of falling through soft foliage and cigar smoke, ground coarsely while wearing cocktail attire

14 finely chopped porcupine quills

Harvey Weinstein’s left testicle, whole, washed and rinsed thoroughly

A strand of Schiffli lace from a wedding gown

A phone charger that will no longer fit any phone or adapter

The scent of burnt hair from your toes or a wrist

All of the vowels from a can of alphabet soup

A carefully shredded photo of you and an ex, preferably on a porch sitting in lawn chairs during a Tennessee rainstorm

A warm can of Hamm’s

Some dead skin peeled from a traffic cop’s elbow

That dream you had about the movie Husbands, the one you refer to in your head as Their Dead Friend Stuart. The one that goes like this, the way you tell it: Who’s vomiting in the stall? The door’s open. Cassavetes is right there at the sink. “You guys look terrible,” Ben Gazzara with that hideous red-and-black tam on his head comes barging in, “Why do I get the feeling that you want to be alone?” Falk, so despondent on the floor. “First there were four of us and now there’s three of us. And you want to be alone. Wonderful.” And he storms out. “People barging in on you when you’re sick, either you’re going to be quiet or going to go. Silence.” And, “I feel like screaming.” “I want to tell you how I really feel.” All on the floor of a bar bathroom. “There isn’t a need there.” Whispers echoing against the tile. “I never had a bad thought. The good side of everything.” And so Gazzara comes back in with a cigarette clamped in his lips. Sits on a toilet drinking beer from that wonderful little glass. “Let the dead lie.” A proper thought. And who’s vomiting now? “What a terrible smell,” as someone pounds on the door. “Hand me the paper.” “You got some on your foot there, right there.” “Come over here.” “Oh, you stink. That silly son of a bitch is on the door.” “A private moment about Stuart.” “You can’t even vomit. And you’ve got no sense of humor.” “Nobody calls me a phony.” So much bustling about. “Shake hands.” “You want a dime, I’ll give you a dime.” “How’s that for a two-day venture? What’s my number? I forgot my number.” “Give me a beer.” And then someone’s beating up a payphone. “Archie, look what I did to the phone booth. I like you guys better. I am a jerk. Let’s go home and get it over with. I love you. I’ll kill you. I love you.”

2 shot glasses of Sycamore sap

A small portion of the stuffing from a pillow that you don’t use anymore but can’t bring yourself to throw away because it still smells like the hair of someone you used to love

Roman Polansky’s nose, cut to digestible pieces

4 potatoes grown under a cement garden, unwashed, mashed by fist

A package of frozen yellow corn that has been kept in the freezer for at least 5 years, hidden beneath various TV Dinners and other microwavable delights

A burlap sack of guilt (the sack being one that was used at a dad-and-lad sack race in which the contestants came in third, afterwards the dad berating the lad for being a stupid slow sack of shit, and that 3rd-place finishes meant you lost and therefore were and would always be a loser, according to the dad)

1/2 cup of Shut The Fuck Up

Your favorite line from a Raymond Chandler novel, enunciated gruffly without any pretense, but just a flick of garlic salt over the shoulder

Any old phone numbers or addresses that you don’t want to remember anymore (may substitute with a song you can’t get out of your head, if applicable)

2/3 cup of wild wallflower petals seasoned equally with desolation and togetherness

The crushed roots of a broken promise blended on pulse to a bitter pulp

The liquid wrung from 7 moist towelettes

The mesh lining from a maroon trucker hat of which the front reads, “It used to be wine, women, and song…Now it’s beer, the old lady, & TV!”

All of your worst judgment and best times clinked together in old mayonnaise jars and then poured over your regret

An old cowboy’s scarf, caked with sweat and dried snot


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