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Deep in the Soup Room

Not everybody gets to the cook for the Don.  Those who do get to cook for the Don rarely get to cook his soup.  Those who get to cook his soup rarely are vouchsafed a glimpse of his Soup Room.  Those who are afforded a glimpse of the Soup Room once in a life-time count themselves among the lucky ones.  But I work there and I devise New Soups for the San Genarro festival each year, to amaze the Don’s senses and delight his mind.

Do you want to be amazed at me?  Reflect that before I became sous-soup-chef the soup noodles were thrown in tinkus-rinkus, like the tohu v’bohu of the original chaos, and only upon my arrival did the idea become first suggested, then actually realized that the PAttern of Noodles atop a Soup would form an intricate pattern a

“design of darkness to apall” (Frost)

or, to speak with the vulgar, a congeries of beautiful impressions: stars and moons, cows jumping over the moons, blushing maidens and bold gallants, scimitars, stegosauruses, cenotaphs, centaurs and seraphic Saracens?

Not yet astounded at my abilities?  The flavor of the soup and the pattern of the noodles upon the soup form a pleasing arabesque of space-time so that realizations of what the noodles depict — for first they seem a centaur and then a hippogriff as we procede through the supping of said soup — and realizations of what the flavors are — first a broth of Clam, then a stew of whelk, then a gazpacho of arugula — pleasingly complement each other as the soup takes its soup train past eye and nose then finally to tongue and then finally to Gullet?

But deep in the soup room all is not well.  A young upstart has started to win the Don’s favor.  He is making soup according to his own plans!  Or rather there is no plan.  He throws in herbs, scallops, viands, meats as the spirit strikes him.   The noodles are again hinkus rinkus.  But the odor is amazing!

His soups are displacing my own!

There must be a rapprochement some how, but how?

How can I defeat his my aromas with my guile?

How can I strain out the soupness from the soup?

Rumors exist of a final soup battle.  Where will it take place?  The Don has been arrested and sent to a federal penitentiary.  The BLUE SEA restaurant has been razed and turned into a senior citizen’s center.  The depths of the soup room are depths in name only.  I am not cooking soup with viands and broths but with words and letters and breaths and emotions.  My soup rival is lost to history (some say he became a recluse others a dentist, others that his children are manager of a TGI Friday in Florida) but his spectre exists within my mind.

Deep in the Soup Room I am doing him battle every moment: a Tantric Soup — the soup bowl is my skull, the noodles my nerves and sinews, the meat my heart, the only tongue tasting it is my own.

Soup’s on!  Soupcon.  A soupcon of soup’s on.

And in the back of my mind an incessant slurping like the oars of a boat taking us all the Don knows where.

— Hoboken, 1984

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3 thoughts on “Deep in the Soup Room

  1. Mikey says:

    On the first reading this seems like a straightforward metaphor: the soup is the poetry and the Don is God. But then why would you explain it all at the end if you’re a poet? Now I’m beginning to think the author-is-a-poet subreading is itself a metaphor for something else. But what? Perhaps soup-making? Was Hoboken a poet-soupier who used poetry as a metaphor for his soupierie since his poetry about soup wasn’t enough to convey the beauty of the soup? Or maybe his real poetry was the soup itself and he wasn’t good enough with words to be a word poet?

    I guess if I’m honest I haven’t fully understood what this is all about.

  2. just different ways of living life — thinking you have it worked out, having spontaneous ideas — then whatever you do the world is changing. apocalypse as both revelation and destruction of the old and creation of the new.

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