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Squid #537
(published May 5, 2011)
Ask the Giant Squid: The Supper Party as Valhalla
Who is Poor Mojo's Giant Squid?
Dear Giant Squid,

If you could choose any five literary people—real or imagined, living or not, friends or otherwise—for a gathering (lunch, tea party, etc) who would they be?


My Dearest Friends:

It is with great pleasure that I announce my return to the world of the belle lettres, having only just recently placed a manuscript into the inquisitive journal of uncanny sciences, The Shimmer, which can be purchased at the following location: Shimmer 13.

Before continuing to read of this missive, I demand that you go forth and purchase the magazine for six dollars, which I am certain you can afford.

Ah, now, returned?


It was upon the occasion of this publication that I was called upon to reminisce about my history in the world of publishing, and you can read upon some of my abbreviated responses in the interview published at the Shimmer website.

However, the question noted above was of particular interest to me, and I thought that, in honor of my return to the world of printed paper publishing I might offer to you, noble readers, an expanded answer for your pleasure and edification:

If you could choose any five literary people—real or imagined, living or not, friends or otherwise—for a gathering (lunch, tea party, etc) who would they be?

H.P. Lovecraft, Mark Twain, Emily Dickinson, David Foster Wallace, and Murasaki Shikibu, as reliable records indicate that these have been humanity's most full-flavored literary figures (I prefer not to include imagined characters, as any statements as to their savor or mouthfeel would be mere speculation. Also, it should go without saying that David Foster Wallace's bandana would be reserved to make a soup stock.)

It is worth noting that I did in fact choose these characters based on a slighly more sophisticated set of metrics beyond only "reliable records". Primarily, the additional metric used was "as compared to other historical literary figure who I have supped upon."

Here now are a list of four figures who I have supped upon, and why they did not meet up to my high gustatory standards.

  1. Zeno of Elea: While not strictly a literary figure, Sir Mr. Zeno, student of Parmenides (and by 'student' I mean 'devoted lover'), was indeed opportunely consumed by me when I acted as warden of the primary penitentiary of Elea under the rein of a monarch whose name, even today, I am contractually obligated to conceal. And by 'warden', I mean 'ravenous monster', and by 'penitentiary', I mean 'watery pit beneath the throne where subjects are cast screaming for the pleasure and delight of the court.' By 'monarch', I of course mean 'half-insane despot', and by 'contract' I mean 'somebody asked me if I wanted to live in a wet pit and be fed screaming constituents and I didn't ask any questions.' As he descended, his cries reverberated against the uneven walls of the pit, causing an unfolding cascade of pleasurable cacophony which multiplied, and then multiplied again, my own delight. However, this intense logarithmic joy quickly escalated beyond any sense, and as his toes approached the event horizon of my gaping beak-maw, I realized that the mathematics of the event had approached an unmanageable extreme of experience, contorting back upon themselves. I took in half his leg, and then half of the remaining half, and then half yet again of the half which still remained, and on and on, his scrotum approaching and yet never quite arriving, the joy building and building, and yet never plateauing. My optically perfect eyes widened. We are there still, he and I, the leering visage of the despot hanging above us like some lecherous bloody moon. From that day on, I have sworn off the consumption of all pre-Socratics. I had the opportunity, in fact, to sup upon the femur of Pythagoras (this was presented to me at a private event, and by 'private event' I mean to say 'Occult initiation into an inner esoteric sect of south Italian Mafioso whereupon I acted as Guardian of the Council Fire, and by 'Guardian of the Council Fire', I mean to say 'vicious squid dredged up from the Adriatic for the occasion of terrifying the initiates such that they befoul their trousers before having awkward sex with one another and by 'initiates' I mean to say 'Cardinals of the The Universal Catholic Church' and by 'Cardinals' I mean to say 'Trans-dimensional Nightmare Shoggoths who have assumed the fair-draping of human flesh' and by 'Trans-dimensional' I mean to say 'From New Jersey''). Suffice it to say, I declined the offer of the femur.
  2. Saint Augustine: As per a very odd contract I was offered when down on my luck in the subterranean Mediterranean I did once eat the live flesh of Augustine. It was an oddly wintery day, as I recall. The olives shriveled and died on their branches from the frost. In those days—as in so many days—I was quite desperate for work and for pay to feed my terrible ouzo habits. Ah, that drink does make fools and assassins of us all. A pair of scandalous priests dressed in crimson cassocks had set forth a plan whereby I would snatch Augustine (not yet, of course, a saint) from a split-back bridge that snuggled close to the waterline like eyebrows on a neanderthal. Augustine would be devoured or drowned and the crimson priests would replace him with an Augustine of their own, a deeply libidinous man known for his whoring and gustatory showmanship. But alas, all did not go according to plan. Augustine was quicker than I expected and I only managed to devour an ear from the side of his ripe head before he scrambled onto shore. I blame the ouzo, that damnable drink! His ear tasted of prunes and dust, of pages chewed by worms with notes of pious oatmeal blandness. Shockingly the crimson priests went forward with their plan anyways and the two Augustines battled in the streets for a year and a day.
  3. Basho:

    leathery, rice skin;
    acidic rot in the flesh;
    sweet brain parasite

  4. John Updike: When we lay together, after one especially vigorous mating session, Updike spoke at length of the beauty of adultery. The Great Man wrote extemporaneous odes to all the undergraduate students he had bedded in his day, all the marriages he had wrecked with his mighty member. It was stunning to witness him at work, like bathing in the sun itself. I was a graduate student at the time and not in any relationship per se. Updike was to sexual congress as a sailor to the sea. He sought out every pleasure imaginable and sunk himself into it until he could no longer breathe. The greatest of his writing reflects this and shall never be seen by human eye, so potent is the libido within. I tasted his flesh quite on accident on day three of our lovemaking marathon where in a state of ecstatic frenzy I nipped off three of his toes from his leftmost foot. He was furious and banished me from his silken, jumbled bed. I wept with stifled flames. His toes tasted of regret, of promises shattered on the whim of a stiffening cock, and of mildew.

Dear readers, if you know of any especially fine-tasting authors with a robust mouthfeel with notes of avarice, splendor, and honeysuckle and a lingering taste of ennui on the tongue, do tell.

I remain,
The Giant Squid

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