Don't act like y'all don't know where we be neither.

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Showing posts with label Grits. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Grits. Show all posts

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Be Jealous - Cheese Straws and Black Coffee

I'm having cheese straws and black coffee for breakfast...and not doing much else.


A coworker made 'em. He got his Grandma's recipes when she passed. There's some pecan fudge in there and something that taste like a homemade Rollo...but it's the Cheese Straws.

These are sharp ones with heat you can taste. The coffee's bitter and cuts the tang. Like a piece of candy made with cheese grits and heavy cream. I've had bites of filet that weren't this satisfying.

A frigid Cokecola would be even better...but what can't be improved on is the music.

The fella that wrote the bio can be forgiven for referring to R.L. Burnside as an American musician...the writer doesn't seem to be from the U.S...when he is quite obviously a Southern musician. Show me connecticut's or minnesota's answer to Burnside and I'll eat my words like a cheese straw.

What can't be forgiven is the insistence that he is a Delta Bluesman...or has any special connection to The Delta whatsoever. He didn't...full stop. He was from the Hill Country and he played Hill Country Blues.

Aside from the usual brilliance (check that blossoming ring toward the end...the trance he's inducing is only a set up, preparing your mind for a look behind the curtains, for a whiff of transcendence)...this is a bit of a put on too. Before Robert Palmer and Fat Possum...the few folks that came down to record RL Burnside and some of the others wanted the acoustic guitar. Matthew Johnson was very clear when they got Fat Possum together about presenting these players as they were on Sunday nights in Mississippi...plugged in and lewd.

"The Blues ain't nothin' but dance music," R. L. Burnside.

The ethnologists often have a very specific, preconceived idea about the Blues and the people that play it...a very Delta idea (*&^% Delta). This is the same bunch that had a litter of kittens when Mississippi Fred McDowell picked up and electric guitar and...THE VAPORS!!!...brought on a white bass player. The American Studies Department at Yale had to shut down for a week.

Look at the pictures and the difference between the staged photos and how he presented himself on stage. It's the same issue I have with the concept of "folk art"...the suggestion that these people don't have a sophisticated aesthetic understanding of what they are doing...that it really boils down to dumb expression brought on by material pressures.

And cheese straws are just a poor man's attempt at cheezits.

Kiss My Grits!!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Waffle House - Ephemera and Detritus


High Street Waffle House.

After the closing of Tastee Donuts in Fondern, and before the need for wi-fi, I lived there. Waffle House is a Southern wouldn't pass it up if you were in these parts.

A couple of weeks ago, I stopped at a gas station in Poplarville to get a cup of coffee. As I leaned on the hood smoking a cigarette two cars pulled up and out poured 10 kids from Birmingham England. They were on their way from New Orleans to Memphis. Best I could tell they had been having the time of their life.

Two things they were most excited about at the, the Mug Shot papers. You'll find 'em in every gas station. It's just a little paper magazine that reprints the county mug shoots, booking photos, for that month.

"Ohhhh...somebody be'd going to jail over this back home."

And the food..."Waffle House...yeah Waffle House," it kinda echoed around the nodding group.

It wasn't uncommon for Brits to show up at High St. on their way to New Orleans. It was right off the interstate.

"How much farther?"

"Three hours maybe"

Slumped shoulders and a look of total defeat.

The food is scrumptious...when they're clean enough to eat in. Usually the first six months they're fine...then the retired hookers, drug dealers, etc. are moved in and it's a steady decent. Most of the clientele don't care...truckers, cops, working girls and students.

The place is open 24 hours...that's all you really need to know.

High St. was where I got through school and met half the people in my life...and this was my view.


I was sitting in that very spot the night that David Allan Coe asked if he and a very young, very Asian, very stoned woman could have the booth.

It's also the place where I met Allan...our Allan. I was there preparing to start at Millsaps. He was already a superstar there....preparing for a senior year that would end with three Oral and Written comprehensive exams. He left the place with a degree in History, Philosophy and Religious Studies. He would go on to receive a PhD in Philosophy and is now warping young minds in Mobile Alabama. He is most famous for holding the position of non-contributing Philosopher here at Flimsy Cups.


I also met Matt M. there...and for the next four years we spent hours there almost every day. Talking (mostly music and his lady troubles), smoking and drinking as much coffee as they could make. About $1.09 for a bottomless cup back then.


Matt's at Princeton now studying music.

There was Brannon...a kind of brooding figure that delivered papers in the morning and pizzas at night during his last year of high school. He had calculated every dime it would take to pay rent and buy groceries for four years of college. He'd have a hasbrown...but, no smother or cover. That 75 cents might be the difference between having a tube of toothpaste in March or brushing with baking soda.

He was also brilliant and, last I heard, a PhD candidate at Harvard...probably done by now.


The help were ambiguous about our presence. They'd clown with us sometimes...ask for rides home, try to sell us dope...growl about having to make another pot of coffee.

They had their own problems...bail bondsmen, the poleese, ex girlfriends.


What really makes a Waffle House besides never closing and the ash the sound. Stainless steel constantly banging and scraping on cast iron, the ring of plates spinning on linoleum, shouted orders, metal spoons pinging against ceramic coffee cups.

For someone who can't concentrate when it's quiet it was the best possible place to study...and I worked my way through school in that place. That and I doodled.


Sometimes both.

I have stacks of these little tablets...occasionally there are notes but, mostly just doodles and misc. thoughts.

Somehow it all worked out.

We aren't done with the Waffle House.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I am real...really I am

I just got back from the Sister's. We get together for supper every Thursday.

I'm standin' in her kitchen wonderin' why we're havin' chicken when she promised me this morning we'd be havin' breakfast for supper....I'm thinkin' about grits when she says to me...

"Where did you find that hideous painting?"

"I painted it."

"You painted it?"

" it's hideous huh?"

"'s good...I just you know..I thought it was a real painting."

"It is a real painting."

"You know what I mean."

"I'm sure that I don't."

"Like it was painted by a real person."

"I am real."

Well what to think about that?

Evidently I've created something real...which is nice even if it is really hideous.

On the other's realness is exactly what caused her to think I hadn't done it.


"Hideous? Really?"

"Well no...I just..I thought it was a real picture you know? Seriously."

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Post #1

My corner of the house.
The Missus doesn't share my taste in Art, but what can you expect from a woman who claims to not like The Fall.

Really Sugar?

My best friend was in here last night...he hadn't been around since I hung the pictures.  He didn't even notice.  What are you gonna do....he thinks grits are best made with water and that butter is optional.

How did I come to be surrounded by cretins...lovable as they all are?