For the love of god, its just a god damned waffle.
For the love of God, calm down. It's a waffle. Joshua Resnick / shutterstock.com

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It's no secret that the food pornographers of Pinterest, Instagram, and the Food Network present a highly aestheticized relationship between who we are and what we eat, but it's easy to forget how powerfully this new mode—the barrage of filtered vegetables and French words—influences the way we interact with food. The fetish for photogenic food, in part, inflates the price of a fucking salad to $12, heirloom tomatoes to $6 a pound, and makes us think that Shucksan strawberries are any different from strawberry strawberries.

Now don't get me wrong: I love all that shit. I consume the Food Network. I even eat mediocre food while watching Barefoot Contessa because I think it makes my cooking taste better. (I'm so alone.) Sidebar: What's "the good vanilla," and why does Ina always want us to use it when we're poaching pears?

This is all to say that you will not want to eat while reading Elissa Washuta's latest memoir, Starvation Mode, out from Instant Future, an imprint of the great small press from Portland, Future Tense Books. But you should get to the Hugo House by 7 p.m. tonight to listen to her read from the book.

Washuta's relationship with food isn't tricked out in Inkwell, it's a saga defined by survival, struggle, and psychological and biological pain. The sentences are dramatic and roiling, enacting through alliteration the mechanisms—not the aesthetics—at play during eating:

My maw’s joyless mastication processes protein—the mouth
is the site of the body’s acceptance of food so that it might
pulverize it, break it into its essential components, absorb it,
and assimilate it. Every cell, tissue, and organ is made of food.

Washuta's interested in the grotesqueness of food, the utility of food, the weird ways we play with food and the weird ways food plays with us, which is, strangely, a refreshing perspective.

In related Hugo House news: The new Literary Series schedule is up and looking very good. Two events to get pumped about:

November 20. Roger Reeves is coming. His Copper Canyon book King Me deservedly won a bunch of fancy literary awards and contained about five poems that should be on their way into the canon and 20 or so that I really liked. He'll will be reading with Leslie Jamison, author of the surprise hit The Empathy Exams.

February 12, 2016. D.A. Powell, one of the USA's great literary poets, is going to share a stage with Stranger Genius Award nominee OCnotes, one of Seattle's most eclectic talents. This pair makes total sense to me. D.A. Powell is a prolific, mercurial poet. OCnotes is a prolific, mercurial musician. On this night in February, the twain shall meet.