AN ABJECT ALPHABET

IN THE TIME ZONE began its life as a coalescing container for several different writing and media arts projects, moving all forward in time. As someone with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder I have long been driven by the alphabet. I had written an initial “Abject Alphabet” in the 80s, with many letters of the alphabet published in magazines like Grain and Prairie Fire, but the work didn’t seem to be going anywhere. IN THE TIME ZONE now exists as 10 minute digital media episodes of readings of my poetry animated with graphics.Thanks to donors I’ve been able to contract the services of Murray Toews, Jim Van Duesen (additional voices)and Kevin Cockle (original music.)Each episode costs $2000 or more to make and we’re in this until we get to Z. You can help by donating to the GoFundMe campaign here.

Donors get thanked on the closing credits, and a first look at each episode or trailker. Murray has just finished a stunning self-contained animated short for the Letter E that I wrote called “LOOK,” voiced by Jim Van Duesen. Any donor this month gets a free view in advance, and it’s worth every penny you can part with. (Victor says, believe you me!)

Follow the links below to see each episode on YouTube:

LETTER A – Beat The Clock

LETTER B – Some Assembly Required

LETTER C – Clothes Get On My Nerves

LETTER D – In The Time Zone

LETTER E – Preview of Opening Titles

EACH EPISODE CONTAINS SELECTIONS FROM THIS LIST OF WORK IN PROGRESS

  • THE ABJECT ALPHABET introduces each episode, 
  • Pieces of my mind/my body in parts for this series….will become a memoir for publication called My Life in Pieces in 2024. 
  • Dead Mennonites (title shortened for videocast) a.k.a the Mennonite Book of the Dead Read by Jim Van Duesen 
  • And He Was (plays off Talking Heads, and injects some levity)read by Jim Van Dusen. 
  • Dispatches from the Pain Room; vivid testimony of how much it hurts, will morph into an art show called WITNESS in a Winnipeg Gallery rented to open in November 2022. 
  • Jimmy Bang Blues Project – cover song poems, blues, misplaced lyrics –about drinking depression and suicidal ideation
  • Shrapnel(from an unruly mind) Not yet fully developed, but includes scrambled passages from tens of thousands of emails and letters.

IMAGINARY CONVERSATION

 

 

Bruise

You see this bruise?
The one on your leg?

Yeah that’s the one just underneath my birthmark.
What about it?

I got that skiing downhill at Innsbruck.
You’ve never been to Innsbruck! You don’t even know how to ski.

You try to convince my bruise of that!
Where else do you think I could’ve got it?

 

 

 

 

A NEW TO ME SOUP I MADE YESTERDAY

ROASTED RED PEPPER TOMATO SOUP

This is a soup I have been wanting to make for years, ever since Hermano’s in Winnipeg was out of reach. Sometimes Safeway/Sobey’s had one, but but yes, time to make my own.

STEPS TO TOMATO SOUP ECSTACY 

Halve 3 perfect bright to darkening red red bell peppers, take out seeds and pith.  Halve the halves again. Put parchment paper (foil might be faster, bright side up)into a full sized cookie sheet. I used a little olive oil, though not entirely necessary I gather. Peppers go on the sheet inside down.

Roast 3 Prepped peppers starting at 425, and leaving them there, for 25to  30 minutes or down to 400 depending on your stove. Charring is necessary, and in frustration I ended up using broil with the rack still in the middle. Watch carefully!

Peel 3 quartered roasted peppers when cooled, set aside.

Saute small onion and 3 crushed garlic cloves with butter and olive oil in your soup pot, add one finely chopped carrot (means you can skip any sugar you see in recipes,though peppers should bring enough sweetness anyway) and celery stalk.

Chop the red pepper pieces, (this is all going into a blender) and add to the pot.
Season with dry oregano, fresh and/or dry basil, fresh ground black pepper, a dry chili pepper and/or pepper flakes to taste. I was lucky (Thanks brother!)to use a dried “heritage” chili pepper, seeds from Ukraine. I don’t add salt. Keep an eye on anything you put into the soup that already has salt in it. You can season to taste at the end.

Add 28 oz. diced tomatoes, and a whole
6 oz can(!) of tomato paste. (Finally a recipe that uses it all!)

Prepare vegetable stock (from bullion will do, but don’t use those containers of made broth) have milk ready, can be coconut milk, but I used cow milk)

Add some stock

Add some milk

This is where the alchemy happens. You will have your own desired chili pepper heat, and desired texture. This soup is not about the chili peppers, onions or garlic. It’s about the red peppers and tomatoes, basil is the flavour forward, but the roasted red peppers take this soup to another and very tasty level.

Cook, on the stove thirty minutes or less… carrots are cooked for sure.

BLEND: (MORE ALCHEMY) have milk and stock beside blender. Ladle no more than 2 cups of soup at a time depending on your blender (I have an old Oster I love). Press Blend low, Press Blend High using milk and or stock judiciously to achieve the desired texture.
Pour into serving bowl. Garnish with basil leaves

ENJOY! Serve yourself. Croutons instead of biscuits if you must. I made sure I had a fresh basil leaf and a dab of Plain Balkan Yogurt.

I’ve heard it freezes well, but won’t know this time around.

Victor Enns reads and writes poetry and fiction. Afghanistan Confessions, poems in the voice of Canadian soldiers, was published in 2014, boy in 2012. Lucky Man (2005) was nominated for the McNally Robinson Manitoba Book of the Year award.