In honor of Michelle Okafo (the more or less grown-up version of the wacky poem writer), who is moving to L.A., meta-class participants and I threw a seven-course meta-dinner last week. However, I wasn’t sure whether or not the dinner could honestly be called meta. Ian Latta, I think, has been more careful in the use of “meta-” than I am. I fear I have been too liberal with the term, so I was wondering whether Ian would consider food that repeats itself meta or not. Because of my doubts, I was more inclined to call the event a self-reflective dinner. So, we had silver balloons and I wore my silver shirt and I served the appetizer on a mirror. (I wanted to cover the tables in Mylar, so we could see ourselves eating, but couldn’t find any.)
This Zemblan pizza rezembles pizza, yet the meaty balls are not meaty sausage but date rolls, the peppers are dried mango, the parsley, green apple skin! The crust is a pancake, the sauce raspberry-strawberry and the cheese — oh, the cheese! — Moscarpone-frosting.
The pizzza is a vegetarian dessert, created by Erica Eller and Kayvon Ghashghai for the metaclass, in honor of vegetarian Dr. Charles Kinbote, who edited the poem “Pale Fire.” In the preface and commentary, Kinbote reveals more about himself, an eccentric, homosexual professor, and more about the colorful, gay king of Zembla, Charles the Beloved, than the writer of the poem, American writer John Francis Shade, whom Kinbote stalks and spies on. Kinbote hopes to impregnate Shade with his own history, which he hopes Shade will turn into great poetry.