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🍷 Hot People Host a Dinner Party 🍽️
it's such a beautiful day to bathe naked in potato salad
Assuming all hot people have had their spring awakenings by now, it’s time to take our newfound selves and show them off at a PTK-themed fête. You’re invited: to 🍷🍽️ Hot People Host a Dinner Party!! 🍷🍽️ This five-course tasting menu (with a wine pairing!) features work from Caitlin Walton, Melanie Wroblewska, Kyle TM, James Daniels, and Skye Na.
🍸 Aperitif: “Tesco Value Whiskey” by Caitlin Walton
About Caitlin (she/her): I struggle with body image and use painting as a way to combat that. I do this by using my body as reference for all the figures in my work. This allows me to see myself in a different light as momentarily I am no longer concerned with how other people see me, I'm just interpreting my own self. I change features such as gender, skin tone, weight, muscle etc. so that I can include lots of different beautiful bodies in my art. However, I still get a sense of putting my physical form into my work as well as my emotional self. Follow Caitlin @worminthewhiskey.
🥗 Amuse-bouche: “Untitled (Mayo)” by Melanie Wroblewska
It's such a beautiful day to bathe naked in potato salad. Backstroking in chunks of Kewpie mayo covered vegetables. My hair is covered in creamy white gunk. I feel like a princess. You can call me Bona Sforza - queen of root vegetables. My lashes are longer than fresh dill, nipples redder than beets and thighs pale like egg shells. Wearing a tight chastity belt made out of potato skin and desperately waiting for you. I'd gently whip your body with sautéed carrot leaves and tie your hands in parsley. Pardon for my bad breath, I ate too much.
About Melanie (she/her): Born 1998 in Chicago. An artist involved in writing and performance. Mainly creates works inspired by the "outcasts" of society she meets while traveling the world alone. Based on this information, she writes texts that may be considered absurd, bizarre. Her poetry is characterized by its unconventional and abstract nature. Her writing is filled with a wide range of seemingly random and disconnected imagery. Wroblewska's writing also often deals with themes of the body and physical sensations, with imagery that is both grotesque and sensual. The use of food imagery is also prevalent, often used in a way that blurs the boundaries between the physical and the symbolic. Follow Melanie @melaniewroblewska
🍟 Appetizer: “SpongeBob Square Potatoes” by Kyle TM
slab of gold mined from the oil pits of fast food’s back room SpongeBob square potatoes in hash brown hot tub slide: // into sleeve // into DMs (desperate mouths) // into thrones of polished porcelain buzzcut king cub held aloft by painted primate and swelling strings loop loop loopoop looped through cardboard, colon, composite pipes is this a desert if grass grows? is this an ocean if oil flows?
About Kyle TM (he/him): Kyle TM is a poet-adjacent massager of mediums and deformer of forms attempting to contain his exploding mind in haiku- and tanka-like objects (which he calls Hi-Q). Or, more recently, sonnet-like shapes (like this one published in And Now, A Sonnet). He also posts a lot of these things to his website: kyletm.com. Kyle also hopes you have a good day and reminds you to breathe. Follow Kyle @thekyletm on instagram and @email@example.com on Mastodon.
🍔 Main: “The Cheeseburger Essay” by James Daniels
ALERT! This essay containers spoilers about the 2022 film, “The Menu”. So skip the main and scroll down to desert if you don’t want to know what happens…
A few months after I graduated with a BA in Russian and Spanish from university, I finally landed a job. I became a barista at a Caffe Nero forty minute’s bus ride from my parent’s house. I was relieved the pressure on my overdraft was about to be eased, excited to pick up a new skill and meet new people, and glad to have something to fill my time with. I was also downright eager to be in a position where I would be serving people. Most of the jobs I had been applying for were related to non-profit organisations or political campaigns. I was not at all sure what I actually wanted to do for my ‘career’ but I knew I wanted to help people. It was easy for me to compare the jobs I had been hoping for to the one I ended up getting, easy for me to talk in interview about how much I genuinely enjoyed providing people with a high-quality and pleasant service, how it came naturally to me to go the extra mile to improve someone else’s day. And even though, inevitably, my experience at Caffe Nero led me to resent the appearance of customers or the regional manager and hope when I was on a close that if we brought the outside furniture in early people might not even try coming in, I don’t believe I have lost any of that desire to be of service. My current role is as a funerals specialist. I had a very negative experience with the management at my first office job but I wanted to continue increasing my salary and transferable skills - to put me in a better position for the day I magically realised my calling - so I was looking at an eclectic mix of operations and communications roles I might move into. On a coffee/job-hunting date with a friend, I discovered a funeral director role available in the local area, and responded to my friend’s lighthearted distaste for the macabre by searching the nation for a role within the death sector. I could picture a career for myself - an opportunity for me to remove some small amount of stress and try to ease, even slightly, what can be the hardest time of people’s lives. I could see myself being of use, and I again spoke confidently in interview about my dedication to improving the lives of both my coworkers and customers in any way I could. I still feel happy in this role - bar the long hours - and content with my ability to reduce, even slightly, the difficulty of this time in people’s lives. But I am struggling to see this as my ‘career’. And in fact it was a film recommendation from one of my coworkers which helped me to finally identify exactly why I have suffered such intrusive discontent. I watched The Menu, and I cried at the cheeseburger scene. (Admittedly I was high.) For those unfamiliar, The Menu is a sort of horror/thriller/black comedy wherein a lauded chef designs a murderous menu for a very specific and ultra-wealthy guest list. The one exception amongst the guests is Anya Taylor-Joy’s character Margot, a sex worker who ultimately has more in common with the fanatical food workers than the rich foodies she arrived with. She bonds with the chef, and is able to escape the total slaughter which completes the menu when she asks him to make her a cheeseburger. She tells the chef the menu thus far has left her dissatisfied due to its lack of content, its focus on pretention and message rather than actual food, and requests a cheeseburger instead. We see the chef’s first genuine smile of the film as he lovingly prepares this food, and when she asks for the rest to go he has it boxed for her. In this scene I saw the synthesis of my job dissatisfaction, my political leanings, and my beliefs about humanity. Earlier in the film, Margot and the chef have a conversation about the pleasure they find in serving people, bringing joy or satisfaction or contentment to people. Easing some of their stress and giving them a reminder of the good. The chef loses that as he pursues michelin stars and more funding and higher recognition for his art, because all of this is tied to the existence of the insanely wealthy and requires catering to pretension and profit. These people do not lead difficult lives with stress that can be eased by a nice meal cooked for them that won’t add another task - washing up - to their day. They require convoluted narratives behind their meals to satisfy their egos, their surety of their intellectual status and their existing knowledge of cuisine that they have had the leisure time to develop. They belong to a group where there are no limitations enforced by either socioeconomic conditions or their own spiritual discipline, so taste continues to proliferate in complexity, convolution and pretension. A taste that is inevitably corrupted by the profit motive, with price tag and distance from proletariat experience working in a loop to inflate each other and drive up perceived value. The exclusivity of the dining experience is key to its appeal, its price tag and perceived intellectual, cultural and artistic value are key to this exclusivity, and its exclusivity is in turn justified by both its price tag and its perceived intellectual, cultural and artistic value. Similar to a financial market saturated with endless rounds of shorts, there is little connection retained between the actual labour undertaken and its monetary value. The chef fell in love with cooking as a service. As a means of bringing joy and pleasure to people. I don’t cater to the super-rich (though to an extent I have in a previous position), but I related to this wanting to do something good for people and perform to the best of my abilities, and finding it inevitably corrupted by wealth and the profit incentive. I was never as passionate about coffee as Ralph Fiennes’ character was about food. In my jobs to date, I have not found particular joy in the work I do but in the impact it can have on other people. Perhaps this film encapsulates why I am in part reluctant to try and monetise the other things I am truly passionate about. Perhaps it is because I am so eager to be of service in whatever fashion I can that it has taken me so long to articulate this. Perhaps it’s time, equipped with my pop-culture reference and real-world experience, I re-read what Marx had to say about workers’ alienation from labour in capitalist systems. (Warning: examining the film in its entirety will diminish the Marxist element, though by no means erode it entirely)
-’…and then I realised, Tang See, that these so-called friends of mine have been exploiting my labour for years.’ -’An astute observation. Conforms with Marxist theories about the exploitation of the proletariat.’ -’It completely conforms, when you think about it.’ I don’t know what I’ll end up doing next for money. I wish I didn’t have to be concerned with that. I just want to smile while labouring at a cheeseburger, and then serve it to you for no other reason than your enjoyment.
About James (he/him & they/them): James is a trans writer born in Hertfordshire who spent half his formative years in Catalunya. Much like himself, his prose and poetry have both found varied homes over the last few years. Financial circumstances allowing, he hopes to have completed a master's before finally receiving gender-affirming treatment from the NHS - an extremely gentle deadline.
🍰 Dessert: “Party” by Skye Na
a cake full of cherries on top the cherries are candied cherries Are you the one who listens carefully Or the one who likes coke? Are you the one who lies asleep on your right side Or the one who gets bored? Giving something mixed with something else when you speak your heart a thorough cherry cake Do I smell like dogs? when dogs come There’s a sort of person like that A sort of person good at dividing people into sorts tickle shake as if you’re in love Why are you acting like that? like the lake where everything looks like two I wish you were a wizard I wish one of the two is not true the cherry seldom says nothing because no dogs come cherries never betray a cherry cake that listens to your story
About Skye (she/her): A sad poet based in Berlin who is a Muggle and even allergic to cats. Follow Skye @iamsky421
🍬 Petit Fours: PRINTABLE ZINE
Instructions for zine:
Download this PDF file front and back on a single sheet of A4 paper (or A3 if you want a bigger zine! we also suggest a slightly thicker paper so the ink doesn’t bleed through, or you can also print it on two separate pages and have a zine + poster!)
Fold along solid lines and cut along dotted line (follow this little diagram I found online to make it easier!)
Host a dinner party and gift everyone this zine!!
☕ Night Cap or Coffee?
Wowww, are we full!! We’ll be laying horizontal for all eternity - or at least until our next issue, “❤️🔥 Hot People Are in a Situationship 💔” drops next month. 😉 Speaking of future issues, if you liked this one and want to support more PTK zines being made a reality, drop Kelly & Larissa a tip on ko-fi:
If you’re feeling satiated, please subscribe to PTK and share this issue with your friends!!