Saturday, March 30, 2013

Jessy Randall's Guide to Books & (non-alcoholic) Booze

Time to grab a book and get tipsy!

Books & Booze  premiered as a new mini-series of sorts here on TNBBC back in October. The participating authors were challenged to make up their own drinks, name and all, or create a drink list for their characters and/or readers using drinks that already exist. 

In the Spirit of Carrie Nation

I don’t drink (my father was an alcoholic), so my Guide to Books & Booze will be in the spirit of Carrie Nation, 19th century axe-wielding teetotaler.

Injecting Dreams into Cows is a collection of poems. I know, yuck, right? Well, that’s what I think about alcoholic drinks, so shut up. These poems are about robots, video games, phone sex, Muppets, and Pippi Longstocking (not all at the same time).

“Your Brain,”  a poem about my first kiss, is a two-liter bottle of warm Tahitian Treat, because that’s what was available at the Saturday night Doctor Who get-togethers where I got to know that boy. Also available: Doritos. So, I had Dorito breath for my first kiss, but so did he, so I guess it’s all right.

“The Consultant,”  which gives my book its title, is a chocolate egg cream, because both almost always require additional information. “The Consultant” is a strange poem and I don’t really have an explanation for it. I can, and have, given instructions to servers at ice cream parlors on how to make an egg cream, even though egg creams appear on their menus. When they look confused at my order, I can’t change it, because if there’s a chocolate egg cream on offer, I want it. So I walk them through the recipe (it’s basically chocolate milk with seltzer in it).


The lavender lemonade at Shuga’s in Colorado Springs is the drink for “Muppet Suite,” because they are both a bit sour when you expect them to be sweet, with (I hope) some complexity to the taste. Shuga’s also sells a ginger lemon tea so spicy it bites you in the mouth. I don’t have a poem like that, I don’t think. Well, maybe “Phone Sex with You.”  

“She Confuses Up with Down”   has to be milk in a juice glass with a dinosaur on it, because that’s the usual drink of my children.


Jessy Randall’s poems, poetry comics, diagrams, and other things have appeared in Asimov’s, McSweeney’s, Mudfish, Painted Bride Quarterly, Rattle, and Sentence; they have also been hung from trees, hidden in birdhouses, and sold in gumball machines. Her new collection of poems is Injecting Dreams into Cows (Red Hen Press, 2012). She is the Curator of Special Collections at Colorado College, where she co-teaches a class on the history and future of the book. Her website is and she blogs about library shenanigans at  

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