Melt is a poet and artist who was born in Chicago. Their work proudly documents Chicago’s queer and trans communities. Their writing has been published in many places including Lambda Literary, Newcity, The Offing, and Them, the first trans literary journal in the United States. They are the author of The Plural, The Blurring (Red Beard Press 2015). H. Melt works at the Poetry Foundation and Chicago’s feminist bookstore.
Here, they talk about the quintessential deli experience, their favorite Ben & Jerry’s flavors, and a passion for hot dogs.
On their all-time favorite meal:
I love a good Jewish deli spread. The whole experience—from going to the deli (Kaufman’s in Skokie), grabbing a number from the red dispenser, waiting in line with a bunch of old people, and picking pickles out of the barrel—it reminds me of home and family. I’m a big fan of lox, garlic bagels, and corned beef.
On their favorite meal of the day:
Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. There’s no competition. I always want breakfast for dinner. Some of my favorite breakfast foods to make include chocolate chip pancakes, breakfast tacos with chorizo, scrambled eggs, and veggies, fruit smoothies, and I also like making banana bread.
On snacking while writing:
I love beverages and it usually helps my writing process to have a (non-alcoholic) drink by my side. One of the best presents I’ve ever received was an iced tea maker. I love making pitchers of half black tea and half lemonade. I also enjoy making fresh-squeezed juices, especially during the summer.
On their go-to late-night snack:
Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. I went to school in Vermont where Ben & Jerry’s was founded in a gas station. My favorite flavors are Half Baked, Phish Food, Americone Dream, and Milk & Cookies. I’ve been to the factory, where they have the flavor graveyard. RIP Fossil Fuel.
On their food quirks:
I really love fruit. I eat several pieces of fruit a day. I also love putting potato chips on my sandwiches. I don’t like soup, which one of my coworkers at Women & Children First jokingly said was my “one flaw.”
On their final meal request:
My last meal would probably be a Chicago hot dog. No sport peppers please. It must be Vienna Beef. My kitchen is Chicago themed, with an emphasis on hot dog art. I feel very passionate about hot dogs.