A butter substitute?

from Ben Lerner – [What, if not the derivative, will keep us warm?] on Rap Genius

Meaning

This line may refer back to the previous stanza—asking whiter the substitutes (a staple, a champagne flute) are actually better alternatives

It also refers to mundane butter subs like I Can’t Believe it’s not Butter!

Lerner expands these gestures, that ask the reader to imply connections between disconnected phrases, in his third book Mean Free Path, c.f.:

I organized, distributed fliers like

   This one

goes out to all
My people were
Possible worlds, encouraging

from “Doppler Elegies”

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