Today's poem is by Matthew Guenette

Vortex: The Super-Sized Supermarket

For more than once
            I've been elbowed in the ribs, made to ask

                        where are the q-tips? Where the re-fried beans?
            For I've wandered cheese aisles so long

they had storm drains,
            seen rows of frozen pizzas

                        vanishing like pins on the horizon.
            What remains when you catch yourself

humming something vanilla,
            say Billy Joel's "In the Middle of the Night,"

                        but to set your head on fire?
            Into what have we been undone,

receding from ourselves
            as ice defrosts to mist. For one more

                        magazine charting the celebrity progress
            of a partying heiress rotting,

like a fish.
            For one more mug shot of Tom Cruise

                        who looks just fucking crazy, his face
a hijacked car, his eyes headlights

bearing down a dark ravine.
For the endless packaging, meat shining

                        the opposite of grace. For the barcode
            rising hot on the back of my neck,

the dream of a lover's teeth
            sunk into flesh. For the checkout line,

                        for the teenager blithely
            chewing gum who asks paper or plastic?

these false dichotomies we pretend to,
            pretending to us in a discourse

                        of freezing and thawing,
            cleaning and pre-heating—paper or plastic?

For that I say dealer's choice, and am met almost
always with suspicious stares.

Copyright © 2008 Matthew Guenette All rights reserved
from Southern Indiana Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

Support Verse Daily
Sponsor Verse Daily!

Home    Archives   Web Monthly Features    About Verse Daily   FAQs  Submit to Verse Daily   Publications Noted & Received  

Copyright © 2002-2008 Verse Daily All Rights Reserved