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-heatingpaper 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
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