Sunday, March 28, 2010

Poem: Cereal Box Parade

Here's one of my better early poems, from 2003. It was originally published in The Barbaric Yawp. I also read it when I was invited to present at the University of Maine at Machias.


Cereal Box Parade

hawaiian shirts
rammed through a blender
and stacked on the shelves,
prettier than birthdays,
prettier than christmas,
wrapped around various modes of sugar
and sanitized proteins.

some of them
have been playing with a syringe,
getting high on those injected vitamins,
minerals culled from a marketer’s
mine. some of them are laughing
at how zany they can be
in an aisle of quiet people
whose hands peck the shelves
like drugged birds.

here live flamboyant toons,
lazy corporate shills,
who never had their own show,
never worked more than a
thirty-second day, never did anything
but prance and babble and make
goo goo eyes at glazed wheat—

and yet still children beg for them
with fond whines.

little Johnny hates his parents
but adores colonel crispy flake.
little Elsie learns the ropes
from outrageous cardboard.

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