The flu + youtube= a melancholy meditation on pop culture
When did sagging, bulbous bologna become happy baloney:
slang sung by children peeling sweaty circles from the lunch bag’s caress
Who in the schoolyard knew of crazed pigs chewing each other’s tails off?
Who had heard that the runts were slammed to death against the slaughterhouse floor?
Or that a pig that met such a fate was known by another childhood name: Thumper.
We loved the oblivion of mayonnaise.
We learned to laugh off those surreal familiars: leg, shoulder, breast, wing
as we forgot our longing for an ecstatic father
who ate Golden Grahams in a tent
or drank Nescafe from a transparent globe.
I trace the inception of pre-adolescent dread
to my inability to reconcile disco and earthiness,
transparent lip gloss and false ferns
I blame the crackling aftermath,
the lingering shot of the silent game board
or cake mix in lengthening shadow.
That tension between ultra-sheer understatement
and memory yarn,
the shame of instant milk.