Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Small Potatoes

I don't normally use this blog as an outlet for my poetry, but today the opportunity availed itself to me.  I am working on my second full-length collection of poetry, called 50%, and I just finished (I think) a poem called Small Potatoes, a poem that is far less evasive and much more emotionally direct that the majority of the poems in the collection.  It is also a poem that makes potato chips the occasion for its outburst of feeling about the world we live in.  Here are some chips I made at home last year:

Small Potatoes

People are always asking me, Jono,
what about politics? 
By this they mean that
in their personal vision of my future
they see me giving stump speeches
about how far one potato must travel
before it becomes a potato chip,
about how many hands one spud must pass through
before it becomes a crinkle chip
en route to a mouth somewhere.
I won’t bore you with the details
but if you have ever made potato chips in your own home,
you will understand how phenomenal it is
that chips everywhere are so cheap. 
You could never beat this price in your own home. 
You’d lose on the price of the potatoes alone. 
There is so much implied in one bag of chips,
sometimes it makes me want to die. 
So I run my mouth about potato chips.
If you do not do everything alone
it seems you can never better the junk that is
abundantly and cheaply available everywhere.
We are surrounded by it.
It  costs five times as much to get one good chip
that has not been involved in the trap of existence
that other people along the line feel as strongly as I do.  
This is a nightmare to me who is poor.
I don’t want to be complicit in suffering
just because I want a fucking potato chip.  
But this, I am afriad, is how the world really is.
I just literally threw up on the floor.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

ep --I know someone's Dad that wanted to open a potato chip store. I would sometimes hang out at his house on saturday's or something, and find him casually knawing on a fresh batch of homemade potato chips. I knew he was in a deep subconscious internal banter about the potato chip restaurant he wished he could fashion. but the world is too silly of a place for such things to flourish. Some dude in my apartment building bought a bag of chips at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. the world is changing. Are you ready ??