With 1335 stores in the US alone,
the grocery chain appears to have set an upward looking
policy of equality in gender-hiring
which maybe is reflected in my statistically insignificant
sample size of a passel of 5 tall
clerks seeming to identify as She who are able to reach
the previously unreachable top
shelf to grab me a handful of packets of transfat popcorn.
She tries to boysex
gay away — but it don’t work
— so then avoids them.
Not a Mr., Mrs., Miss or Ms.?
Then Mx.-match fluid
trans, a or non-conforming
Shame On Us
I slipped a big bill
into her cart. She opened
both eyes, said nada.
Doctors use Crab as
Cancer shorthand — avoid death
talk and a syllable.
Velvet Diagnostician The woman who has slept in the same bed with me nearly a half-century always said my stable disposition was reflected in a so-boringly unwavering bland diet which existed until recently when she voiced concerns that her spouse’s sudden yen for extravagant new tastes such as frog legs in Szechuan sauce sweet & sour quail-drop soup is a forme fruste for emerging dementia. ~~
At first I thought Perfect Day
referred to one of those cute Lou Reed tunes
but then realized a grandson
is turned on to yet another Laurel and Hardy
movie that followed up Babes
in Toyland which was my favorite as a boy.
Middle boring Ell with pearls —
about how the dumb shrimp’d been Charlie
Chaplin’s understudy before
he wrote or directed sweet classic slapsticks
plus sour poignancy 2 months
after the box office hit comedy got released
1929’s Great Depression began
putting a helluva damper on going to theaters
— 8 year-old made desperation
moves to escape by driving his fam’s Subaru
over to ex-great grandma Rhoda’s
condo where I spent this week fumbling
with segregating almost 103 years’
belongings into Keep/Donate/Sell/Junk piles.
Elliot played with toys in her condo
once more knowing soon as we’d emptied out
the stuff and had it spruced a bit
some new people’ll pay to obtain ownership.
Moi not much into commodities –
a couple of pairs of jeans maybe each decade
Mazda perhaps every 15-20 years
— plenty irony I am stuck having to decide
among these mountains of couches,
lamps, simple sturdy tables, rugs; who lives
or in actuality dies next since charity
of choice rejected as too dilapidated to take.
Estate appraisers condescend Mom’s
crystal is way outdated/ surprisingly cheap:
even adding the minimal good silver
to the predominantly silver-plated ware
wouldn’t reach his commission floor
in order to hold a proper sale blahblahblah.
I did manage to engage my good wife
in near fisticuffs because I really wanted
to keep Mommy’s fragile wood china
cabinet where fond memories are housed.
…When her mom died, she tried to eliminate
all recollections, some of which paintings
plus furniture my partner later wanted back
from where I had squirreled them away…
Out of character, I cajoled — at times
pleaded — with our children to pleaseplease
find room for artwork, Pops’ silly hats
or whatever strikes their fancy to remind us.
I foisted on either older grandkids
a porcelain Confucius and Steuben piggies
to remember my parents although
inside I hoped possibly such might mean me.
Gerard Sarnat is the prize-winning author of four collections plus work that’s been published in magazines and anthologies including Gargoyle, American Journal of Poetry (Margie), Main Street Rag, and New Delta Review. Harvard/Stanford educated, Gerry has worked in jails, built/staffed clinics for the marginalized, been a CEO of healthcare organizations and a Stanford Medical School professor. Married since 1969, he has three children and four grandkids. For Huffington Post/other reviews, readings, publications, & interviews; visit GerardSarnat.com.