Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Bliss Point or What Can Best Be Achieved by Cheese

A.k.a.

          the other gold.

                    Now that’s the stuff,

                               shredded or melted

                                         or powdered

                                                 or canned.

                                                             Behold

                                         the pinnacle of man

                     in a cheeto puff!

Now that’s the stuff

                      you’ve been primed for:

                                             fatty & salty & crunchy

          and poof—gone. There’s the proof.

Though your grandmother

                        never even had one. You can’t

                                    have just one. You

                                              inhale them puff—

                                                                     after puff—

                                                                after puff—

                               You’re a chain smoker. Tongue

                      coated & coaxed

but not saturated or satiated.

                       It’s like pure flavor,

                                   but sadder. Each pink ping

                                                       in your pinball-mouth

                                                                expertly played

                             by the makers who have studied you,

                               the human animal, and culled

                    from the rind

         your Eve in the shape

                                 of a cheese curl.

                                              Girl,

                                come curl in the dim light of the TV.

                           Veg out on the verge of no urge

                  of anything.

         Long ago we beached ourselves,

                                 climbed up the trees then

                                          down the trees,

                                                knuckled across the dirt

                               & grasses & thorns & Berber carpet.

                                           Now is the age of sitting,

                                   so sit.

           And I must say,

                       crouched on the couch like that,

                             you resemble no animal.

                                    Smug in your Snuggie and snug

                                                     in your sloth, you look

                                           nothing like a sloth.

           And you are not an anteater,

                                   an anteater eats ants

                                                   without fear

                                       of diabetes. Though breathing,

                 one could say, resembles a chronic disease. 

                                                                                            What’s real

                             cheese and what is cheese product?

                              It’s difficult to say

               but being alive today

                                      is real-

                                                real-

                                                       really

                                like a book you can’t put down, a stone

                       that plummets from a great height. Life’s

                      a “page-turner” alright.

               But don’t worry

                                      if you miss the finale

                                                of your favorite show, you can

                                                   catch in on queue. Make room

                                      for me and I’ll binge on this,

                                                            the final season with you.

Credit


Copyright © 2020 by Benjamin Garcia. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on March 27, 2020 by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem


“We eat with our mouths, yes, but also with the throats of our eyes, ears, minds. Corporations pay huge figures to learn how to better hack our bodies to keep us buying more. Sometimes, especially in this alarmingly orange political climate, being alive can feel so grating that devouring another bag of chips while binge watching a TV show with someone you love at the end of the day seems like the only activity you have energy left to do. I don’t believe this is an accident. I wanted to write a poem that addresses my own complicity while having the lines feel like eating cheese puffs—addictive, airy, crunchy, gone. In the end, it’s you wiping away your own orange fingerprint.”

Benjamin Garcia

Author


Benjamin Garcia

Benjamin Garcia’s first collection,Thrown in the Throat, was selected by Kazim Ali for the 2019 National Poetry Series (Milkweed Editions, August 2020). He works as a Sexual Health and Harm Reduction Educator throughout the Finger Lakes region of New York.

Date Published: 2020-03-27

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/bliss-point-or-what-can-best-be-achieved-cheese