Ode to a Plastic Shopping Bag, a Long(er) Poem


This here’s an ode
to the common plastic shopping bag,
with its innumerable uses and unnamed abuses,
its rustling sheathing and glossy lightweights,
its ballerina twinkle in the eye
and cinematic hemorrhoidphobe pirouettes in wind eddies.

This here’s an ode
to the ubiquitous plastic shopping bag
that is one with our daily banalities,
a staple of our utilities,
sometimes, the recipient of our absurdities:
a mango pit, a condom wrapper, a banana peel, an emotions mapper,
an election speech, a presidential concession,
a Democrat’s heart, a Republican’s soul.

This here’s an ode
to that celebrated plastic shopping bag
that adorned the post-apocalyptic Adonis
in the throes of his auto-passion
as he embraced the neocolonial hegemonies of his seducers
and inserted his manhood in between the silken sheets of a chocolate mouse
and dreamed,
dreamed of being a Napoleon
or perhaps a Yasr.

This one here’s a venerable ode
to that deux ex machina plastic shopping bag
that accompanies millions of us a day, a second,
if only to be burned,
burned like a male coitus non interuptus happiness
at the apogee of a climax,
burned into the vast expanses of the trash dump of her many orifices:
par vaginum ad astres, ad veritas
amor perpetuum mobile.

This one here’s a timeless ode
to the thankful plastic shopping bag
that embraces our palms and caresses our skin
longer than the lover no longer there,
longer than our animal love no longer fading out of forgotten memories,
longer than the gypsy breath of the wailing Catalan rising sun
above Tokyo’s many roofs;
but the walking dead of the Nippon kereitsu won’t let them enter:
Laaaav youuuu laaaav youuuuu, naaa mi daaa no Tooo-o kee-yoooo
laaaav youuuu laaaav youuuuu, naaa mi daaa no Tooo-o kee-yoooo.

But perhaps,
this one here is NOT a timeless ode
to that certain plastic shopping bag after all,
as much as it isn’t a celebration, nor a victimization.
Perhaps, it is simply an empty, pointless exercise,
like a vote sown to influence a bipartisan puppet autocracy,
or, simply,
it is just a fetish “perhaps”
whispered barely above our self-affirming lips
that have long ago
lost their self-affirming priviledge
that have long ago
ceased to be the medium of our voice
springing forth
from our mind.

ever since you began to chant that interminable ode
to the now venerable plastic shopping bag,
you began to infiltrate
the Soviet steppes of your subconsciousness
for that little, fleeting moment of imperialist happiness
that is so easily purchased, yet so difficult to own:
“His Excellency, the venerable plastic shopping bag,
is entering his fifth term in office,
is elected and re-elected, time and time again,
by you and your I…”
who is, as a matter of fact, no one but I
that is, my “you”
because, as I have said many times before,
you are not “I”, as much as I am not “you”
which centuries of revolutions at the bloodied fist rule of man did not alter,
as much as the abbey at Mont Saint Michel
(which “you” and “I” saw perhaps only in our past life therapies)
stood by motionless with its hues and Impressionist bale eminency
that figures prominently
in our collective

that is where I bought a soul
and brought it home,
cooked it in a broth,
puréed, heated and made it froth
and drank it in so copiously and so religiously
that I forgot the white plastic shopping bag
by the moveable, tranfigured sea.

And the moveable, transfigured sea
returned the innocence to that pure plastic shopping bag,
unmade it shameful and corporate,
unmade it the temple of Mammon and the clothing of a neo-Christianity,
made it reborn, and then some
made it into you, made it into me,
made it into a carbonic ecstacy that would have lasted three summers and three winters
were it not for a certain nobody
emerging from the depths of his middle-managerial slumber
to awaken and see you there,
in the timeless, autumn embrace of the plastic shopping bag
that you worshiped so silently and stealthily
in your bathroom
while you defecated the best years of your life
into his cold, ceramic heart:

Tell me,
tell me,
why did you enter the thirteenth room of that fairytale castle
and let the plastic shopping bag free?