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"Mount Washington Kroger is Out of Bananas”

Beth Gylys
"Mount Washington Kroger is Out of Bananas”

Yes, we have no bananas today,
but Cheetos and nacho chips—                                                                                                         
seven different brands—and instant
mashed potatoes complete with sodium                                                                                                  
acid pyrophosphate, and sodium bisulfite.
We have gummi bears and red cinnamon                                                                                         
candy hearts.  Ranch dressing, a whole row
of plastic-wrapped, sliced meat. Line up
for your diacetyl, your free glutamic acid,
your butylated hydroxyanisole.
We have everything but bananas,
those bright phallic bunches, those wrapped
wands of fruit-meat, potassium
hunger bombs, soft, sweet monkey crack.

Gylys writes:
"The poem emerged after my friend Jennifer sent the quotation that is the title as a writing prompt. It’s a bit of a playful rant against processed food.  I wrote it with that old Louis Prima song, “Yes, We Have No Bananas” running through my head.  so the playful energy probably emerged from that tune as much as from the quote."

The poem first appeared in the Crab Orchard Review in March 2019, and then in Gylys's most recent book, Body Braille (Iris Press, 2000). The poem will also asppear in the forthcoming book The Conversation Turns to Wide-Mouthed Jars.

August 08, 2021

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"Lively and affectionate" Publishers Weekly


I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman

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