Fat and Somewhat Happy

Fat and Somewhat Happy

RE: Jury awards couple $2 billion in Monsanto Roundup [glyphosate] Cancer Case

It’s pre–apocalyptic grocery shopping: flowers and flatulence and fear of food.

What can I buy that will keep me alive?

Organic is better, but you can settle for BST–free cheese

(if it comes from Wisconsin and not the glowing Pacific Coast).

Look for the BST symbol.

And the Master’s Mark sign

to make sure your kids are not getting that nasty radiation

still leaking from Fukushima

(except when they go out for pizza).

It’s true there’s actually no double-blind fool proof that radiation is bad for you

but it’s hard that it’s hard not to think about Sadako during dinner.

You have to let up when you buy for a party: the taste is the same

no matter what you spend:

and you don’t want to come off like a lunatic

and those people eat that shit anyway

and so do you when you’re at their house.

You can eat what they call conventional avocados,

It being the convention to apply poison first, ask questions later,

most don’t get through

their skins so much thicker than yours.

You can sneak your fingers into the goopy green dip

when you think no one is looking

and lick it off not even bothering to think

about the lesion–and–hemorrhage–inducing

Flavr–Savr Tomatoes with the anti–freeze flounder genes

which have been mercifully discontinued

because they killed the rats that ate ’em.

You do have to skip the tox-alicious chips,

or peek at the bag for or –GMO labels

to avoid the extra layer of poison they spray on the roundup–tolerant corn

• or the glu-FO-sinate–resistant corn

• or the GLY-pho-sate–resistant corn

• or the corn with the Bt bacteria built in—either

—Cry-1-A.105 (MON89034),

—Cry-I-Ab (MON810),

—Cry-I-F (1507),

—Cry-2-Ab (MON89034),

—Cry-3-Bb1 (MON863 and MON88017),

—Cry-34-Ab1 (59122),

—Cry-35-Ab1 (59122),

—Cry-3-A (MIR604),

—or VIP-3-A (MIR162)

which is also in your lovely retro cotton dress

(though that product too may be discontinued

like unsuccessful apparel and dessiccated lords

because the pink bollworm and the Florida army worm are already resistant.

And the Bt killed some more rats. Or some others).

Othering is alive and well these days (Hey! Tom Philpott says

the Obamas

and the Bushes

and the Clintons

and the Romneys

all secretly eat organic foods.

But the Trump glow speaks of a new aesthetic, and

Anyway—so, a few rats have died. Who wants rats

eating our corn? Fuck ‘em. Let ‘em die like the rats they are.”

Who says rats and roaches have to inherit the earth?

They’re not the meek.

But back to the oil (in the chips—remember the chips?

Remember, I told you, you’d have to skip the chips?)

The oil in the chips might be GMO,

so it really is best to use your fingers when no one is looking .

There! A snack! And it’s OK, you’re not that hungry,

and they have organic micro–distilled bourbon and gin on hand.

Of course, the kids can’t drink gin all the time,

even if it makes them smell nice, like Christmas,

So I’m standing as if in supplication, peering at the good old-fashioned ice cream:

is that you, there, churning with

• propylene glycol,

• ethyl acetate,

• yellow dye #5

• and hold the vanilla, but not the vanillin— a very good lice killer, I’m told, vanillin:

I scream / You scream / We all scream for—OK skip it. Skip

the ice cream, but pick up some whole and low–fat and skim and two–percent

(just over a buck at Jewel, if you don’t mind

• the GMO hormones

• that give the cows infections

• that require the antibiotics that are more useless every day)

I limit my angst to four horsemen:

• Jewel for cheaper bread and jam. Except when Mariano’s has a sale.

• TJ’s for bananas, pasta, chips, and apples,

(and just a bite of the samples ‘cause they taste so good).

Pizza, too, though the family hates that kind.

• Caputo’s for produce, wishing it were laced with coke like the watermelon they sold in the 90s.

• Whole Foods for the dry goods: no union but fewer poisons. Whole paycheck? Maybe—but they say we’ve got a choice:

Poorhouse or hospital? Rickets or cancer?

Twenty years from now, when we’re all dying

from a cell tower or silicon disease

we don’t know about yet, will it matter?

No, no one is pure. Not even

Barak, Michelle,

George, Laura,

Bill, Hilary,

Willard and Lenore,

Or Casey Wessel—came down with leukemia today.

Four horsemen—and still no meat to be had.

You can go straight to the farm and inspect it yourself,

unless you want one of those

* USDA self-inspected chickens—

* Racing chickens, speeding along the production line

at 175 birds perminute,

3 per second, like

“We don’t need no stinkin’ inspections.”

Or—Direct from 60 Minutes, compromised but still kickin’—

• The fish we get “from China” (in four–point type).

It feeds directly from the chicken’s ass:

Their crates, arranged in a tiny Chinese Alcatraz,

suspended over a man–made pond.

Yeah, its gross to you and me,

but think of it from the Dante Aligheri fish point of view:

Manna rains down, still warm,

from poultry purgatory up above.

• And the garlic grown in sewage.

• And the cold medicine full of fecal bacteria.

• Silks and that are fresh from chemical baths . . .

Just. Like. You: Your sweet little a carcinogenic soup

Starring formaldehyde (29 names for formaldehyde, and gee she looks well preserved).

And don’t forget A-ZO-di-car-BON-amide—get it while you sleep!

A-ZO-di-car-BON-amide—get it while you sleep!

And just in case you’ haven’t had enough—you can get it for free

in your favorite fast food:

That foam in your mattress so comfy you can eat it up, at

• Subway.

• McDonald’s.

• Arby’s.

• Starbucks, too, except for Starbucks in Europe & Australia, where its not even allowed in their yoga mats or shoes.

• Whatta they afraid of? A little asthma won’t kill ya.

This the poor can’t afford to know. But you know

and you’re getting poorer by the minute, so now you’ll have to forget.

And it’s on to Cassandra’s problem, and Eve’s: How can you un–know it?

• Ignore the Caen study showing cancers in rats?

• It was after all retracted by the journal itself, which is run by

Richard Goodman nee Monsanto. They said it: “No definitive conclusions can be reached.”

The rich though, make it their business to know.

• Their patron, Pandora makes ’em kill the rat.

• Or maybe it’s Hades—who yeah, was a kidnapper and rapist but really did love her. Persephone. Our sister the resister.

It’s time we became resistant, too—followed suit instead of suits. It might be enough

to eat rarely and spare:

• meat once a week

• fish once a month

• rice rarely to sidestep the arsenic still in the soil we spray with new stuff now

• fruit to avoid the acrylamide baked into those

—chips,

—cookies,

—crackers,

—cereal,

—fries.

Another list, but at least this time we know the words.

Is it better, maybe, if the chips are organic

so they only have one kind of poison, or two?

Better if the fish swim in fecal farms

or wild and free

off the hot coast of Japan? )

Anyway

• Organic’s got pesticide drift, curable only if you by a driftcatcher—opposite of a dream catcher— catches garbage where you stand.

• Cassava’s got cyanogenic glucosides,

• Acorns can be toxic in large quantities,

• A pound of greens three times a day means kidney stones and a sluggish thryroid.

• & anyone ever eat too many beans?

Yeah, I know: we’re human and we’re all doomed anyway.

But it’s still gross when Tom’s sinuses swell up

from too much of the weird–ass big–protein in the wheat we invented in ‘71.

Or when Zak throws up after fish from China

and the vomit takes the finish off the hardwood floor.

Or you develop an allergy to eggplant,

which you love so much you keep trying it anyway—

and you’re only sensitive when the eggplant’s non–organic.

That you was me—here I am again.

I know now I can buy three things. And still I shop in the valley of the shadow.

I could thank you,

• Sauget which once was Monsanto, then Syngenta/Pioneer/Dow/BASF/Bayer.

• And AquaBounty/ArborGlen/ArcadiaBioSciences/Mendel/Targeted Growth.

• And lovely suburban City of Wood Dale, thank you more,

for spraying right inside our summer–night windows.

• Thank you Mom, for the color-coded meals, the DDT–laced meat (Grade A: you tried so hard!) But I wish I never wished I were an Oscar Meyer Wiener!

Thank you thank you—there are more—but we’re running out of time.

Thank you thank you thank you all for making it here to the Pre-Apocalypse.

Thank you all for sticking around so we can all go down together, fat

& somewhat happy till the sores set in.

Previously published in “Stubborn” by Sheri Reda, Moria Press 2017.

Notes from the Post-it Wall | Week of May 19, 2019

Notes from the Post-it Wall | Week of May 19, 2019

The Awkward Letters

The Awkward Letters