Fortune Cookie

It is National Poetry month, stimpy. So I’m gonna crap out poems from time to time in lieu of writing other crap instead. I make no claims on the quality of anything that appears, since I’m going to give myself no more than a half hour on each. Workshop ’em if you want; rewrite ’em if you want; ignore ’em if you want. And remember to write your own stuff for my contest!

You catch the film at six;
three Chinese children
blood spread like duck sauce
on the walls-
cold fingers stiff
like chow mein noodles.

At seven you decide
on take-out; the delivery boy
forgets your duck sauce-
you don’t tip.

Eight o’clock and
you read your fortune cookie:

They say
Cato committed suicide
because he would not live under Cæsar.

Nein o’clock and all is well.

Comments and conversations on this post

  1. Hehe, no film, but the fortune cookie refers to a thought-provoking piece on suicide by Kant [i think, can’t scrounge it up online]

    I was trying to go for an inured feeling, as if the “you” in the poem sees these horrible things on TV, dismisses them, yet somehow they ends up applying them later in a seemingly innocuous way. So you see some murdered Chinese kids and then for some reason you decide to order Chinese later on in the evening, and the Fortune Cookie is my way of saying if your life is that disengaged from the world then it might as well be ended. I was also going for a little pun with the last line, because all is obviously NOT well, so the sentence sort of eats itself. Which might throw in another whole layer of meaning if i’m saying the “you” is a cannibal for feasting on those violent images.

    Hell, I don’t know. It was early.

    More on Cato here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cato_the_Younger

  2. i like it as well. like the duck sauce-blood simile. only criticism i can think of right now is to change ‘film’ to ‘news’ or ‘tv’. you don’t have to obscure it.

  3. Oh, right on. I was thinking sort of like “FILM AT ELEVEN!!!!1one!!”

  4. I had to look up Cato… i guess you’re saying that Cato would have been unable to accept the lack of duck sauce, so the fortune cookie tips you to not worry about it so much, and thus everything is ok at nine…?

    i really like the flow of this, i want to accuse you of spending more than half an hour on it! it seems very refined to me. i like how “you don’t tip” ends with “tip” and then comes the fortune cookie message which is a tip. also contributing to the flow are the many numbers; 6,7,8,9 o’clock, 3 chinese children…

    also interesting: it contains blood and suicide, yet i don’t get a hectic, urgent feeling from it. more like a content, not-hungry-anymore-feeling.

    is it referring to a specific film?