Leaflets MAG

July 18, 2014
By czheng3 BRONZE, Aurora, Colorado
czheng3 BRONZE, Aurora, Colorado
3 articles 0 photos 2 comments

Here, take a leaflet,
they say, riding the curbs of avenues
landing on the corners
of Broadway and 42nd Street
shoving sheets to the
suits pushing past, take a leaflet
the offering arms extended and brushed aside
like subway turnstiles

Here, take a leaflet:
You’ll need this if you really want to live.
There’s a sale on plaid and checkered
Striped All natural
Never from concentrate With all new
Chocolatey chips and berry bits
Organic turbo Top of the line But
Wait there’s more Flavor blasted
No preservatives Button up There’s
a sunroof Plastic We’ll double it for
free Half price through Monday Farm
fresh sensation Thirst quencher Removes
all spots Cloud nine Ask your doctor
Microwavable 200 miles per hour
Now that’s the way to live and die.

So they leave with
bowling shoes,
pie crust tins,
dreams that won’t start,
surplus mustard

Here, take a leaflet:
You’ll need this if you really want to live.
Evacuation Notice: all Gaza residents
must move immediately by 12 p.m. today.
Those who do not comply endanger their
lives and the lives of their family.

And so they leave with nothing.

The author's comments:

This poem largely deals with the idea of American consumerism and hedonism- our obsession with the unnecessary and our love of the excess. There is a very pop-culture advertising vibe that is embodied in the central "leaflet" of the poem. This then falls deeply in contrast with the evacuation war notice in Gaza where, in current events, the conflict between Palestine and Israel has killed over 200 people and brought terror to the region. The second leaflet is actually adapted from actual fliers given out on July 16th, 2014. Thus, the reader can observe the dual nature of Leaflets: on one hand, they are advertising for excess goods and on the other, they are warning people to leave with nothing but their lives.

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This article has 2 comments.

czheng3 BRONZE said...
on Jul. 29 2014 at 7:31 pm
czheng3 BRONZE, Aurora, Colorado
3 articles 0 photos 2 comments
Thank you so much! I also normally live in a suburban area but I wrote this poem while spending a month in New York which helped inspire part of this poem. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

on Jul. 29 2014 at 12:47 am
SpringRayyn PLATINUM, Lakeville, Minnesota
34 articles 2 photos 658 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Don't punish yourself," she heard her say again, but there would be punishment and pain, and there would be happiness too. That was writing."
--Markus Zusak, "The Book Thief"

Fascinating Idea! I was confused a lot of the poem, though I think that's mostly because I live in a suburb and don't see many people handing out leaflets.

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