Saturday, January 09, 2010

495. The Long Anticipated Poem-Ditty-Pseudo-Song "Sugar Free Sugar"!!!

PDF of the poem "Sugar Free Sugar" can be found here:
I usually do not like to "think" about food in a very direct, intensive way, but ever since I worked with the "grocery store" images from the previous blog, my mind has gone down this "rabbithole" of unfinished projects somewhat pertaining to the "foods" theme. It's funny how my mind is full of these tiny undone, yet nagging projects that never seem to unbother your consciousness until you finish them. So here I am with the advice of Michel Gondry, once you start a project, finish it. This quarter is the theme of "following through," not saying "what I am going to do" but looking back and say "this is what I have done."

This oxymoronish poem "Sugar Free Sugar" has been this recurring thought once every so often, but more often than enough because almost every day I use a little bit of sugar free sugar to sweeten my coffee. I am going to include some OLD COMMENTARY I made back in the Fall of 2008 (when I started graduate school) pertaining to food. See below.

Jack in the Box. Errr. Shxt in the Box. American Food has Morphed into One Giant Cafeteria of Dormfood.

In the Beginning of Sampling American Food, the smells and tastes were novel and exciting. But it was peculiar from the very start that I needed additional digestive aids through the form of herbal laxatives, just for my body to even process and excrete this food. It was funny how my mind never really felt comfortable for having this food inside my body in the first place.

Over time, the taste diminished to some form of overall homogeneous, massive Giant Cafeteria of Dormfood. I mean, ALL of American mass-produced, packaged foods go into this category. This "Shxt Wrapped in a Nice Package" perhaps comes from the same factory sources: a glop of sugar, salt, white flour, and fat, morphed into a million seemingly different products of seemingly different tastes. My mind can't help flashing to the schlop the crew members of the solo ship in The Matrix were consuming.

My former boss in Orange County, Momma, a grandmother from Persia, outright complained in a car drive:
"It's not Jack in the Box. It's Shxt in a Box! It's shxt wrapped in very nice wrapping paper! America is outrageous! We foreigners don't know any better! We come here to the States thinking that the food here is safe and good to eat, and everyone in my entire family inflates like balloons! Including myself! And so our health problems trail right after us!"

As my tastes morphed, so did the deterioration of my own health. Primarily in the form of indigestion and pimples. And some weight gain (err, "biomass gain"), which is fortunately back down. Thankfully, I have continued my jogging and have learned how to restrict my diet:
place mental Xs on more than 60% of grocery store and restaurant businesses. A very rigorously restricted, filtered Reality of American food. Thankfully, through learning and behavior modification, we humans have the capacity to shift our perceptions in terms of what is
truly edible, and what is just... "shxt wrapped in a nice package."

As my fisherman friend, Sam Shrout, stated: "When I enter the grocery store, I first go to the right side of the store and find myself and my family some fresh meat, and then I go to the left side of the store, where I find myself some fresh vegetables and fruits, and I skip the entire gut middle." And that's where all the mass-produced packaged "foods" reside. Grocery stores must have gained weight in their guts as well....

And that is why now when there is an opportunity to have a home-cooked meal (with food from a local co-op), I jump for joy and would take this option over any form of excursion to a restaurant.

America is truly the land of Excessive Resources! And if only most of it were Edible in the first place! (Well, I suppose if the food were all edible, then we wouldn't be able to sustain such mass-produced quantities that we perceive in the grocery stores. Secondly, doctors and psychiatrists would be losing a lot of money and the economy would downsize and ... "go to hxll.")

This piece can be submitted to a local newspaper. Best to add a couple of interviews and a few different encounters in the grocery store and fast food. Going down the cereal or candy bar isle.
Going to Carl's Junior, Jack in the Box, MacDonalds. How MacDonalds changed its tune after the Supersize Me film came out.

From One Dissfunctional Diet to Another. Victoria's Graduate Student Diet: The Starving Lion Method: Feed yourself like Insulin through a Tube (aka Werthers Original) and have a real meal at the end of the day. Then go to sleep. If you have three huge meals, it ultimately impacts your productivity level. The drawback: (1) brush more (2) more mouthwash (3) dental problems (well hey, dental problems are way better than having problems with your lungs). The advantage: Increased Productivity to a Certain Degree. Fulfilling the high school visionary dream of being fed through a test tube: eating because you need to eat. Not out of pleasure.


Victoria "Stokastika" said...

I sent this poem to Bob and he pointed out the megacorporate unethical experimentation of mummification on the human population!!!

"Forward, the constant search by modern corporate man to discover the ancient Egyptian secrets of mummification, by using the population as unsuspecting lab rats. :-) Bob"

Victoria "Stokastika" said...

Great response from Barry Spacks! And much needed get well wishes from sickness....

Hooray for signs of recovery, and a wonderfully clever (maybe we could go all the way to "whacky"?) poem -- a song, really, don't you thinking, rattling off all those
syllables of latinate artifice. The ending in particular holds it together, and I hope sheer intent if not medicinal artifice will so contain our Victoria as well. But if things still look rough tomorrow
morn, take another sick day so as to be fine and fiddle (see, you've got me doing it) for your workshopping on Wednesday.
I love writing one-word poems. Here's today's: A TOUCH OF VERBAL-VICKS FOR VICTORIA Victory!

Victoria "Stokastika" said...

I will unfortunately have to take this post down because I submitted this poem to Rattle Magazine. I think it's still accessible through Facebook....