Poetry

Published on July 21st, 2017 | by Jen McClellan

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Listen Closely; Think Again

You don’t think you can hear capitalism?
You don’t think the systematic expansion of it is so great that if you listen closely
You can’t hear its exponential hearts beating?
You can.
Listen closely.
You know Target?
That store with the symbol
That beckons you, “aim here;
Spend your labor here.
We have everything you need: groceries, electronics, kitchenware, pharmaceuticals, furniture, appliances, entertainment, floaties for your pool, shit to fill your office, shit to fill your house, whatever you want. Target’s got it all. We even change up what we got depending on the season.
And hey, while you’re waiting, we had a Starbucks and our own specialized food court installed with a menu that tells you how many calories you’ll be consuming per pretzel, pizza slice, or soda.
Not hungry? No, of course,
But the Starbucks has a new Frappuccino that you won’t believe and it’s just here so you can get it along with your cart.
There you go!
See, that way you won’t lose energy while shopping.
Aren’t you smart!
And if you need another cart, just come on back by, there’s no shame in it, don’t want to crush any of the items you’re picking up today.”
I can hear all of that when I see the red circle inside a white circle inside a red circle.
I sit inside the Starbucks inside the Target
And I think,
“Man! I’m deep in it now.
The belly of the beast!
Bet if I listen close I can hear its heart beat.
I lean back in the seating area inside this monstrous store,
Tilt my hat over my eyes,
Legs stretched out and crossed,
I listen.
Oh, I hear it!
Ping. Ping. Ping. Ping.
Ping (another purchase), Ping (7.99),
Ping (12.89), Ping (115.7), adding up on that digital screen.
Ping (6.99 if you buy two), Ping (you bought two, okay good, you’re doing it right).
Ping, and I imagine that constant stream of ping, ping, pings
Multiplied a hundred thousand million billion times.                              ping    ping     ping   ping
Do you know what it sounds like?                                                     ping     ping     ping     ping
Nothing.                                                                                  ping     ping   ping   ping  ping ping
Like how black is when the spectrum of light has been overrun by all colors at once.     pingping
You just think you can’t hear it,                                                                          pingpingpingping
But the truth is it’s so loud                                                            pingpingpingpingpingpingping
You are currently experiencing trauma.                                              pingpingpingpingpingping
You can see it coming at you.                                                                         pingpingpingping
It comes in through your ear drums,                                                                           pingping
Impacts your brain,                                                                                         ping       ping ping
And busts its way into your soul.
Like how the Flash can vibrate through walls.                                                           ping
All the mechanisms of the world turning, churning, overproducing, and burning.
You don’t think that impacts the atomic universe we’re a part of?                                        ping
You don’t think a butterfly can start a tsunami?
Think again.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ping


About the Author

writes, reads comic books, skates, eats, sleeps and poops in the 34th district of Los Angeles. She’s studying English and teaching Supplemental Instruction at CSUN until she becomes a high school English teacher. She’s an active Socialist Party USA member.



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