Poetry Friday: Black Friday Edition

I know that on a busy holiday weekend like this one, we all don’t have as much time for poetic pursuits as we might like, so I’ll keep this one brief and on topic.  In the recent poetry collection I co-wrote with Shane Guthrie, Ouroboros 2, one of the poems I wrote was, in fact, about “Black Friday” itself, the day after Thanksgiving.  I thought it was as apt a moment to share the poem as I am likely to have, and it’s provided for you in full below.  As is the case with all the poems in the Ouroboros (don’t know what an “Ouroboros” is? see this page for an explanation), it appeared without any title, and as is always the case when I share my own work for a Poetry Friday, I provide it without any further comment in the post itself.  If folks have reactions—good, bad, or indifferent—I hope you’ll share them in the comments, where I will happily interact and maybe even explain what I think I was going for.  To the extent that I know, myself.  Without further ado, my Black Friday poem from Ouroboros 2:

I pushed it open. Any way the crowds wanted to,
they surged,
shouting Black Friday instructions to their conscripts,
heaving like a tide into the electronics section
for this hollow holiday,
the day after gratitude when all we want is to carry over
that full feeling
into some other place inside us that remains empty.
And as much as I want to look down on you
as you pass like war-torn refugees
between the theft-prevention gates,
I am complicit in this profane event:
I am trading my time
for something of yours.
Not just money, but something larger than that:
the dignity of longing that is lost by possession;
the kindness we earn
by learning how to live without.

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4 comments on “Poetry Friday: Black Friday Edition

  1. SilverSeason says:

    Thoreau: “Most of the luxuries, and many of the so-called comforts of life, are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind.”

  2. Amy says:

    So something ended with “I pushed it open,” and something began with “by learning how to live without?” I’m so curious about the rest of it! Did you say this was ever going to be available in print? I can’t remember.

    • jwrosenzweig says:

      Amy, yes, a poem ended with “I pushed it open anyway”, which I, as you can see, morphed into “I pushed it open. Any way” — I can’t remember how Shane’s next poem began exactly, but I think it did start with exactly the words you predicted. It might have dropped the “by”, I can’t recall. As far as the availability of this little project, a small stack of copies were printed, and I still have a few left to distribute however I want to — if you send your mailing address to my nickname (which is posted with each comment I leave on this page) at gmail dot com, I will happily send you a copy. 🙂 Thanks for taking an interest in the project!

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