The Common Man…

The original Betty Crocker cake mix required no ingredients but water & the cake mix wouldn’t sell. So they did some market research & discovered that women felt like they were cheating at being a house wife. So the company included in the directions to also add an egg, something feminine, to make women feel less guilty. A genius move in subliminal messaging.

The Common Man | his impaired hearing | fixed |
listens but | all the poets have gone deaf
: they jabbed their fingers too far down their “lug ‘ols”
& caused a tympanic membrane perforation.

The Man of Answers docks in a digital vessel composed
of envelopes | armed with his Book of Parodies | an
antidote | boosting insight into the knotty wiring
& combustions of Contemporary Verse | otherwise awry.

Listen! “You can hear his enzymes sob.” The wind
has switched the direction of the chequered flag.
“We’re nostalgic | we want the myth of simpler times
to do re-runs on Netflix— back then all you had to keep you up at night

was the threat of fascist dictatorship & A or H-bombs
or whether to continue purchasing | the readymade
cake mixture cuz it’z cheatin’ if’n you ownly ‘av
to add 100ml of water | I don’ feel like a real woman.”

—DIRECTION FOR USE: tip 1 sachet of Betty Crocker
cake mix into a large bowl | add 100 ml of milk or water &
a large egg | whisk the mixture until smooth then pour into
a grease proof cake tin | bake for 20 mins at 200ºC | &

[be] cool for 5 mins—

13 thoughts on “The Common Man…

  1. We have been cheated of our identity. ? 🤣👍🏼 but perhaps this circle of life has returned… people, we are raising backyard chickens again. Eggs galore!
    J💙🕊🎶🎶🎶

    1. Jeanne, i don’t know about cheated, i couldn’t say. There has definitely been manipulation, but we haven’t embraced it at its most extreme every time; although i can’t help but feel it is often sneaky & really, do we need Betty Crocker’s insta-mix? i don’t think so, baking isn’t that hard, not really.
      Technology is a uniquely human thing, imminent in us & making some things easier allows for time in other things.
      i do think it is great that people grow their own stuff, but then i wonder, if everyone did it, what would happen to hard working farmers? There is a fine balance in most things. For example, here in Jeju, at my guesthouse, we are quiet. Yes the weather is bad & winter is a quiet time, but the reason we are so quiet is because of the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang coupled with the exorbitant amounts of other guesthouses built in just the last year or two. So the balance is off & everyone is struggling who has a guesthouse. Then the Olympic nonsense. There was an unspoilt mountain i went to called Gariwangsan. One of the most beautiful places i ever saw. They cut down over 10000 trees for people to ski for month. Just to make money. That mountain is ruined. That area is ruined. But then, locals will have a few good years & think it the best thing ever, guesthouses full. But it won’t last. It never does. Few years down the line, there’ll be few reasons to go there. At least Jeju is a holiday island, with good weather on the whole.

      1. I loved your poem. Oh wow! So many trees! Plans to reforest? Maybe cheated is too harsh. Until thinking of my grandmother, who had a hen house, until it cost more to raise chickens then buy eggs and/or meat at the grocery store. So my grandparents tore it down. Factory farms are awful! This scenario sounds similar to the trees and the Olympics. Big devours little every time. Until people find a voice and rebel. Not all business, whether farms, doctors, technology, restaurants, etc. are to blame but when greed becomes overpowering, it is difficult to swim against the current. We could learn from the salmon… who also are fighting a losing battle. Natural order is being disturbed by paranoid ideals… take the masses over before they discover and its too late to recover. At least not right away. All my uncles and aunt were born at home. Midwives were the norm. The old ways are better. Are they not? Perhaps I’m nostalgic because the farm was so magical. I was able to enjoy the beauty with out much sweat or tears. My tune might change with a hoe in my hand. But i love working in my garden… Lots to devour again, and appreciate your depth. J

      2. Thanks Jeanne. Always nice to receive a bit of praise.
        Korea is over 70% mountains, so i doubt they’ll see the urgency to reforest. Plenty of mountains without names that could in effect be turned into hiking routes. Not that it makes it alright. i was pretty miffed about it when i heard, all for people to play sliding, bloody stupid.
        A few years ago i would have been in complete agreement with you about natural order & old ways, but i’m in the middle of a sea change, with a lot more to understand, so i just don’t know anymore. You are not wrong, your nostalgia is nothing to turn one’s nose at. It is yours, important to you. But now i am thinking, we have all these people & the idea of giving everyone a plot of land & saying farm, get on with it, just seems unrealistic. i’d be up for it. But then i see the farmer here in Jeju: 7 days, sometimes 10 hours a day, in almost all weather. Farming, a natural life is romantic from the grey confines of an office, but the reality grinds on you. i see them & they don’t look happy. They are hardened. They think nothing, they were born, they bred, they supported their children, not to be farmers, but to move away, to work in Seoul. They don’t want their children to be farmers; they know that reality brings no comfort. “Man is not a beast” 사람을 짐승이 아니다 cried Kim Chi-ha from his prison cell & i think it applies to our habits of works & sustenance. We have this mind, unique to nature & it must be used, but toil doesn’t always produce insight, it all depends on who you are. There are exceptions to every rule, but they don’t always land us in the place we probably should be. They get us in as much trouble as they are a source of inspiration.
        As i say, i just don’t know anymore. The only thing i trust is the revelatory potential in writing poetry, totally impartial, always asking questions, never settled.

      3. So our paths are crossing… because i was anti-farm and all about intellect and thought to be a lawyer at one time. My parents were anti-college, hence my college degree was accomplished when i turned 50. My love for the farm was not known to me until my grandfather took his life two months before my wedding. I took the farm for granted, as if grandpa would never end. It is still in our family, and i have gone back to interview my aunt. I want to know the stories missed as a child because the adults wanted to keep my innocence. How wild is that? Children are products but never purchased fully. We are outsiders looking in through foggy glass. Had i known this sacred stuff, this powerful material, surely life would be different. What is taught in school are superficial concoctions of a world of make believe. The real world is hidden from the eyes. J💙🕊🎶🎶

      4. I was thinking of that particular line all day and really want to develop it further… perhaps in a poem. So, for now i really need to knead it longer… squeeze the juice out and sip. Sorry if that disappoints. 🕊🍻

  2. Enjoyable commentary on roles and that mythical world, Daniel. It brought back memories of child me forming his naive idealistic views of the world, believing in the myths on tv, wanting to be like non-existent role models, and now when I’m peeling potatoes, I remember my mother’s excitement at getting Deb mashed potatoes in a packet. 😃

    1. We’ve all been there & even continue in some respects to be bought over by it. i am trying to break that in myself, but i am still guilty, i can’t help but think the sun just shines out the arse of some people.
      Nothing beats proper mash potatoes though, lots of milk n’ butter.

      1. Yes, I’ve become disillusioned with my various role models over the years as their all-too-human flaws have become apparent, but I’ve come to think it’s dangerous: you need them or you’ll become disillusioned with yourself, or worse. I now try recognize and perhaps emulate admirable aspects = the Frankenstein role model.

        I agree, back then it was new+modern=good.

      2. That’s sensible thinking. Nothing wrong with role models. My latest one is the character of Paterson in Jim Jarmusch’s film of the same name. The guy is just so simple, yet complex. He has this simple relationship with environment just because he takes note of it & in that he is content to be a bus driver, living in a small house, in a life where nothing much happens, he can thrive in that because of his attitude to environment. i just want to be like that. i try so hard.

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