A.K.A. “I Thank the Puritans for the Fabulous Evolution of Cereal

by Ben Koch

photo © Ben Koch

There was this rumor in high school

you could eat 20 bowls of Total and trip,

totally flip thanks to some trace

hallucinogen lacing the flakes.

Ty’s wearing a t-shirt with “cereal killer”

penned across the chest in sharpie,

though only coincidentally related to our scheme

today, the teenage scruff-beard of an aspiring grunge lord

shadows his face and accents his toothy

maniacal smile: “time for breakfast!”

For two boys on the cusp of rebellion,

the crusts of garage-band hood and anarchy,

this was too much to resist.

Would Hendrix, or Morrison, or Kurt Cobain

for that matter,

turn down such a deliciously silly high?

Hunched over bowl after bowl

think of the moral fiber

it took our puritanical grandfather

to scythe through virgin

prairies making way for wheat,

or whatever hearty grain,

his drive, his discipline, his sweat stained

the very parchments

that define this possibility, and it all came

to this—the apex

of industrial capitalism

causing visions like

a mutated mold.

Think of that old sanctimonious cod with us now!

After all, we don’t call it the Protestant-slack-ethic:

we’re his demonic dream-echo,

we’re the lusty hard-on under his staunch black preacher

garb, the voices between the scriptures ricocheting

in the hollow of the chapel!

I wonder would we sink or float

Ty and I, second-cousin beatnik

transcendentalists, believing gods leaves pockets

of precious heart-sight, total wild meaningful trips

for those who know the secret places to harvest.

This poem appears in The Frequency of Whispers,

a published collection of Ben Koch’s poetry.


About bensten

Teacher, writer, blogger and spiritual practitioner. Managing editor of bensten.wordpress.com.

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