“How I Survive Without a Prime Membership” by T.R. Poulson

T.R. Poulson


Let’s say I need a thingamajig that flips
and slips and grips and nips. A tool,
perhaps, or just a treasure. Those trips

to stores now obsolete, I simply Google
a key phrase of action or appearance
sought. Amazon appears atop the whirlpool

of websites listed (of course), coherence
constant in their quest to draw me, lure
me and my credit card. Perseverance

pays, and I discover that a simple tour
with clicks or swipes pays dividends.
The thingamajig has a name, obscure

perhaps, but now I know it! I look up trends
(using the real name for this thing I covet)
and go to reviews to see who recommends

Brand A over Brand B, and why they love it.
Now, with confidence, I search once more
and (fully done with Amazon, sick of it,

I leave it like last year’s textbook, stored
for future research), a click or two, I find
an exciting new company in which to pour

my hard-earned dollars. I may be resigned
to pay some extra pennies for shipping
or wait a week or two, but I don’t mind,

and I don’t have to be a member, committed
to a CEO who makes more per minute
than I take home all year. Life seems rigged,
but I’m happy. I order my thingamajig.

from Rattle #68, Summer 2020


T.R. Poulson: “I write poems while on the water. I don’t mean in a Jesus Christ, walking on the water, kind of a way; what I mean is, I often compose poems or stories when I’m far, far away from a computer, device, or even a piece of paper. So many times, the poem disappears before I ever write it down. A mentor once told me that a truly good poem will not go away; it will find a way to be written. As Prime Day loomed, I conceived this poem while windsurfing in the middle of the San Francisco Bay, the San Mateo Bridge in the background, while crashing on shove-it attempts. I kept thinking about how shove-it rhymes with covet.”

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