EVERYTHING & NOTHING™
The spines, unbroken, on the shelves
of Borders, of Barnes & Noble.
Killing an hour this way without you
feels like betrayal.
Once we loitered without intent
the controlled-climate of
shopping arcades, when the apartment
walls closed in
or we giggled, giddy, romancing the
a Sunday. Figures in a landscape:
Couple at Opposite Ends of
Organized Living™. Man & Woman
With Their Best Buy™.
Love declared in lowercase, a bargain,
haunted for a house
yet to come, caressed the curve
appliances, sighed after rainbows
of plastic, the multitude
made by the multitudes of China.
Each product, passed
between us, handled, held up to
a judgment of light,
the texture of union split into
waves by verdicts
on our blended self. We were
by things: their pornographic
gravity, their cataloged
reality. Centerfolds of middling
In the lodge of happy tedium, career,
we sweated out
a vision quest. Our credit swelled
like a reddening tick.
Then liquidation. Then lay away.
Is that all there is
to a fire sale? Memories I can’t
discount: looking for
you, searching the aisles, something
held in my hand
to show, to present, to test against
Our Brilliant Lives™
Long Past Us™. In these chains, our
groans beneath their weight. Of
Anything We Wanted™
Of Everything & Nothing™.
—from Rattle #30, Winter 2008
Gregory Crosby: “When I hit 35 I decided that I’d rather be a poet who occasionally writes journalism as opposed to a journalist who occasionally writes poetry. Not the brightest idea I’ve ever had, but what the hell. ‘Everything & Nothing™’ was obviously inspired by the spectacle of a marriage slowly failing amidst the consumptive paradise of a suburban strip mall. There is an idea these days that art has failed and there’s nothing left but shopping and fucking, and I suppose the poem tries to act, in its melancholy way, as a rebuke to that.” (web)