Raspberries are symbolic of remorse,
which may account for their appearance
in every dessert made in the nineties.
Raspberries are the backwards jeans of fruit,
the Crystal Pepsi of the vine. Seedy,
sour, or whatever stands in for sad,
middle class sads, the “clowning” of the lips,
the “castles of red” the mother calling
“Taylor Emerson Langley MacDree!
You get home right now!” Pouty raspberries
all the time, steering into pop fodder,
all the while it was becoming clear
I didn’t “make it” and for reasons that
had nothing do with the way people chew
bay leaves and instinctively exclude
crude, fat men. It didn’t help that I lied.
Didn’t help that Gerard Manley Hopkins
tweeted “I hope that David McGimpsey
doesn’t publish more. I mean, we get it!
Jesus!” What helped was bowls of cereal,
and General Mills cereal mascot
Franken Berry. Every morning, I’d wake
and seek to help the world by reminding it
that Franken Berry was afraid of cats,
Franken Berry was afraid of parrots,
and, mostly, Franken Berry was afraid
of talking shoes. The kind of talking shoes
which never mourned alienated friends
and did not feel remorse. The shoes would say
remorse was a thing for hard prisoners
or a Civil War general who led
young men into a heavily defended
forest. Remorse was for Plaxico Burress,
the Super Bowl hero who shot himself
in the leg at the LQ nightclub,
on Lexington, as his pistol slipped down
his pants. Raspberries would shoot themselves
if they were given the chance,
even if they won the summer Super Bowl.
They always taste like summer, in a way,
and summer always tastes of fading away,
of the slight depth in a chill that asks you
“Are corduroys coming back in fashion?”
Autumn comes in cuffs and tasseled loafers
and a hope some exam ends with an A.
What is the best way to get through a test
and to endure the sting of Hopkins’ lies?
Plaxico Burress I think said it best:
“Hi, haters! I’m having wings and disco fries!”