"The Demise of Camembert"
before unwrapping it, unwrapped it
two hours before she served it.
But what the French sociologist calls
la déstructurisation of family meals
means there's no more patience
for ripening on the cold shelf.
This message comes to us
on a tray with quick-serve cheddar puffs
passed across the cocktail party,
across news networks via satellite.
Also it lands thudding with the flat bread,
bean salad, raisins, fruit bar,
seedless jam and plastic cutlery
in the humanitarian airdrop.
Pah! A man rejects the bland cheese couplets.
And the pre-moistened serviette.
In this world he fears annihilation.
This world has made him a nihilist.
Ron Slate's latest book of poetry, The Incentive of the Maggot, was published in April 2005. He is the chief operating officer of a biotechnology startup in Massachusetts.
Clickhere to visit Robert Pinsky's Favorite Poem Project site.Please note: Because Slate's backlog of accepted poems is substantial, poetry editor Robert Pinsky will not be reading new submissions until December 2005.