PLATO AND THE PEPSI CHALLENGE
Plato frowns up at me from the pages
of a dusty old textbook I’m reading.
He looks the way one might think, chiselled nose,
sculpted brows, marble eyes and no pupils.
True to form, he scowls when I crack open
a Pepsi. My soda hisses and snakes
through the dialogue into the garden
of Athens where I find Plato holding
a can of Coke like an Olympic torch
while proclaiming nothing beats the real thing.
I find it difficult to swallow
what fizzles up and falls flat on its face.
He thinks Pepsi’s are like poets, phony
reflections of the divine perfection.
Perhaps Plato should look in a mirror.
One could argue, he’s the carbon copy
of another philosopher. Good old
cottage cheese and heart disease pops to mind.
If Plato would step aside from the joke
side of life he might see I’m not the waste
of a new generation. I know.
without a shadow of a doubt, he’d rise
to the challenge and sip from the fountain.
He’d gulp back a Pepsi and then proclaim:
What happens in the cave, stays in the cave.
I travel planets,
of your six-sided heaven,
the irretrievable beauties
of your smile embellishing
itself in pure light.
Such gifts have no relation
to the human coldness bleeding
the world of forgetfulness.
Surely, I will not lose my breath
in the white space of your eyes,
the drenched smell of calla lilies
touching themselves, entirely emptied
of ego. My lips fell like comets
through your hair
and folds of my flesh lamps
the given night. Warm gestures
spread like tiger lilies
and then leaps off the melting grass.
A blessing spirals
hot and peeling and falling nowhere.
Why bear such a cross,
such cold pink petals?
How they sit and flake and spot!
Shall these dances
sleep forever on the grass,
these small amnesias,