polyester (1st draft)

such a pretty word
when draped across the cellar door
or swept across the marble floor
or wadded up in a porn store
say it with me now


i once dated identical twin sisters 
and ester 
they clashed and they schemed 
they split straight down the seam
nothing loved me quite like jealous sisters
gave me thrills, gave me blisters
they lived in my dresser drawer
which rhymes with cellar door
so beautiful

from the polyester mountains of puru 
to polyester mines of malaysia 
the motherload of our supply-side
glows like green naugahyde
tastes like formaldehyde 
chafes more than rawhide
smells like something plastic died 
the hidden treasure
in every pair of walmart socks

that’s a haiku

think of all the pretty things we say every pedestrian day
“pleased to meet you” or “hold the elevator”
or “apocalyptic table candles” or “pancreatic cancer”
or “seasick stallions” or “wandering cartwheels” 
or “siddhartha never sat in traffic, only under mango trees” or
“hey, we’re out of toiletpaper”
so beautiful

what word could taste sweeter pressed between the lips? 
not a kiss, not gossamer, not grandmother’s peach cobbler 
not cashmere, not lyocell, not fleece
what could be smoother? not vanilla, not sarsaparilla
not satin, not lace 
certainly not velveeta
what could wrap and warm our broken souls any tighter 
than a brand new j crew christmas sweater?

sing it with me now – polyester!

don’t dis on my wardrobe
don’t pull on that thread
you can’t break it, can’t burn it, can’t breathe it 
can’t eat, can’t beat it with an ugly stick
can’t lose it, can’t leave it, can’t bleach it 
can’t bury it alive cause it comes back all angry and zombie-eyed
can’t wear it out, can’t wear it in, can’t live without it
can’t wash it in hot water
can’t wish it all 

say it with me now


posted for shay’s word garden word list

and dverse open link night

41 thoughts on “polyester (1st draft)”

  1. I fucking love this, Philip! There is so much I love about it that I’ll have to just mention a couple of things or my comment will be longer than your poem. First, it seems like a chant to me, and I like that it does. I’m hearing a tom-tom beat behind it. The rhyming works so well. And the “that’s a haiku” line is classic! Good stuff! (The song goes perfectly, as well)


    Liked by 3 people

    1. thank shay. yeah i love that song. i’ve jamming out to tv on the radio all weekend long, right now listening in to their album “desperate youth, blood thirsty babes” the first track is a personal fav, also check out the song “wolf like me” i think you’d like it

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Let’s hear it for polyester! The madness of words, of textures, of emotions, and interconnectedness! Let’s hear it for life, so poly-yesssss-ter! Terrible and ineffable. A poem that rings in your ears!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I absolutely love this, Phillip! Kind of reads like a rap. I’d love to see/hear it performed. It’s threaded through (no pun intended) with your wry humour and has such great rhythm and imagery. Great to read you again! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. sure, understood. your erasure poems may not work so well on stage, unless you use a projector (i’ve seen that done before) i wrote some concrete poem many years ago, same deal, don’t work on stage. i like to read poems out loud, and like they don’t sound right, i throw them back into the scrap pile

        Liked by 1 person

  4. This is so so so so Cool! It’s such a joy to read. And I think it would be amazing as read- aloud poetry… SLAM poetry I think is the word. Like Shay, I love the line “that’s a haiku”. So much of it made me smile. But it also makes you think. Simply wonderful!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yes, this screams for a performance. I too love the haiku line. LOL. I am old enough to remember cotton long johns and not everything polyester – wool, was still very much around. Of course, by the 1960’s and 70’s polyester was here. But my toys were still wooden and not all were plastic (which is ANOTHER evil ;). Loved your poem – your humor.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you, glad you liked it. and i know what you mean, i was a child of the 70’s, so, first generation polyester i guess =) this was partially born out of a documentary i watched a few weeks ago about how all the excess clothing made in southeast asia gets shipped to puru and other south american countries, just mountains and mountains of synthetic clothing baking in the sun, turning into toxic fumes… crazy what we do to out planet. thanks again


  6. I agree this would make a good reading for a poetry slam. So many great lines, watch that polyester it can be toxic. Have you ever listened to “Garbage” by Pete Seeger? Your poem has the same vibe…really interesting writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You’re right, polyester is actually a pretty word, and so is ““siddhartha never sat in traffic, only under mango trees” 😆 I agree with the comments above, all your beautiful verses should be spoken aloud, in one long glorious string! True entertainment! 👏👏

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh my gosh I love this poem. It brings back memories of my mother. She only dressed in polyster the last years of her life. She said “f**k the iron. I once told her if you had had another daughter, you would have named her Polly Ester…She didn’t like my humor. Great writing!!


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