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20 Feb 2023

Rose Menyon


New Moon


Mar 7th

Five Guys Commercial
Disguised as a
Friendship Poem

Feb 5th

After Matthew Olzmann’s

Mountain Dew Commercial

Disguised as a Love Poem

Here’s what I’ve got: the reasons why our friendship

might work. Because you are a social butterfly to my proverbial

hermit. Because you nearly scared the shit out me when we met

as I was absently perusing the bulletin board of the Soils Department

on that first day of graduate school. Because you apologized for that.

Because you’re so appreciative of everything. Because you

indulged my love of Chiapas, Mexico for the group project in

our tropical agriculture class. Because you never pass up a chance to

badmouth your Jersey homeland, same as me and my Kentucky birthplace.

You love vegetables. And you’re always there to lend a hand, even when

you’re across the country, like when you helped me move without lifting

a single finger. Because you once successfully grew over eight

hundred tomato plants in a Baltimore apartment, and it spawned

a lifelong love of gardening that makes me grossly jealous of your

green thumb. Because you remind me of a muppet with your wide and

eager eyes and warmly smiling mouth and shock of blond hair –

                                                                                                like a character

mistakenly edited out of Avenue Q. Because you rescued my sister.

Because you, too, love travel and adventure. You brake for raptors.

You brake for farmers’ markets, especially the Amish ones.

Because you love food in a way that I, picky eater that I am, never

could, and because you realize that you married above yourself and don’t

have the humility to be abashed by it or the machismo to deny it.

Because we’re both storytellers. Because of the amazingly sequined

and utterly epic dragon hat you brought back to me all the way from Asia.

Because you automatically dubbed me aunt. Because you helped me

with my field research for the master’s degree I never completed

without complaint, even in the pouring rain. And during those long

and freezing Wisconsin winter weekends spent protesting

former governor Scott Walker’s sinfully oppressive legislation,

you not only once loaned my foolishly bare-handed self

your gloves and went without in the February cold,

but you waited patiently in that monstrously long line with me

at the Five Guys on State Street near the Capitol

and sat with me tolerantly and calmly while I ate –

despite the fact that you had already eaten lunch that day

and didn’t get anything for yourself – and never judged me one iota

for ordering a hotdog with cheese and French fries

and devouring it all, even as, starving,

I vocally kicked myself for scarfing it down so ravenously

and loudly judged myself for enjoying the greasy junk food

                                                                                      entirely too much.

Behind the poem...

This poem was written in a local community poetry workshop, during which we were prompted to imitate Matthew Olzman’s Mountain Dew Commercial Disguised as a Love Poem. Since I’m asexual and aromantic, I initally struggled with the assignment – until I decided to make it a friendship poem instead, and opted to write about a friend who has really been there for me through thick and thin and winter protests and Five Guys’ burgers and fries.

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