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Poetry

Paper Ladder

  • Kate Hargreaves

Corps de l’article

V.

The final tier consists of processed food [*]

Vegetable ink makes my guts grumble

Nose cracking the spine of a new book or film festival catalogue

Ink licking cinnamon buns high fructose mayonnaise

IV.

throw out four full jars

peanut butter and jam fail the nutrition ladder

tier III: the “Swiss tier”

whole wheat toast climbed to the “happy tier” (II)

stuck for six years up at tier V with grilled cheese and bacon

“eating only from tier one and two will give you a near-perfect diet”

III.

vegetable oil is tier V but I file ink at I,

newspaper at II.

maybe III for thicker bond.

a list of tier I foods that give me heartburn:

cucumbers, avocados, honeydew melon

“you want to maximize the nutrients in every calorie you consume.”

lick the ink off my fingers

leave blue smudges on the fridge

a lemon cake, one tier or three is still up at V

no listing for coffee cake means

two slices for breakfast

tier II: espresso and muesli

II.

Chew the inside of my lip all day and don’t gain an ounce.

I would list gums no higher than tier I.

The first tier contains food choices that are the healthiest

Skin mouth to stomach balances out.

Swallowing half a gram of loose lip

“raw, steamed, grilled, poached, baked, or broiled”

better than 40 calories of celery

Cuticles, nails, thumb edges

add bananas (tier II) for an

itchy neck

I.

tier I items I couldn’t identify in a line-up:

amaranth, endive, collard, natto, spelt.

Amaranth: a language spoken in certain parts of Asia

Collard and spelt both have something to do with mining.

Endive is a new enzyme in fifty-five dollar face cream from behind the counter at Shopper’s Drug Mart and I could scoop natto into a plastic bag and seal with a twist tie in the corner store candy aisle.

The cap of my pen sits up at III

hard plastic

slip and cut my gums

have to up my iron intake

switch back to pencil for a lighter snack with more fibre.

Parties annexes

Parties annexes