(poem inspired by work as a “namer” for advertising)
My product needs you. Watch the silver surfaces, the waving waters, wonder why the woman is humiliating the man—hold that anxious thought. We have you now; pledge unconscious
allegiance to us. The words reverberate: aim, aptitude, authority; you are not sure you can measure up. Hold that feeling of self-doubt: we will bring authenticity, balance, direction, a compass for your life. Now, buy Boson (never mind what it means, it is a solution).
We are anodyne, access to numbness and a world without doubt; we are the antidote. Buy
Allele (the sound alone is uplifting, lulling). Buy Asana (our sharp penetrating products are as
beneficial as yoga). Watch: we offer you a bright shore, an ascendant future, halcyon nights, a
champion for your battles, a compass in the fog, clarity, concord, electric force.
In your indecisive world, you are on the cusp of a decision: leap! To buy is action, affirmation, connection; the diagram of your life is finally here! We are your doctrine and domain, your
emergent path to an elemental, firsthand, and entire existence. We are your focus, your formula,
your fulcrum. The world is frightening and ridden with woes; you are daily subject to death by
a thousand cuts. We are your lightship, your sure haven, your journey’s landing, your way through the matrix’s maze, your locus, your hope.
STOP: Your problems, which are legion, cannot be solved outside of the mercantile world. We
control the immaterial and will share its aura if you buy. Without us, you are a zygote, small and unformed, without viability, validity, or worth. We are the membrane through which you must
pass. Listen: you have problems you have never dreamed of which we alone can resolve. Buy
Synergy, buy Thoughtfulness, buy it all and survive. Watch the silver surfaces, the waving water, the woman humiliating the man, and buy.
Larissa Shmailo is a poet, novelist, translator, editor, and critic. Her new novel is Sly Bang; her first novel is Patient Women. Her poetry collections are Medusa’s Country, #specialcharacters , In Paran , A Cure for Suicide, and Fib Sequence . Her poetry albums are The No-Net World and Exorcism, for which she won the New Century Best Spoken Word Album award. Shmailo is the original English-language translator of the first Futurist opera Victory over the Sun by Alexei Kruchenych, performed at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and theaters and universities worldwide. Shmailo also edited the online anthology Twenty-first Century Russian Poetry. Please see more about Larissa at her website www.larissashmailo.com