The principal product of my hometown
is people who want to be elsewhere.
The principal product of where I live now
is chips to be worn on shoulders.
I took a job as a packaging designer
for these products of town and city.
I’d wrap them up in shroud cloth
and wait for ideas.
I’d gather my bitter friends
and we’d brainstorm. We’d use
the same buzzwords you always hear —
let’s throw stuff on the wall to see what sticks,
or let’s run this up the flagpole and see who salutes.
We’d bore ourselves silly. We’d smoke cigarettes outside
in rainstorms and then come in to sit glumly
over our half-finished cups of coffee.
We were really stuck for concepts. How can we sell
ennui and hostility, we’d ask? Everyone’s already got all
they need of both. And we’d try again and again, to no avail.
Soon we lost the account. We retired to a bar
and tried to figure out what went wrong.
We certainly knew the market.
We certainly knew the product. Maybe
a change of scene would help?