Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


by Herb Guggenheim

Hamburgers, hotdogs, thick slices
of pie. We stuff them all down
our gullets and wonder what went
wrong as a swarm of yellow jackets
descends on us, stinging us over
and over. We try to shoo them away
but they keep stinging. Blisters break
on our skin and violet blood sprays
out of them. Everything is covered
in violet blood. We can’t remember
who invited us or why we came.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent. The yellowjackets could be seen as punishment for the speaker's gluttony, but the speaker doesn't pick up on this meaning; he - they - only wonder, in a self-exculpating way, "what went wrong." With dreadful comic effect, the consequences become more severe, and the speaker reacts by again changing the question: "who invited us," "why we came." As if these issues were important, or commensurate with events! But actually they are: the implication is that the speaker(s) invited themselves, and that the "picnic" is where he, they, we, always are: it is social life (one might say "society under capitalism") itself.