Double Take

For those who may have seen the new Dunkin' Donuts ad campaign on tv or at Slate, an alternate version, from James Tate:

"A New Lifestyle"

People in this town drink too much
coffee. They're jumpy all the time. You
see them drinking out of their big plastic
mugs while they're driving. They cut in
front of you, they steal your parking places.
Teenagers in the cemeteries knocking over
tombstones are slurping cafe au lait.
Recycling men hanging onto their trucks are
sipping espresso. Dogcatchers running down
the street with their nets are savoring
their cups of mocha java. The holdup man
entering a convenience store first pours
himself a nice warm cup of coffee. Down
the funeral parlor driveway a boy on a
skateboard is spilling his. They're so
serious about their coffee, it's all they
can think about, nothing else matters.
Everyone's wide awake but looks incredibly
-from Memoir of the Hawk (2001)


Toad Press said...

Is that a poem?

HGF said...

The line breaks are Tate's. I was never any good at scanning . . . but what if there some interplay were detectable between the rhythm and the sense?