Sucker (Artificial Colors and Flavors) and other poems

Matthew Lee Bain



Sucker (Artificial Colors and Flavors)


Pure-white boy; smile,

negative-space grape


Pure-white girl; laugh,

negative-space grape


Pure-white boy, girl play

marbles in negative space


Pure-white girl (Partially

hydrogenated)- eyes nose smile,

negative space - rides pure-white pony

(soybean oil)

Pure-white boy(whey), girl(soy)-

happiness in negative space - ice skate

(lecithin a)

Pure-white boy (milk, skim)- elation

in negative space - rides soapbox racer


Pure boy, girl - negative complaisance

- sail away into dark-blue happiness

(including FD&C

 Blue 1, Red 40).



Sometimes in the Soft Dead Winter


Sometimes in the soft dead

winter trains chuff through


Coal-black snow-wet steel huffing

PU-ffing crow-stack plumes


Where loneliness lives

in the heart of the forest

the winter is bleak and white


No-one hears the thunder of

creak ice or the whoo-P

of fell trees...


Sometimes in the soft dead

winter trains chuff through

Johns and Janes jump from

open cars


They leave sooty snow angels or

rolling snowmen trails and footprints

gone in seconds


Sometimes Johns brave the creak -

No-one sees them slide beneath the ice

sheets, chuffing steam like winter trains


Some get lost in the beautiful

wastes - disappear like footprints -

cold solstice ornaments


No-one lives here with loneliness

in the heart of the forest


Where winter is bleak and white

Black trains chuff, PU-ff.



Sometimes in the soft dead

winter Janes and Johns jump

from open cars


Janes leave soft clean star

shapes, sometimes - and footprints lightly -

Their skin is pure as snow

Their eyes are as hard-blue as ice


No-one watches their footprints disappear

and follows...


Black trains blow and bellow

Chuff and PU-ff, screeching down the

ice-hard tracks - Creak ice thunders

deafening in its shift - Trees

whoo-P down to indurate ground -

Nothing else can be heard



Side Effects May Include



Here’s the cure to depression

And allergies,

All in one fell swoop!

Say “bye bye,”

And good riddance to those pesky

Blues and sniffles

With just three pills a day!




Scrotal hemorrhaging and bloating‑

Growth and protrusion of horns from skull‑

Secretion of blood from nipples‑

Subliminal impulses to cannibalize

family and friends (please ignore them)‑

An uncanny ability to speak with

And control kitchen appliances‑

Abundance of obscure visions such as: 

Dancing, skeletal children, Elvis’ gutted torso

Hanging from trees, colored capsules raining

Down from the heavens, extra terrestrials

Giving generous lapdances accompanied by

Glowing genitalia, etc.‑

(In studies, only 20% of participants

Reported the ability to prophecize

The return of the all‑mighty Amon‑Ra.)



Ask your doctor about Bedlamene today!


The Matthew Lee Bain ship is slowly but steadily approaching its thirty-second year at sail on this dreary and otherwise uncertain sea of life... Other than that, he writes fiction, studies literature, and practices Tae Kwon Do. Two of his poems were recently published in The Rose and Thorn and The Shantytown Anomaly; and a short story, "The Orange Mammoth," has been selected for publication in the upcoming anthology Horror Library Vol. 3.


Photo Courtesy of 123rf.



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Poems Copyright © 2008 Matthew Lee Bain. All rights reserved.