Recycled Sestina

by May 5, 2020 0 comments

It’s hard to feel good about
single-stream recycling

and those enormous receptacles
with the name Harvey written on them
trundling up and down the highway going
who knows where?

They remind me of that sestina
about recycling, the one with my name on it
and plastic, paper, glass, cardboard, aluminum, tin
thrown together in a kind of calibrated jumble
in every stanza,

each recycled end-word coming up
again and again, like in a tumble drier,
the whole thing revolving
around a single bad idea. It was garbage

and I never published it. But E.L. Harvey,
the waste management company with the big receptacles,
has other ideas. And Harvey is published on the broadside
of every truck in the fleet, all of them hauling around

the same questionable idea. I’m stuck here behind one now
in traffic going nowhere, thinking about
my poem. It all gets sent over to Asia, you know,
for processing. Then they send it back over here. Talk about

waste. Talk about pretense. I mean that would be like me
throwing away my sestina, then translating it
into Chinese. Then rehashing it here and putting
my name on it. Then waving it around in your face
like it was something to feel good about.

editors note:

When you think about it, we’re all recycled materials. Let’s self-regulate, Folks! – mh clay

Leave a Reply