by Ramakrishnan Parthasarathy.
fingers trace the heart
to find a quarter â€“ an
inch too far in a pocket
that does not welcome
a recompense for extra
grease and melted cheese.
“Iâ€™ve got a penny, Sir,
to make it 26”, says
the benevolent hitman
across the counter.
0 thoughts on “faux food”
i thought i already commented on this. i was kind waiting for some super enlightening reader of ours, like quasi, misener, benz or a cameo from scott pierce to put this one in check… but… while i’ve read this several times and thought of several angles to understand this from… don’t. not like i think the author might have wanted.
but… there’s at least two other poems by this author in the holster that are much better.
keep an eye out.
Well, right off the bat, we can look at the title “Faux Food” literally meaning false food which brings to mind fast food…’faux’ sounding a bit like ‘fast’ which is most likely intended by the author i would say. This idea is confirmed in line 6 with “grease and melted cheese” bringing to mind a good ol’ fashioned burger. The pic chosen for the poem is pretty right on i’d think since there is a mention of ‘across the counter’ [unless ‘counter’ is supposed to take on another meaning counting cholesterol or even the age one might be lucky enough to survive leading such an unhealthy lifestyle].
In the beginning of the poem, i believe the subject is trying to retrieve a coin/quarter from his left shirt pocket for the ‘faux food’ which is about an inch from his heart…hence the ‘tracing’ and the ‘not welcome’ situation bad food can get you into…a possible heart-attack later on or figuative heart burn?
At the end, when the ‘benevolent hitman’, or cook offers the subject a penny to make 26 cents, i’m guessing the author is describing an actual price for the ‘faux food’ in his country [India maybe?](a lot less than the $3-$4 we’re used to). The cook is a ‘benevolent hitman’ because of his courtesy and capability of giving the subject something he likes, on the one hand, but a ‘hitman’ because this thing he sells and gives to people for their enjoyment is ultimately bad for them and their health possible killing them young.
This is just my meager take on the matter. Perhaps not right nor wrong…but food for thought nonetheless…no pun intended. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll get back to my Whataburger with cheese, chocolate milkshake, and fries. Good poem!
Thanks so much for the comments and encouragement. Quasimofo got it almost right. As to “fingers trace the heart”, it is about a man who suffers from obesity and has outgrown his shirt long back. He has to trace his heart (the victim…something he’d later do vigorously at the onset of an attack) to actually reach his pocket that’s too tight for his fingers and additionally serves as an obstacle.
I am from India (am moving to TX myself next week – Houston), yes, but fast food is the same price as in America. I am talking from the perspective of having lived here for a while. The man has to pay 26 cents (say a total of $3.26) and is searching his pocket for the extra change (for the extra grease and cheese)…The hitman saves him the trouble of a penny with his benevolence.
Not to make a statement (I myself enjoy cheap food a whole lot – burgers, fries whatever) but just to compress a general commentary.
Best regards and thank you once again.