Two Poems

by Howard Winn Issue: Spring 2015

Breakfast at the Mall


It is early and the stores are still barricaded by locked iron gates.
Behind some, Lane Bryant presents
headless plus size mannequins waiting.
Under other glass, unreal playboy figures
wearing miniscule undergarments of Victoria’s Secret,
stare in zombie seduction toward
the sexy dreams of men  locked in teenage fantasies.
The Disney store waits to clasp
in its deadly embrace
the pre-packaged frozen imaginations
of luckless children.
Everywhere there are special eternal sales,
or signs foretelling the flame-out
of some American small business vision;
although Macy’s, Penny’s, and Best Buy
seem everlasting like Intelligent Design.
But retail dreams are not available at 8:30 A. M.
In the middle of it all, the food court is open
and at the tables fastened to the floor,
as if thieves in the night
might make off with the chrome and plastic
for their nefarious purposes,
senior citizens group together
over coffee and egg McMuffins.
Not Chinese at this early hour
and their shop is closed.
Gray heads, bald heads, hennaed heads
and bottle blonde heads
nod and bob as pleasantries
are created and exchanged.
It is the community of the lonely
congregating in the church of commerce
to partake of the blood and body
in a communion for left-over souls.



We think
we are
what we buy.
Clothed in the Gap,
accessorized in Old Navy
or Macy’s,
beliefs from Oprha,
Doctor Oz,
or Deepak Chopra,
politics from Fox,
intellect from MTV, C-Span,
and Barnes and Noble.
Pottery Barn chairs are personality,
Ikea tables our psyche,
gourmet meals from Stonewall Kitchen
something fundamental.
Knowledge of the world
from the New York Times
Style section.
Everything else from

Howard Winn’s fiction and poetry has been published recently by such journals as Dalhousie Review, Taj Mahal Review (India), Galway Review (Ireland), Antigonish Review, Southern Humanities Review, Chaffin Review, Thin Air Literary Journal, and Futures Trading Literary Journal. His B. A. is from Vassar College. He has an M.A. in Creative Writing from Stanford University. His doctoral work was done at N. Y. U. He has been a social worker in California and currently is a faculty member of SUNY as Professor of English.