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Greg Razran

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Wal-Mart, 3 a.m.
by Greg Razran
Sunday, February 17, 2002

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           >> View all 37

Wal-Mart, 3 a.m.

Can't sleep again;
Too much coffee,
and too much on my mind.
I drive to Wal-Mart,
Keeping the radio on.
I really don't need anything,
But I walk through the aisles,
Acting as if I'm looking
For something.
There's no need to, really,
The store is full of insomniacs;
Nobody is really desperate for
Fig newtons, or Bounty,
Or slippers --
Surely, not at 3 am.

Leaning on my shopping cart,
I drag myself through the store,
Spotting the usual suspects:
The retards that ride the city buses;
The downtown cowboy;
The prostitute from Chenango Street,
Off duty, I guess.
And then I see him, James Plato
(no relation;) my neighbor from
my old place on Cedar.

And I remember his story:
Nearsighted from birth,
He once bought starter fluid
Instead of cooking spray,
And nobody caught it.
That night, he made a special
Supper for his wife:
Fried potatoes, fried eggs,
Fried strips of bacon.
It was all simple, but that's
The way he was, he put his
Soul into that pan.
Now, she is in constant need
Of a tune-up;
That meal fucked her up,
And the doctors can't figure it out.

He never forgave himself,
And when he is not taking her out
For walks, he is in the process of
Drinking himself to death.
I catch his eyes.
They don't sparkle,
But barely glow, like the dying flame
Of a candle, burning down.
He doesn't recognize me.
I want to say something, but I can't.
We part ways by the beer coolers.
Something inside of me
Wails silently
All the way home.

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Reviewed by ya mama (Reader) 3/14/2003
great poem! you know for a while i have been predicting that there will be an anthology of wal-mart poems.
Reviewed by Suzie Fowler (Reader) 12/6/2002
I wander around wal mart in the middle of the night too. This is a sad poem, well done though.
Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado 10/11/2002
good write about wally world in the wee hours of the morning. not much going on there at that time. i used to work at wally world, myself, but was fired on account of my age and physical disability. (will not go into details, but it royally ticked me off!! :( )
but i still like to shop there; it's the closest big store here near where i live. loved this poem!! love, your friend, karen lynn (ex wal*mart employee; now work at golden corral, 2 1/2 years and still going strong!!). :)
Reviewed by Daniel McTaggart 8/14/2002
This is such a richly detailed poem. Very well done. You just can't feel life this thick at the opera or at fancy restaurants.
Reviewed by Bad Music (Reader) 2/18/2002
This is very graphic, a little sad, quite believable, and really good.
I, as well, like Gillan!
Reviewed by Sharon Williamson (Reader) 2/18/2002
I have been in Wally world at 3 am....
This is very good.
Reviewed by Sandie Angel 2/17/2002
Oh that was really sad! I'm not sure whether this can be a poem, but I like how you tell it with a story. True or not, it is very heartfelt indeed!

Sandie Angel :o)
Reviewed by April Pittman 2/17/2002
Wow. How depressing. But I love the way you describe scenery and people... wonderful job. ::Wanders off to shoot herself.::
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