Tuesday, January 28, 2020


I am learning to navigate the dreaded Disneyland of CostCo. First I park a billion miles away so I won’t get hit by a car or one of those huge fucking baskets careening wildly out of control. Once inside I keep to the left of the store so I won’t get lost in the labyrinth of cheese and meat and bread and cleaning products and screaming children and goats and booze and bales of hay and coffins. Then I get what I need which is usually cheese and butter and cleaning supplies and while I’m doing this I smile at everyone. Smiling at people in CostCo freaks them out. Bad. Seriously bad. They look at me like I’m going to steal their purses or rip their lungs out with my enormous teeth. When I get to the 15 mile long checkout line I lean my arms on my basket and continue to smile. Today my checker’s name was Falcon. I told him it was a beautiful name and asked if he knew the Robert Duncan poem My Mother Would Be A Falconress one of my most beloved poems of all time. The first time I read this poem I almost fell down. I worship this poem. I memorized it right after I read it which is an old fashioned thing I still do. The poem makes my head burn like a church on fire. The checker Falcon had not read or heard of the poem so I wrote Robert Duncan then My Mother Would Be A Falconress on a slip of paper and told him to Google it when he got home. So I held up the line for almost an entire minute. Sometimes you have to do it.


Blogger Barbara S said...

I had to Google it. Wow wow wow. No words. Thank you.

January 28, 2020 at 2:04 PM  
Blogger Radish King said...

Hi Barbara. Yes. It stuns me every time I read it.

January 28, 2020 at 2:10 PM  
Blogger Ms. Moon said...

It's never boring at Costco, is it? The people at the one here are quite friendly and smiley. Especially the mothers with babies and also the old people (me) who smile at the babies. I just can't hate Costco. It's impossible for me. The prices on the olive oil and balsamic vinegar, the giant crabs that I can show August and Levon, the sometimes-samples. But best of all, for me, is the people who work there. One lady who is so beautiful and always wears mermaid eyeshadow and we hug every time. There's the lady who loves August because when he was very little she'd ask him how he was and he always said, "Pretty good." She and I had a good cry one day together about Christmas and people we love dying. That lady too, is beautiful.
I suppose it's sad but I have some of my best encounters at Costco. Also- Costco is where I bought my Keith Richards autobiography. I thought, eh, why not?
We all know what happened from there.
I hope that Falcon does indeed read that poem. You may have changed his life.

January 28, 2020 at 2:15 PM  
Blogger Radish King said...

Mary Barbara reminded me to add a link to my post so readers can find that poem. CostCo is never boring you’re right. And one could live and die inside one I believe it.

January 28, 2020 at 2:19 PM  
Blogger Ms. Moon said...

I definitely googled and read it before I posted my comment. I'm ashamed to admit that I was not familiar with it but it's a mind-blower.
Yes. You could probably live and die in a Costco. Sleep on one of the couches, eat the samples, drink the liquid supplements, watch the TV's, die and be carried out in a coffin. Or rolled up in a rug. Plenty of reading material and stretchy clothing to wear. The sink-troughs are big enough to take a basic bath in. And one could hide behind the giant pallets of toilet paper when it all became just too much.

January 28, 2020 at 4:08 PM  
Blogger Adie Das said...

I wonder if Falcon will be enjoying that poem ...

January 29, 2020 at 12:35 AM  
Blogger Pamela Johnson Parker said...

You introduced me to that poem. It's a wonder a fierce and musical wonder.

I too wonder what Falcon thinks of Duncan.

January 29, 2020 at 7:28 AM  
Blogger Radish King said...

Dear Adie, he might read it he might love it he might hope I never come back. It’s hard to tell these quick bumps human to human.

January 29, 2020 at 7:50 AM  
Blogger Radish King said...

Pamela I still whisper it to myself in times of dire stress.

January 29, 2020 at 7:51 AM  
Blogger 37paddington said...

This post is a story, whole and visual and complete, with that poem as a magnificent coda. You blow my mind in the most cliche true sense of mind blowing. So much love.

January 30, 2020 at 6:48 PM  
Blogger Radish King said...

Rosemarie there is a meme traveling around on twitter asking people if they have inner monologues. It surprised me to learn that some people don’t as mine is quite noisy. XO

January 31, 2020 at 6:40 AM  
Blogger 37paddington said...

Rebecca, I know! I never imagined that some people hear only silence in their heads. How does that work??? How do they function. My own inner monologue was making quite a racket last night as I tried to puzzle it out!

January 31, 2020 at 6:48 AM  
Blogger Radish King said...

It sounds so calm to not have one. But what’s in there though? A faucet dripping? It’s baffling.

January 31, 2020 at 6:50 AM  
Blogger susan t. landry said...

wild & gorgeous poem. thank you.

February 5, 2020 at 1:17 PM  

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