Please join Synkroniciti in welcoming poet Benjamin Harnett. A whimsical poem with dark undertones, “Cheerios” explores the iconic oat-based cereal created in 1941 by General Mills that has commanded the breakfast cereal market for decades. From myriad flavors and knock-offs: “To economize, Dad bought Mega O’s, and even the birds wouldn’t eat them” to the seamy underbelly of food distribution: “undocumented teens pull bags of the stuff from bins, and pack them into yellow cartons. The night is dark, but the place is bright with exploitation, and the shadows cross from so many overhead lights” we get an irreverent and revealing look at a product ubiquitous in the US, one that was once marketed as a health food before science punched a hole in the potential of cereal as nourishment. Benjamin’s verse is clever and entertaining, bouncing along with a good-natured snarkiness that turns marketing on its head. Questioning the healthiness and ethical nature of the food we eat is a reality of modern life and we might as well do it with a smile on our face.
Read Benjamin’s sharp poem in the upcoming “Curiosity” issue, now available for pre-order here: https://synkroniciti.com/the-magazine/purchase-individual-issues/. The issue drops on June 1st, online only.
Benjamin Harnett is a poet, fiction writer, historian, and digital engineer. His poetry has appeared recently in Poet Lore, Saranac Review, ENTROPY, and the Evansville Review. He is the author of the novel THE HAPPY VALLEY and the short story collection GIGANTIC. He lives in Cherry Valley, NY with his wife Toni and their collection of eccentric pets. He works for The New York Times.
Please visit his website.