An Email Concerning the Price Points of Orange Juice and Free Verse

Dear Orange Time Orange Juice Company,

Today I dined in the School of Embodied Poetics cafeteria. Usually I wash down my Big Breakfast ($4.99 plus tax) with water. This forenoon, feeling exceptionally parched from poesy, I splurged on one of your tiny but exquisitely packaged orange juice products. I presumed it would cost $1.99, maybe even $2.99. As you know, the suggested retail price of your 340-millilitre orange juice is fucking $3.99. I have purchased bags of oranges for less.

I drank seven times from the bottle. While it would be unfair to describe these as sips, I certainly wouldn’t go so far as to call them gulps. Half-gulps is probably the most appropriate language here. That works out to 57 cents per demi-gulp.

The same economic system that rewards enthusiasm for Jean-Joseph Rabearivelo allows you to charge obscene prices for small amounts of juice. That’s capitalism. Good on us both. But before I purchase your product again, I have questions. Some came to me while watching television, others in a grey dream, others still during a game of squash against Rickman, the School of Embodied Poetics’ sonnet and aubade man.

Is your juice’s orange hue derived from 24-karat gold?

Is your juice a sexual tryst with supermodel Kate Upton?

Is your juice a truce with my stepbrother over my father’s long-contested estate?

Is it Proust’s soggy madeleine, a moment too late?

My mother’s proud brow after my first breakdancing competition?

The plump bicep of my childhood love?

Dylan’s “Visions of Johanna”?

Is it unwavering jñana?*

Will your juice cure my beloved beagle (Peter) of his foot ailment?

Generate an uptick in the efficacy of my occult power?

Coo softly in my darker hours?

Force us to care for more than serial TV?

Unearth Seinfeld episodes unseen?

Ameliorate the pervasive sadness I experience?

Cure the antinatalist streak I can’t shake after True Detective?

Guide my prosody by divine directive?

Finally fix the steam room at my gym?

Will your stupid, expensive juice smite my enemies and mitigate the galling success of my poet contemporaries?

If not, then it’s my opinion that $3.99 for 340 millilitres of orange juice represents a poor value.

PS: If you enjoyed this email and want to see more of my work, my chapbook of unphonetic clicking sounds, Void Kisses (from the), is available for $19.99 wherever fine chapbooks are sold.

Yours in commercial bondage,

The Poet Ron Q. Dandelion


*While jñana has varied meaning across cultures, here the poet intends the Sanskrit primordial gnosis.

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