May 3, 2019 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION




Howard Brown




A Shit-Storm of Plastic



You wake up in the morning, reach over

and shut off the plastic alarm clock which

sits on the bedside table, then rise and make

your way to the bathroom, where (depending

on your need) you lift or lower the plastic toilet

seat and once you’re done with your business,

shed your night clothes, pull back the plastic

shower curtain, step into the tub and plant your

feet firmly on a plastic mat so you don’t slip

and fall.  After finishing your shower, you

dry off, grab a disposable plastic razor and

shave, put on deodorant, hair gel and perhaps

a dash of cologne, all from various throwaway

plastic tubes and bottles.


Next, it’s back to the bedroom where you slip

into clean underwear and t-shirt, socks, a pair of

slacks and a fresh white shirt, the latter two

suspended from coat hangers and covered by

clear plastic wrappers.  And last, but not least,

you put on your shoes with the aid of a plastic

shoe horn.


Once dressed, you make your way downstairs

to the kitchen, shake out your daily regimen of

vitamins and supplements from a half-dozen

outrageously oversized plastic bottles (none

of which were more than half-full when you

bought them at the health food store), grab a

plastic container of orange juice from the fridge,

pour yourself a healthy portion of juice into a

large plastic super-hero cup and wash down

the pills.  You load the largely plastic coffee

maker and, while waiting for it to perk, pull a

couple of slices of bread from a plastic wrapper

and pop them in the plastic-coated toaster.

Meanwhile, you hear the morning paper land

on the porch and you know for a certainty it’s

securely wrapped in a plastic bag to protect it

from the weather.  By the time you’ve retrieved

the paper, your toast is ready, so you put it on a

plate, slather on some Peter Pan peanut butter from

a super-size, 40 oz. plastic jar and top it off with a

few of squiggles of honey from the cute little plastic

Honey Bear container.


While eating, you turn on the television with a handy

plastic remote and watch, with growing disgust, a

series of plastic news commentators dance across the

tv’s plastic screen, as you move from channel to channel,

searching in vain for just a smidgen of good news.


After breakfast, you step into the downstairs bathroom,

brush your teeth with a plastic toothbrush, give your

hair a final once-over with a plastic comb and, finally,

you’re ready to roll.  Well, almost ready, anyway.  Because,

about this time, your wife reminds you that you must still

clean the cat’s plastic litter box.  So, gathering up the

clumpy little clods of excrement with a plastic scoop you

place them in a plastic sack, which you will dump in the

plastic trash can (already overflowing with assorted plastic

waste) at the end of the drive as you leave for work.


Holy crap, you haven’t even made it out the back door

and already you’re drowning in plastic!  A virtual

shit-storm of the stuff, which will molder in some

desolate landfill long past not only your own lifetime,

but that of your children and your children’s children,

as well, or float about in the ocean, where it may well be

swallowed by some hapless sea creature, who fatally

mistakes it for a bit of sustenance.


Sobering, huh? And the remainder of an equally plastic-laden

day still lies out there waiting on you!






Howard Brown

Howard Brown is a poet and writer who lives in Lookout Mountain, Tennessee.  His poetry has appeared in Tuck Magazine, Burningword Literary Journal, Blue Collar Review, The Beautiful Space, Pure Slush Magazine, Poetry Super Highway, Old Hickory Review, Lone Stars Magazine, Printed Words (forthcoming) and Devils Party Press (forthcoming).  In 2012, he published a collection of poems entitled The Gossamer Nature of Random Things. His poem “Pariah” placed first in the poetry division of the 2015 William Faulkner Literary Competition sponsored by the Union County Mississippi Heritage Museum and Tallahatchie Riverfest. He has published short fiction in Louisiana Literature, F**k Fiction, Crack the Spine, Pulpwood Fiction, Extract(s) and Gloom Cupboard.

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