Fat - Ron Singer

In the course of food-and-diet chin-wags,
people often invoke a fat metaphor:
“I’m still fighting the battle of the bulge,”
they quip, ambiguously. Does that refer
to weight-watching or (as the Germans say)
“The Watch on the Rhine”? In both cases
--global and personal, body and war--
there is ebb and flow, great redundancy.
Still, the metaphor seems trivial, extreme,
perhaps even obscene.

My wife’s late cousin, Harry, noted wag,
used to call Eliot’s poem “The Waist Line.”
That joke would shake us like bowls of jello,
although it, too, like the Bulge metaphor,
was undermined by its evocation
of the ruined landscape of “The Great War.”
Talk about ebb and flow!

Jokes and metaphors aside, there’s something
to the pairing of Lucien Freud’s mis-shapes
with ravaged landscapes: Appalachia,
Detroit, for starters, not to mention
the global stations of garbage and war.
In the course of an anti-obesity campaign
in my own waste-ridden city, New York,
another wag, this one a comedian,
made a quip to the effect, I recall,
that big sodas are the country houses
of the poor. But I’ll speak of rolls of fat,
garbage mounds, carcasses, waistlines and waste
... no more.

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Ron Singer (www.ronsinger.net) has published seven books, and he recently completed three trips to Africa for an eighth, Uhuru Revisited: Interviews with Pro-Democracy Leaders (forthcoming). His serial thriller, Geistmann, and his serial farce, The Parents We Deserve, are both available at jukepopserials.com. His work has twice been nominated for Pushcart Prizes.