O, Benjamin P. Lovell, 19
from Oneonta, New York State
who appears in the police blotter
in Thursday’s Daily Star for
unlawful possession of marijuana.
The police blotter hangs just
below the cast of Hairpsray
rehearsing at the suny oneonta
goodrich theater
where the girl playing Tracy
Turnblad looks as if she’s been
helping herself to donuts:
maybe the donuts we were eating
at Barlow’s General Store, Treadwell.
Do you ever get an upstate rush?
I’ve never been crazy about donuts
but these are the aristocrats
of the donut world and I salute them.

And I hope, Benjamin, your mom
isn’t going to be too mad as she casts
her eye down the police blotter
and sees your name there, You little shit!
and I hope the authorities remember
being young when the whole world
sometimes seemed somehow like
a gargantuan donut that either pulled
you to its bosom (O Tracy!) or kicked
down — somewhere — to the bloodstream.
Sweet donut, do I love thee? I haven’t
mentioned Brando K. Goodluck, 18,
from Manhattan, charged with seventh-degree
criminal possession of a controlled
substance. O Brando, O Brando
what were you thinking?

As I put a donut in my mouth
I’m thinking I wouldn’t mind
a joint, and, in any case, maybe
all these donuts are pretty dangerous
and I wonder what would happen
if the rules got jumbled up
and the girl playing Tracy Turnblad
slid down the page
and found herself in the police blotter
charged with unlawful possession
of a donut. Suddenly America feels
different and I like it.
Police blotters throughout the nation
packed with donutheads and half the country
on the run as college girls make
secret calls and meet their dealers
in dusty ghost towns, sweet
vapors drifting through the trees.

O America, where even the robins
are bigger, where every car that
slides into the forecourt of Barlow’s
General Store is a Dodge, where
half the population is chasing
the perfect donut. Let’s imagine
that Benjamin P. Lovell and
Brando K. Goodluck, nice slim boys,
who never touched a donut
in their lives, wander into Barlow’s
and roll a joint and talk about those
losers who kneel down before “the big one.”
They know the girl who was playing
Tracy Turnblad. She was sweet, they say,
who went and threw it all away
for a sleazy bun with a hole in it.
They pass the joint to me and I can
feel the donuts I stuffed in haste
somewhere down my slacks. I blush.
Real shame, I say. Mrs. Barlow says
You boys want more coffee?
The donuts on her shelves have gone.

More Poems by Julian Stannard