think twice before hitting Costco a few days before Burning Man


Photo: garagelab.com

Photo: garagelab.com

they descend like a swarm of sedate wasps,
heaping-high wobbly carts with desert-friendly nectar
cases of crystalline water and burnt umber ale,
sani-wipes and 50 spf sunscreen
(no counter-cultural affects apparent at this very moment)

i secretly envision bare-naked bodies and circus themed
clothes in bright primary colors, floaty-gauzy fabrics
bedecked with heavy jewels and sparkly tiaras
when the arid playa of the black rock desert transforms,
overnight, into the third largest city in nevada,
proudly boasting its 65,000 old-young citizens
riotously celebrating a plethora of arts
under the ever-watchful eye of the bureau of land management
and the pershing county sheriff’s department

an already-frazzled guy just in front of me (in the slithering line
snaking all the way back to the ladies clothing table
piled high with gloria vanderbilt jeans in early autumn hues)
pushes his cart loaded high with health bars
and sturdy flats of gatorade (orange, blue, yellow-green and blue),
sighs and advances, at last, a couple of feet toward the checkout stand.

ten days from now, they will emerge, caked in mud,
dump their thrift store clothes into the nearest dumpster
and queue up in another line at the car wash up the hill.
they will leave an empty playa in near-pristine condition,
will donate battered bikes to be cleaned, refurbished and,
perhaps, given to needy kids, if not reclaimed again next year.
these weary burners will return to the drudgery of day-jobs
leaving us all-the-richer for their presence
(and consumption.)

usatoday.com

usatoday.com

Written for dVerse Meeting the Bar. Bjorn asks us to use a generous amount of modifiers in our writing today–contrary to the best of writing rules. And since we in Northern Nevada are welcoming hoards to Burning Man where breaking the rules of culture is the norm (along with celebrating the arts) I just couldn’t resist–especially after my trip to Costco this morning. OyVey

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38 thoughts on “think twice before hitting Costco a few days before Burning Man

  1. I love what you do with words. Your writing is phenomenal.
    I’d love it if you visit my blog too.
    Take care xx

    Like

  2. Mary says:

    This sounds like quite an event, Victoria. Definitely an interesting cultural opportunity. And, as far as Costco, ha – that is another story.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. lynn__ says:

    Googling the festival is probably safer “exposure” than attending…glad to hear they clean up after themselves 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sounds like Woodstock, only hotter and dryer and more well stocked!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sabio Lantz says:

    Fascinating anthropological piece !! Thanx for the tour and criticism

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I bet that Burning Man is quite something. I have never gone, but I have had friends and family go–really an interesting write today–loved all the modifiers

    Liked by 1 person

  7. whimsygizmo says:

    Such vivid descriptions here! “sedate wasps” is my favorite. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. A secondhand observer, Grace, though our local community benefits both financially and in being recipients of art. They are expecting close to 70,000 participants this year and they flood places like Costco and Home Depot as well as the grocery stores. A huge boon to our economy.

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  9. Glenn Buttkus says:

    Oddly, I had not heard of the Burning Man Festival, until it was depicted in the TV series, MURDER IN THE FIRST, last year; certainly looks bizarre, macabre, & uninhibited. Your poem paints a perfect portrait, but what is not clear is whether, or not, you have actually attended it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s something I really couldn’t think of because of the high incidence of dehydration that would not be cool with a kidney transplant. And it’s maybe just a bit wild for me–though I would savor the art aspect. We have burning man art installations and exhibits at our museum, so I get 2nd hand enjoyment.

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  10. I love the colours and “spices” of the festival you share with us.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Shamsud says:

    Wonderful experience – it should be. Love the way you have put everything. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. A small town near us has it’s own “hippy” festival in the bush nearby – a bonanza for the town, and especially the thrift stores (op shops to us). You’ve painted a wonderful picture of the whole event!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. rosross says:

    Hordes of people to the festival – hordes of wonderful words in your poem. Nicely done.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. What, please, is Burning Man? Your long lines make for a modifier-fest extraordinaire, and I love it!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. With all that colors for such a festival it’s a perfect topic for using modifiers. Love the way it’s playacting, and hopefully the recycling of bicycles works well.. This was like a well-balanced curry.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. claudia says:

    that sounds like an interesting event.. would love to visit…cool that they give the bikes to needy kids as well and that they don’t leave the rubbish on the hill… cool use of modifiers – really brought them alive

    Liked by 1 person

  17. scillagrace says:

    My nephew is a regular at BM; San Francisco born & raised (as an American Sikh), now making big money in computer coding. Yup, yuppie.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. X says:

    HA. I would totally love to take in burning man sometime. I imagine though it being about like being in Daytona on Bike week. Or move in day here at the college. We know better than to even pull out of the driveway. It is pretty cool that they clean up and donate and all there in the end. At least they are concious of the life that must go on after they are gone.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Cool.. Victoria.. the ‘Burning Man’ Celebration in Nevada sounds a lot like the Global ‘Tomorrow Land’ Celebration that moves through different countries for the last decade or so.. a Rave of Free Love.. not unlike WoodStock.. but these folks are so-called high class jet setting hipsters.. and not run of the mill hippies.. yeah.. they are really more like Yuppies.. but hey.. Love is Love.. smiles..:)

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Grace says:

    How interesting to be part of the circus & artful celebration Victoria ~ Certainly pile up on the health bars, water & drinks & forget the drudgery of everyday life 🙂 Really well done with the modifiers ~

    Liked by 1 person

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