Capturing Consumption Through Poetry: Postmodernism and Romanticism in Consumer Behavior


George M. Zinkhan (1999) ,"Capturing Consumption Through Poetry: Postmodernism and Romanticism in Consumer Behavior", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 26, eds. Eric J. Arnould and Linda M. Scott, Provo, UT : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 251-252.

Advances in Consumer Research Volume 26, 1999      Pages 251-252


George M. Zinkhan, University of Georgia

still life,     with poet

By artificial means,

the rhyming poet arrests

the motion of the spheres

and holds it         fixed.

Generations later,

a stranger looks upon the compact line

and is surprised to find it


(since it is life).


Athens, GA

June 1998


two-wheeled fantasy

For three years, the old bicycle sat in the comer of my garage growing rust, two flat tires.

For pleasure I would walk abroad

to see the swimmers in the pool

or the houses rising up in rows

construction crews swarming

like angry spanish ants

Today, the bike returned from the local shop

fresh faced and shiny with two new tires,

all pumped up.

That evening, we took a ride we two,

touring and spinning:

the wind in my hair.

There is so much more to see,


homes lighted from the back, as with lanterns;

dogs barking with surprise, quickly passed;

neighbors barbecuing, odors wafting ... drifting for blocks;

parks inhabited with basketballs and tennis rackets,

quickly encircled and surrounded;

potholes blooming, then surmounted: ker-chuck, kerchunck.

As with fresh spirit,

I feel the neighborhood where I live

settling in for the night,

wheels humming swiftly.

For three years, the old bicycle rested

in the comer of my garage ...


Houston, TX

January 1994


sound of the seasons: All Out of Order

harvest song: Apple on the ground

I am death.

Feel my cold hand, hard

upon your sagging key board.

I am the cause

of you becoming serious.

Let us embrace.


spring song: a MicroSoft promise

I am eternal happiness.

Feel my soft fingers, penetrating

every aspect of your spring tight skin.

I am the cause

of you becoming serious.

Let us embrace.


winter song: a MicroSoft covenant

I am eternal dominion.

Feel my wintery fingers, penetrating

every aspect of your being.

Do not struggle or cry out.

I promise to you all the pleasures

of earthly delight ... in the NeXt Generation.

Look how green my mistletoe shimmers

against the pale sky,

reflecting soft snow flakes.


summer romance, fading on the vine

It is now the long summer of our discontent.

Spider webs lengthen across my brow

as I (foolishly) wait for the internal

Web page to download

and transport me, at last,

to the promised land of green tomato fields.


Athens, GA

April 1998


educating the young:                  to find pleasure in the right things

For more than two

hundred thousand generations,

we have patiently educated our children.

For a mere six generations,

we have sent our children to sit

passively in long school-house rows.

This too shall pass.


April 1998

Athens, GA


clicking .......

TV is boring

a hole in my head

where the thoughts used to be

Sometimes I can't even move

to find a switch

to turn the channel

Outside, the sound of crickets

clicks like a sudden breeze

through the cherry leaves


February 1997

Athens, GA


Chicago Clip Clops

When I lived in Chicago, the Gold Coast,

I sometimes found it difficult

to fall asleep at night.

A city of troubles besieged me

showing their poisoned, florescent fangs

as I lay trembling in my darkened apartment.

But then, the Clip Clops would come

pulling gay carriages down Schiller Avenue.

That sound was soothing.

"Clip clop"           and my eyes would droop.

    "Clip clop"        ... urban horrors faded.

  "Clip clop"                     I dreamed

*          *           *         *          *           *          *

Now I have moved to a far away place

seeking solace in the countryside

of rural Wisconsin.

Among the cheeseheads, my days are slow.

Diary cows graze.

Lakes and minds are shallow.

Apparently, there are no horses     or no carriages.

No Clip Clops come

to soothe my sinking spirit.

At dark time,    I lie awake,          waiting

and waiting for that sound.

I never dream.

At light time,       I look to the heavens

imagining how Apollo might manage

his brilliant steeds:

Clip Clop


Sauk, Wisconsin

July 1994


pastoral,      with dog

When I finally return home

after another long delirium of work,

I pull a frisbee from my trunk.

Brandy is at my side in an instant,

eager to bite down

on the much-mouthed plastic.

All the world disappears in these thoughtless moments.

We move as one, sharing a vague image

that we have performed these movements,

just so,

for generations.

When the dinner bell rings,

we go inside, tired and spent.

Cares and depression drop a shroud over the meal.


Athens, GA

May 1998


Web warriors

We live in a dangerous age

where everything is out in the open,

free on the Internet.

The wildest ones among us

run amuck.


Athens, GA

June 1998



George M. Zinkhan, University of Georgia


NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 26 | 1999

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