LINE 1: Sandwich, I’m going to eat you!
The poem grabs me from the first line: Sandwich, I’m going to eat you! It’s direct and animalistic. Most people would assume that if they were a panda-shaped drunk guy buying a sausage, egg and cheese sandwich at 4 in the morning, the intention would be to eat the sandwich. But the way you sing out the line – Sandwich, I’m going to eat you! – there is an implied menace, an alternate reality wherein the sandwich is purchased not to be eaten, but for what? It’s a question you pose, but don’t answer. I am not a sandwich, and yet, I feel the terror and excitement as if I were a sandwich. You are speaking to me. You are speaking directly to me. And you are going to eat me.
LINE 2: Sandwich, who’s going to eat you? Me!
Now where most poets would have moved on to another thought entirely, you intriguingly have offered us another perspective on your original thesis line. You continue the direct confrontation, but now add an inquiry: Sandwich, who’s going to eat you? It’s as if you are testing us. You are saying, “Were you paying attention?” There is also another layer added to the implied threat: anybody could eat us. And yet, you quickly offer the unyielding answer with your “Me!” You tease us, put us out there on a limb. You also imply how quickly we could be passed over for another snackfood – Andy Capp Hot Fries, for instance, or a large bag of bright red pistachios, the remnants of both having been found on the author’s prone and snoring body after “a night on the town”. But with this line, you confirm it again – it is you who will eat us, the sandwich!
LINE 3: Sandwich, I’m going to eat you!
The second repetition of the first line – Sandwich, I’m going to eat you! – seems to underscore what is now plainly obvious. You are going to be eating this sandwich. Repeating this exact line a second time, though, serves two purposes: one, it adds a layer of gravitas to it. It not only tells us that this is surely going to happen, but also that it is inevitable. There is a certain sadness to the line. No one is in control. We are mere puppets of fate – drunkard and greasy breakfast sandwich – and there is nothing that can stop them comingling. And two, the line also serves as a smoke screen. It repeats something we know, perhaps to hide something we don’t know? Like say, what the hell you were drinking all night to get you into this slurring state of glassy pie-eyedness? Surely it was more than just the four beers you told me you had drunk. And by “told me” I mean “promised me you would limit yourself to”.
LINE 4: Sandwich, fuck yeah! Sandwiches are awesome!
The final line, and what a line it is. Sandwich, fuck yeah! Sandwiches are awesome! It takes the poem into such new territory! First of all, the use of profanity – I feel like it is absolutely necessary. Considering the intended audience of the piece – both the sandwich and our neighbors, who were probably sound asleep, it being 4 in the morning and all – it is important that profanity is used to both show the depth of feeling and the lack of sobriety. Secondly, you begin to see yourself out of the situation. You are no longer fixated on the present sandwich, but of all sandwiches, throughout history. You hold one sandwich in your hand and with this one sandwich you are able to experience all the sandwiches which have come before it, and all the sandwiches that are still yet to be. What else can a mortal man do but belt out a Fuck Yeah! and come to the controversial and insightful concluding statement, a celebration really, that sandwiches are awesome.
When I consider this poem, I have strong feelings of envy and awe. Oh, to be this sandwich, this soppy egg and cheese sandwich, its glistening coin of hot sausage, its pale reliable deli bun. What a sandwich it must have been for you to have spontaneously created a poem-song in its honor, you know, instead of in mine, your girlfriend of eight and a half years. It makes me hunger to be covered in melted American cheese, to be shoved into wax paper and offered up to the poetry gods in a leaking white paper bag.
My only critique for this poem is that I wish it was longer, and maybe not about a sandwich, and also written down and not just sung out loudly to an empty stairwell. But these are all very minor criticisms when compared to the song, the song-poem, the song-poem-prayer, the song-poem-gospel that you shared with our entire apartment building this morning, which needs to be repeated one more time for all the ages to hear:
Sandwich, I’m going to eat you!
Sandwich, who’s going to eat you? Me!
Sandwich, I’m going to eat you!
Sandwich, fuck yeah! Sandwiches are awesome!