Two Poems for Flavor Town USA by Avery Gregurich

Flavor Town USA: Avery Gregurich

I Keep Guzzling Bug Juice, Thirsty As I Am

I can never leave the Casey’s convenience store without my
Bug Juice. I just gotta have that sport cap thrill. It’s always got
the Vitamin C I’ll need, and less sugar than apple juice. There’s
even a Straw’ Nana flavor to boot! Some like it hot. Others drink
only Whistl’ N Watermelon. There have been so many times still
forming bones when I cried out for water and was handed ten
ounces of Grapey Grape instead. No wonder I have a soft spot for
citric acid, difficulty sleeping all but straight sideways. Were these
bugs and their juices collected by a greater radiant light than this red-
and-yellow beacon? I don’t believe the ones swarming above the
highway here in Iowa are represented by Bug Juice’s eternal flavor
offerings. The closest is probably the Spider Juice Flavor. The taste
they were after? The way that excess sherbert punch tastes after Sunday
School finally lets out. I’d like to live a life being able to slide into the
stockroom of the Casey’s on summer days, and after swigging a whole
case of Bubble Gum Berry, being allowed to pass out cold in the ice
chest. If I’m found with my lips turned blue, you’ll know it was only the
Mystery that done it.

Ronnie Gets a Ginsu

I’ve come here to watch Ronnie cut a
beer can with the knife he bought this
afternoon at the fairgrounds swap meet.
First he has to drink the beer which hasn’t
been a problem all day, but now he’s changed
into his court suit, talking fast and asking how
much I would pay for a knife like this? Don’t
answer yet, he says, draining the can and
dribbling a little onto the tie he bought down
there too. He’s already worked his way through
a rubber hose, a junk mail envelope, and several
tomatoes a neighbor offered up as appropriate
props. We are way past the warranty now, and
still this thing cuts. Could you believe these were
ever made in Arkansas? he asks, holding the knife
in various positions, showcasing the handle, now
the blade, now the tattoos on his fingers, reading:
SoCo. Go ahead and do it: call now. I’m standing
by to answer your important questions. Don’t you
dare turn away yet: he’s just laid the can down flat.
Quick! Cut to the flashing phone number. There’s
still so much more left to come.

Avery Gregurich is a writer living and working in Marengo, Iowa. He was raised next to the Mississippi River and has never strayed too far from it.


Check out HFR’s book catalog, publicity list, submission manager, and buy merch from our Spring store. Follow us on Instagram and YouTube. Disclosure: HFR is an affiliate of and we will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Sales from help support independent bookstores and small presses.

Comments (