Expo ’70: Ice Bag
by Nick Ripatrazone
After Claes Oldenburg
A quarter of Osaka watched
the orange nylon wrinkle, breathe,
fall limp, the black cap settling.
I usually chose Ziploc bags
of crushed ice, perfect for scotch
and soda, stacked in the bucket,
tongs resting on the mantel.
My parents never drank,
though they were ready for guests.
We lived that way: ready,
and waiting. The clear plastic
kept me dry. The ice always
melted. It could never be kept
so cold. Osaka was not cold
enough. Sun coated the pavilion.
We are always ready for one thing,
never expecting the other.
Nick Ripatrazone is the author of Oblations (Gold Wake Press,
2011), a book of prose poems. His writing has appeared in
Esquire, The Kenyon Review, West Branch, The Mississippi
Review, Caketrain, The Collagist, and Beloit Fiction Journal.
On “Expo ’70: Ice Bag”:
I first learned of the “ice bag” during an art history course
in college. The US Pavilion at the 1970 Osaka Expo
included this work, as well as other experimental pieces.
Claes Oldenburg often produced large representations of the
mundane and everyday, and I was fascinated by the
concurrent reality and surreality of his creations. That idea
of concurrence led me to create the duality of the poem:
Oldenburg’s work, and my own memories of ice bags and
packs from frequent soccer and basketball bruises and
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Apple Valley Review:
A Journal of Contemporary
Volume 6, Number 1
Copyright © 2011
by Leah Browning, Editor.
All future rights to material
published in the Apple
Valley Review are retained
by the individual authors