Essays & Images on Cities, Travel and Contemporary Culture. A web journal of James A. Clapp, Ph.D., an UrbisMedia Ltd. Production


V080-05_HostessRIPI am of an age that one hears of the inevitable passing of old friends and acquaintances. Being in what I call the “red zone” (not the “golden years”) of life one must be prepared for sad news at any time. Still, we think that some things will be around forever because it seems they have always been there.

But this: The announcement of the extinction of The Hostess Cupcake. This is a sucker punch to my existential tender parts that will take a few days to get over. My late mother, Bee, would leave Hostess cupcakes for my brother and me as a treat for when we got home from school. She went to work at Eastman Kodak when I was in first grade and my brother in kindergarten. Although the term didn’t exist at the time we were “latchkey kids.” She was the best of moms, and maybe this assuaged some guilt she felt at our having to fend for ourselves.

I remember rushing home to these cupcakes and washing them down with cold, whole milk. And then, of course, rushing outside to play basketball or football before those calories and fat molecules had any chance of taking up residence in my (then) lean, well-muscled, physique. I never touched hostess “Snowballs” (I recall them being called “Ding Dongs” in those days) because I thought there were for girls, and never touch “Twinkies” either, which turned out to be for assassins of politicians in San Francisco.

All of these have gone the way of so many nutritionless pleasures of the past. Perhaps this one, linked with so many memories, merits a funeral oration.

My Little Cupcake

Oh, venerable confection
from misted ingenuous years, 
of childhood’s innocence,
when sugar and fat (and crap like that)
mattered not
to body, mind or soul.

Marzipanned squiggles of maternal
love, announced, in cellophaned pairs,
like cocoa-mammaries: her first born 
not forgotten, 
home, alone, tender-aged, yet
charged with fraternal cares.
his sweet recompense.

Chocolate-frosted brassiere,
halting moist cupped-
cakes of unforbidden oral pleasure
Saccharine portal to 
co-mingled appetites,
and harbor to . . .

Creamy center, sanctum sanctorum
of secrets and memories
of bygone youth.
Sacred ambrozia that gave
no pancreatic threat to
ripped abs and
untried tryglycerides

Oh, for one parting kiss,
one last lingual embrace 
of cocoa and crème.
I would die for it, indeed,
die of it, and to the sweet beyond,
where carefree boys and cupcakes
would werepose in chocolated bliss.

Sebastian Gerard, 2012


© 2012, James A. Clapp (UrbisMedia Ltd. Pub. 11.17.2012)