This poem was one of my first ever spoken word pieces, written years ago when I was in university and completely in love with the magic of the Milo Van, which was a staple fixture after enduring annual cross-country runs in secondary school and JC. The Milo Van also made occasional visits to my university campus and I would add extra time to my commute so that I could queue-up for multiple cups of ice cold goodness.

The Milo Van (for the addicts)

The Milo van comes to school whenever there’s a bazaar.
Bright-eyed students peddle costume jewellery,
yoghurt with fruit topping, secondhand CDs and tables
of yellow, mildewed books.but all that, even the
showroom cars they bring in, is merely the prelude
for the Milo van, waiting in the wings, the belle of the ball,
her cup runneth over and onto the lips of fawning Milo addicts.

And how can you tell they are addicts? By the Milo energy bars
they eat to keep up their nervous smiles while waiting,
by the Milo nougats they sneak onto buses and trains
to tide them over until their next hit, by the flecks
of Milo powder making a guilty moustache on their upper lip
when they’ve crammed whole mouthfuls from the tin at home.

In the school holidays, Milo addicts are forced to pay
for watered down, uneven, insipid, iced Milo
in variant coffeeshops; the Milo dinosaur,
the Milo godzilla, huge uncultured mountains
of raw powder scooped without class or finesse,
floating amid crude chunks of ice,
poorer cousins to the Milo from the Milo van

Milo addicts have no Zurich park of free Milo,
they have to shoot up on a low grade, even score
something on their own, laying out their apparatus:
a metal spoon, Milo powder, warmed up milk and hot water.
But the difference between this and the Milo van is like
stretching out to pray facing heaven and actually being in heaven.

The Milo van is the mecca of consumption,
the ecstasy of nirvana, the afterlife of sweet nothingness.

Oh, to return as a Milo lover of the Milo van,
nevermore to have to drink Milo out of a can!

The Milo man drives the Milo van everywhere around the campus.
but wherever he goes, arts, science or engineering, its always
the same group of junkies standing around in silent longing, quaffing
1,2,3,4…even 10 cups in succession, quiet with their thoughts
of Milo mayhem as the viscous vicious malt chocolate ice cold
ice head sugar spinning cocoa mind numbing high,
higher, highest oh the rush….

It’s marvellous what Milo can do for you.

Author: Marc

Creative educator. Sometime photographer. Fiddler of words.