Tag: labor

Poem #138

An Anti-Sonnet for the Koch Brothers

Worried with indenture to Billionaires and their kin,
I hurry to my cola and two shots of rum, when
I embark on an expedition through my head, then,
to work my brain when its vessel is broken.
For right then my premeditations, at a distance, where I sin,
aim at a jealous voyage to your dynasty of Kansas Cooks’ cotton gin,
when my back is broke, with bad disks, which constrict
through the nerves of my spine, and detain the illegals
or eyelids from falling down, and up pupil width, to shift calls,
to look on dread which the good prophets see; save that an addict
with my poetic spirit’s creative vision presents your destruction convict
to my visionless persuasion which like a fear in pleasant morn makes
white days dim and her new face ancient; So, therefore, by nights my body aches
and days I give my madness to you, and for myself, all your thunder shakes.


Poem #62

Lethargic in the breakroom:
didacticism on how to survive
a work day…

Rain collects in puddles on the ground.
The puddles reflect all that passes by
the parking lot.

Inside those various vehicles,
who all drives behind their wheels?
What keeps this assortment of able anatomies
from work to sit in their sort of seats?


We, wilting workers,  wish to walk back to our separate
bedframes and place our heads on our pillows
till these days turn into our tomorrows;
beneath the coughs and sneezes from fatigue, we  continue to operate,

catching cardboard at the back of a metal mouth:
at the end of a cutter and feeder, packing the best boxes.
There was a false fire because of weather.
Since we cannot sleep, what do we think about in general halts of labor?

News on a coworker’s phone:
announcing China will process our prized poultry
we have grown and the endeavors of
manufacturing our meats; with worry about age and quality
in shipping, when the chickens fly home to our empty stomachs.

Some tantrum-like talk of people becoming
personal secretaries to bureaucratic business, from volunteering
to being a customer for their specialized shop’s services.
The conversation turns to a different chatter.

Contests for photos, marriages in Maui,
to be home with the ladies and men that we love,
and with my time I’ll turn over my soil,
and plant flowers in my maple grove.

These other thoughts are far above
the boring boards about the city blocks;
they are the modern man’s Shepherd’s calendar,
pastorals taken from a Greek field for shelter
underneath a giant garage my dad would love to order.

These are more than thoughts, more than plans,
more than investments. This list of wishes
away from work helps a man
make it through the labor to his happy home.


Poem #24



Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests; snug as a gun.
from “Digging”, by Seamus Heaney

Between a metallic cutter and a wooden pallet
the squint eyes skim; cursor through plastic,
as an editor of pages, for any defect
in the customer’s material.
In her bed, our weekends end in the sound of a pout.
I work on Sundays when we could go out.
This sacrifice for us takes power.
In a suburb, coming up twenty-nine years younger,
when I was three, it was the same in our family;
father worked in the jailhouse,
father kissed mom after dinner,
father arrived home late.
For his birthday, in October, I would bring together
pictures of the deputies I found
hidden underneath and around
the bills he had to pay.
This is one way
boys learn to be men–working.
My old man worked like his old man
drove to or from work no matter
how well or bad he felt that day,
even if he made something of nothing
in a factory it was for toys so I could play,
for food, and for a place to sleep each night away.
An Irish poet writes about escaping the family legacy
for penning poetry.
Yet every woman or man, an apple or an orange that breaks from a twig,
is not a president nor a doctor.
Someone must do the hard labor.
Someone must be the potato planter.
Someone is slogging a mop bucket of dirty water
from shoe filled florescent tiles
to a ditch behind a child’s school.
Oh, how lovely ye sundry labors we are working?
Between a metallic cutter and a wooden pallet
the plastic turns.
I’ll work with it.