Archive for the ‘work’ Category

Untitled (waking thoughts)

Posted: January 5, 2016 in loneliness, poverty, work
Tags: , ,

I can’t even fathom retirement
I know I will work until my bones show
Until I wear cynicism like a rain coat
And people’s “good morning”s hit my chest
And slide to the ground a puddle of acid rain

“How are the wife and Kids?”
A phrase I may read in a book or see
In a film

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Kill the Thief of Time

Posted: December 5, 2013 in poetry, work
Tags:

Six calls for money and I’m making less-
Smoking to deal with the stress-
Surrounded by cigarettes-
Another for hours in the warehouse of death-

I’m working for dark merchants-
Trying to gain power to purchase-
My tranquilizer of choice-
Capitalist sympathizer, indebted by force-

Put aside the credit card bills-
Feed the insatiable cash tills-
A slave buying cold pills-
While my pen hand just won’t be still-

Blue ink overflows with the same old concepts-
Where the stiff winter dawn crept-
Beside my buzzing phone I slept-
By the remnants of forgotten nightmares haunted-

So I jot down harsh rhymes at the back of the bus-
Sweating in my black jacket I rush-
In time for my shift with no fuss-
And from my supervisor I get no love-

Cause I’m just a scarecrow in the warehouse-
A trained monkey to scare mouse-
Living where the corporate air is so scared of-
Someone devising a heist to steal the mountains of dust-

But sometimes you go where the poetry flows-
When your money just comes and goes-
A bus you’re on, but its going to slow-
A sprout out in the snowbanks that just won’t grow-

I patiently wait for my shift to end-
So I can go get shifty with my friends-
Dancing in the dark of a bar basement-
Watching poor white dragon chasers do their chasing-

And I know I’ll chase that white dragon tail as well-
Laid out on a mirror reflecting a sort of hell-
Dragging me down that lost gravity well-
Of the habits I dabble in, but afterwards can’t tell-

If I’m a hero or a monster-
A zero or a top score-
The Mckoy or an imposter-
Deploying my brain cells like cannon fodder-

Before the machine guns of destruction-
In the dream drug fueled combustion-
The walls keep breathing, crushing in-
You ray so hard for something, where nothing is-

Cause nothing is real in this oblivion-
The heats on high but you’re still shivering-
Your quiver of arrows is empty, the dead bodies of sparrows-
Litter the streets you’re living in-

You’re thinking of giving into the darkness-
Drawn by the power the demons harness-
Hide your life in corners till you’re heartless-
All the evils you sow seem so harmless-

You count your phoenix feathers before they burn-
Forget your lessons before they’re learned-
Steal others blessings, undeserved-
Down the cesspool of the river lethe your death boat swerves-

Lost souls eyes lined with red coins paid-
Dead bodies piled the riverbanks made-
A wild red river rushes untamed-
With the bones and skulls the grey bridges are paved-

And you walk a long lonely trek home-
Muscles creaking over joints that moan-
Your nose running mucus lined lips shone-
Whispering songs in a slow low tone-

Turn a cold key in a snow crusted lock-
A hunger returns that you must have forgot-
You shuffle your boots off and put on a pot-
A last bag of cheap chinese tea is all you’ve got-

Blow the steam off the cup and breathe-
Time to leave your fears for troubled dreams-
While reality and oblivion blur at the seams-
Time to creep into the empty sleep of the fiend-

Body still, a mind to slow down-
Because I still find this whole town-
Cannot be eaten by poetry’s hound-
Or in a river of metaphors drown-

So forget words lines and syllables-
Finding solace should be so simple-
The next day is a book you fill-
While the night is a crook you kill-

So I kill the thief of time-
Give myself chills with rhymes-
Inside dark beats I find-
Darker words that climb-

Out of my throat like scarabs-
A mummy with no wrap, hairless-
A fallen angel feasting on cherubs-
So fearless, so careless, so hear this-

Song like a foreshadow of doom-
Notes that rise from an undug tome-
I shrug like the bug on the mushroom-
Telling Alice she’s grown-

Cause my words are slow-
Mixed grey with smoke-
The thief of time is broken-
And my dead hours don’t know where to go.

Working as a security guard in a small cigarette warehouse, I was treated one morning, to the graceful dance of the forklift operators as they unloaded a semi trailer full of pallets.
Each pallet has about thirty boxes.
Each box has 50 cartons of eight packs of cigarettes.
If cigarettes average $15 a pack, this means that if these forklift operators even slightly damage a box, they are risking up to a $6000 dollar value of product.
Yet these seasoned operators swing their electric forklifts about, three of them, beeping and yelling at each other as they unload with the utmost efficiency and speed.
The years of training that has resulted in this electric, mechanical line dance.
Into the semi, lift the pallet up, just high enough to clear the doorway, zip out into the warehouse, lift the pallet on top of another pallet and carefully lower the forklift to release the pallet but not to crush any of the boxes of the pallet underneath.
Amazing.
And I think about all the other seasoned workers who made the whole operation possible.
Where were the cigarettes produced, the materials?
All the chemicals refined and products constructed, cardboard boxes, labels, etc.
I’m sure in facilities that would also fill me with awe at the might of the capitalist machine.
This beast that works men and women till their backs ache and their eyes sting with sweat.
And then I think of the millions of inhalations of poisonous smoke these seasoned operators are helping bring into the world.
All the panhandlers who will beg for it, teenagers making deals to get older peers to buy it for them, poverty stricken lost souls desperately scanning the concrete for all the butts, the discarded, foul smelling end life of this product, so gracefully zipping past me.
The mindboggling effort that is put into killing people and making them pay you for it, and I am reminded of a quote- “The world as it is is the sum result of every human beings utility, of all time. Which implies- the highest morality consists in being useless.”
Is this why I stand idle, in my blue security uniform, as these men and women work so hard to poison themselves?
Do I seek the ultimate uselessness?
And yet I serve my own purpose, or more accurately, I serve their purpose, the purveyors of this deadly drug.
My very presence deters criminals, I keep vigil over sixteen camera images, five controlled access points, a spiked gate that truck drivers need a code to allow me the authority to open.
This place has no signs advertising what it does or holds within its walls.
It is in fact a block away from the cities largest high-school.
Its concentration of poison and addiction so powerful, so desirable, it requires 12 fully directional closed circuit cameras and 26 other cameras locked into position, all those lens, those eyes, all that scrutiny.
Five temperature sensitive alarms line the ceilings.
There are 14 card access required control points.
Three long, unmarked white vans, with tinted windows, are used to relay smaller deliveries.
All this secrecy, all this paranoia, all this insurance, and I am just another piece of the capitalist protection game.
I am a clause in an insurance policy.
I am a footnote at a boardroom meeting.
My lively-hood, as meager as it is, is a number on a ledger.
I do not enjoy my job, in fact I despise my employment here, and this may be my final shift.
All the details of this facility included in this poem is indeed enough sensitive information to insure my termination and could very well insure I never work for a security company again.
And that’s fine.
I’m done with the business of scarecrows.
The dollar-cop protection of property racket.
The manager of the warehouse is only a few meters away from me in his office as I write this, I’m sure if he saw me counting cameras and alarms on the security map and then writing in my little notebook, his paranoid capitalist mind would assume I was planning out how to rob the place.
And indeed if I possessed a slightly more devious mindset I would plan to rob this den of poison and addiction.
Perhaps this poem, which is really degrading into a rant, perhaps this rant is a plan to rob this place!
Perhaps the sum of all my poetry, all my musings, all my rants and rages- could they all be an elaborate plot to take down the whole system?
The system that produced this- men and women spending their whole lives in synchronicity with a forklift so they can optimize the sorting and delivering of what is arguably the worlds worst drug.
These merchants of cancer and death!
How can I stand being under their employment for even another second?
For even I know first hand the struggles of nicotine addiction.
And yet I sit here, writing, pretending this job is justifiable based on the amount of poems it has inspired in me.
And all the idle time it allows me to create these works.
My true calling.
Or perhaps the irony keeps me here.
The irony that, being a substitute teacher as well, I could very well be given a call to sub at the high-school a block from here and be told to teach the kids not to use the product I am being paid to protect today.
Capitalism, you have truly driven me to schizophrenic madness.

In this moment-

I see my life is a piece of mold, and this is how I’ve grown it-

The universe has fed me the exact experiences to make of me, a poet-

If I try to fit into any other socket I’ll blow it-

I just know it.

Cause you know what? I’ve tried to be a teacher-

Reaching into the hearts and minds of youth to see what I could leave there-

But you never quite get what you expect from young creatures-

It has left me with nothing but a messiah complex ache to be a preacher.

Tried my hand at the security industry-

The wasteland of inaction that turns boredom into a currency-

Watching thirty-four cameras trying not to fall into perversion and sleaze-

A job with so much ease, you barely believe-

They will actually pay me just to be a creep?

In my own youth, lost and unloved-

I dared to invest in shaking hands at nightclubs-

Finding new ways to use my sock to hide my drugs-

Hanging out with other sketch bags picking at the bugs-

Convincing myself of my own low worth, sinking into a mirror, I would simply shrug…

Hell, I was even, for awhile a d-d-d-d-d-d-deejay-

Addicted to the drum machine sampling and the replay-

Anything to get on stage, in the lights, so they can see me-

But it seems the interest in these past lives leaves me-

And I realize only one art form retains its meaning…

Poetry-

The first time I took note of it was watching “Basketball Diaries”-

I was sixteen years old, with the trials of puberty trialing me-

The idea of writing out the pain lit a fire in me-

And now I am never without my own pyre!

My spiral bound notebook, like a bible, stays in my pocket-

And whenever the inspiration hits I jot it-

Whenever I need to stretch out the compressed confusion, I got it-

I’m so used to it now I can’t even stop it!

I write while walking, I write while I’m on the job-

I write while other people just talk-

The world can throw up all over my life and my poetry is the mop-

Working for money is the bottom, writing lines is the top!

I’m freed by being a slave to the verse-

I could lose everything but my pen hand and I wouldn’t be any worse-

Waking up at night to write out my dream rhymes

Is as much a blessing as a curse-

And whatever else I do in this life I know now

From this moment on

That I will be a poet first.

 

 

 

Another Day, Another 25 Faces

Posted: May 13, 2013 in work
Tags:

Its angels and demons

Attention seeking

Kids screaming

Rap videos on the screens

Scraped elbows bleeding

That’s teaching

Going in blind

To find

Hate crimes

Violence inside

The cracks of a hard life

Inner city strife

Then it breaks through

They tell you

They hate you

Right to your face too

But you just walk home

 

Another day

Another twenty-five faces

Fifty names

Ten thousand differences

What difference can one man make?

 

She said this

And he said that

We play nicely

Or we play bad

In corners sad

Left out of the fad

Haunting laughs

Drive them mad

And they outburst

Like animals will

Some are on pills

White elephant hills

Crying milk spills

But I know I can get through

Just another skill accrued

I can break bad and rude

I can break the disrespect

 

Another day

Another twenty-five faces

Fifty names

Ten thousand differences

What difference can one man make?

 

Scarecrow

Posted: April 12, 2013 in trivial banality, work

I’m sick of working security

I’m just a puppet in a uniform

Making the rounds

Of parkades and drugstores

Protecting property has got to be

The worse job filled

Confronting old men

Trying to steal painkiller pills

Or narking on employees

Trying to get some free parking

They’re only making ten bucks an hour

Of course they’re gonna snarky

It sucks being a representative

Of the man

Why I keep answering my phone

I don’t understand

Its some guy doing math

In some company office

Who figures out the price

To hire me and then docks it

From the cost it would take

To place paid parking stalls

Or the loss that they take

From shoplifters in the mall

Hell I’m sick of it all

Blue shirt and black pants

I’d rather juggle balls in the sunshine

And dance

But I gotta look respectable

And act the straight shooter

Even though on the weekends

I’m snorting through a snooter

I wish I would never get

This desperate for a paycheque

But I gotta make rent

And buy records for my decks

Scratching and spinning

Remixing the pain

Tranquilize myself

Try to forget the long days

But at least its September

I’ll be back to teaching soon

Till then I’m still clocking in

And singing the blues

Walking in circles

wearing out my black shoes

Guess I’ll refill my coffee

And read the news

I said I’m walking in circles

wearing out my black shoes

Guess I’ll refill my coffee

And read the news

…………………………..

I’m just a scarecrow

Over-educated underpaid

Stand in one spot

And just wait for the shade

I’m just a scarecrow

Listen to the public complain

Hide from the wind

Taking shelter from the rain

…………………………………….

How am I supposed to

observe, report, deter?

on the tenth hour of my shift

everything is a blur

i wanna go home to

a warm cooked supper

but i stand in the cold

tired and i suffer

so bored i’m hearing voices

and speaking in tongues

i just figured out fifty ways

to twiddle my thumbs

i bitch and i moan

but i get no sympathy

with both thumbs up my ass

i just doubled productivity

its hard pretending

i’m a talented youth

when i’m doing the same job

a trained monkey could do

you treat me like an object

i treat you like a suspect

i don’t demand any respect

i’m just a rent a cop after all

its the excop guards

that be looking for fights

and the oldass guards

get suicidal at nights

the truth is i’m feeling

empty and useless

half the sites i show up to

i’m completely clueless

i just sit in a chair

pretend i’m not there

fire alarm goes off

and I don’t even care

I’m fumbling for keys

fire crew and the chief

giving me dirty looks

and i wish they just leave

cause if this was a real fire

i’d probably stand in the flames

cause working this job’s

got me going insane

I said if this was a real fire

I’d be standing in the flames

like a monk cause this jobs

got me going insane

………………………………………

I’m just a scarecrow

Under-entertained and underfed

I get bored of my patrol

So I masturbate instead

Just a scarecrow

People watching racial profiling

stifling a yawn and

eternally sighing

I’m just a scarecrow

My black jacket gives me power

Just a scarecrow

Making ten fifty an hour

Forking rice into my mouth

with the other animals at the zoo food court.

A native guy was being hassled by two white

female cops when I came into the mall.

“It does happen you know,” one cop was telling this guy,

“Lots of drugs do come through here.”

As if the guy could do anything

but deny whatever they were accusing him of.

Tried to buy a hat today

that was a failure.

At least I got these four

retro themed eighty page notepads.

Praise capitalism!

For malls and cheap poetry!

And ink stained fingers.

……………………………….

This city would be so depressing

without our happy Asian families.

I love them.

I mean I love the old native women’s

cracked voice barely audible over traffic

asking for a cigarette.

I love her too.

And I love the baby screaming at the food court.

Refusing to eat

whatever grease bomb poison

his parents are trying to shovel into its face.

If I closed my eyes right now

I wouldn’t even be able to tell

I am eating broccoli.

…………………………………..

My legs ache from teaching kindergarten

and dodging the slushy mid-March sidewalks.

Bought new Chinese labor shoes from Payless Shoes.

The same forty-four dollar bill

every four months or so.

A kid recognized me in the mall earlier

“Mr. B! Mr.B!” I ignored him as his mom turned him away.

I realize I’m on a last name basis

with a disproportionate number of kids

aged four to twelve in this city.

Ah, the synchronicities of being

a free-lance early childhood educator.

I ended my day with five five year olds

giving me their a capella version of Gungdam Style

“Hey- sexy lady!”

The world is so fucking viral.

Its people and their god-damn phones.

Like a world wide insane asylum zoo.

Tethered by L.E.D. screens and ringtones.