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A collaboration over too much coffee.
coffee and pen

10 November, 2004

Employee Census

In sixteen pages they want my life.
Birth, school, what college and where,
married or not, details of spouse…
I plod through the stodgy questionnaire,
uphill against a midday drowse,
cursing the author of this well-meant tripe.

But something stirs the torpid cynic,
steeped in three decades or more of gall:
“Promotions (indicate foreign assignments held)”
triggers some spring of wicked recall------
Do I go to town, say I trailed
their soulless paper chase, dubbed it moronic,

dropped out for good? Went from the odd beer
to being a rum soak (the only “promotion” I knew)?
Or again, the marriage that never was,
thanks to a mistress I never outgrew…
Outside, a horn’s urgency gives pause
to this bleak litany of uncheer,

as I scour this swathe of unmarked sand
for some tide line of ebb or flow.
But this paper inquisition’s washed out
in negatives, an omnibus NO
spread-eagled on this sorry rout
of a listless life gone out of hand.

And so at last, I’m nearly done.
The last few questions quite anticipate
journey’s end: a stillness settles over this mess.
The game palls, humour soured. Above the date,
Where it says “Permanent Address”
I flourish my last conceit: NONE.




Blogger zigzackly said...

Poetry from something so dreary. Lovely.

(And do i recall something similar on another blog, another place, another time? Or is my mind playing tricks on me?)

11 November, 2004 21:42  
Blogger SPECKLED_BAND said...

Thank you Zz. Could use the encomium! And no, your mind isn't playing tricks :)

11 November, 2004 22:38  
Blogger annie said...

nice... nice!

16 November, 2004 13:51  

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