Week 93 – New Poem

I actually managed to write to a prompt for the second time ever. And, I only had about an hour to write this the day before it was “due.” It was late, I’d interned all day, and I was tired, but I wrote it anyway. This is new for me, people. I used to believe I needed oodles of time & energy to write poetry. Now, to write good poetry, that’s probably true. But I managed to write something while tired, and under time constraint, that I don’t totally hate. So yay for me.

Week 93*

– Sunday

No money
in the offering. No one’s
offering. I pass
along.

– Monday

Offering a service
that no one
is buying. No more
a few dollars & I
am that number, a minus,
a blunder. Remainder of
subtraction
after subtraction

– Tuesday

In the refrigerator:
sauce
& garnish. Nothing
substantial. Zero
nutritional value. The making
of something from nothing

– Wednesday

The fuel gage E
like a three-
pronged fork
on its side, defeated
& stabbing at air.

– Thursday

The paper costs
money. Paper
for paper. Ink
for the printer. To
sadden the paper
with past. Smalled
to one page. Résumé.
Resume. Refused.

Refuse
in a cornered heap
of Others.

– Friday

The mailbox key
is stuck. Like a needle
on E. Envelopes stuffed
like yellow lettuce leaves
in a Styrofoam box. In-
sufficient.

– Saturday

Everything’s done. The phone
doesn’t ring. No one’s
offering. Cut
off. No more
extensions. I’ve been
disconnected

*93 weeks is the maximum allotment of unemployment assistance.

For the We Write Poems weekly prompt.

20 thoughts on “Week 93 – New Poem

  1. Resume. Refused.

    Refuse
    in a cornered heap
    of Others.

    Well done! The play on ‘refuse’ (above) I found quite striking, and Wednesday’s ’empty’ metaphor too.

    I was glad to read that this isn’t you – but surprised too, because the words rang so true. A compliment to your writing…

  2. Wait! I just heard Rick Perry brag about all the jobs he’s created in Texas! (typical politician) I hope you find a job soon – I know what it’s like to be unemployed and it ain’t nothin’ nice. You really conveyed your struggle with this piece – it’s clear and powerful and I love the structure you used of the days ticking by. Very effective.

  3. Glad it’s not about you. It’s wonderfully empty, and I think that your tactic of making all the different ways of being drained reflect each other accurately captures the feeling. And it all comes full circle again… oy.

  4. Yes, yay for you! And I understand about the sense of internal writing environment, oft feel the same, but also have come to see that making that space-to-write, it can come in one breath – you know, getting ready, waiting to get ready, nothing, then just sit, pen in hand and it begins. (Don’t matter so much if every poem is some work-of-art, really I think, even while last dregs of vanity do criticisms, and then you just write. Meaning the process is bigger than any one poem is.) So I cheer for you.

    Then again, this poem is good (so what fuss?). It is strong, it is direct, neither too much nor too little, it is honest of what’s so for many of us. Nothing “poor” about this poem. I wish they’d read a poem like this on the TV news, leave go all those numbers that aren’t really real the way we understand and feel. And it is all the more evocative because it doesn’t “moan” but just presents an image in direct personal terms. Powerful. Doesn’t distract from itself with reactive emotion. (Yea, I want this on the news!)

    So much appreciate your participation with WWP and prompts.

    neil

    • Thank you! I do think that was part of what I was trying to convey – that each of those numbers/statistics is a person. So often there is talk about issues like unemployment/welfare and we speak of some ‘other’ who doesn’t exist. What about the real person or people that we all know who are in this situation and don’t deserve to be discarded? Why must we reduce the downtrodden to a bunch of negative stereotypes? Is it because we don’t know how to help and can’t face that fact? I refuse to believe it’s because we don’t care.

  5. like a three-
    pronged fork
    on its side, defeated
    & stabbing at air.

    Love this image! I also agree that you’re right; it’s so much easier to stereotype and dehumanize rather than deal with the very real pain/anguish of joblessness, hopelessness, and poverty.

    I heard a student this morning say, “Yeah, Perry’s created a lot of jobs, and I have three of them.”

    • That reminds me of George Bush when that woman at some town hall or something said she was working 2 or 3 jobs just to get by, and poor George, completely missing the point as usual, tittered in that way he had and said, “Wow, that’s uniquely American.” He was such an intentional douchebag.

  6. A week of subtraction, as if each day something else was taken away – or noticed as missing. I love each and every day/poem – and together it’s more than the sum of its parts.

    Richard

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