FINE SUIT JUNKIES
“The omnibus empties
In the exchange he is deposited
Amidst the temples of downtown.
Bleating lamb or scaped goat
Who shied thy eyes
And took they tongue?
Who formed the sinews
That make thee run?
Either title to be reckoned with;
He drops his hat upon the rack
And wonders through to Coffee break.
‘There is a Future Waiting
Just around the corner,’
The cigar smoking belly from next door
Comes by to guarantee it.
The fine suit junkie
Addled by and addicted to
‘Only the Best’
Advises an investment in oil or steel.
’The war’ he says, leaning far over to
‘Will go o for years.’
A non-confrontational nodding permits
The Hunched Man to stare beyond him
Into what will never be.”
For H.M. some days seem to go on forever. They snail walk into evening. Other days seem to disappear. “It must be my memory,” he tells himself standing in front of the mirror in the men’s room. “If I remember the moments, the day goes quickly…If I don’t, then it goes slowly.” He thought about that, he remembered the girl on the bus, and then he remembered the girl he sat next to in the seventh grade, and that memory led him to his first dance with a girl in kindergarten when everyone in the class was singing his favorite song, ‘Oh do you know the Muffin Man…’ and he and his secret sweetheart began the dance in the circle of his classmates. He felt his body suddenly stop swaying when he heard a gruff voice calling him, “Where the hell have you been, the boss has been calling your name for fifteen minutes”
He went to the boss, apologized, answered all of his questions and explained why he had written up the document the way he had. The boss was satisfied. Then, as an after thought, the boss suggested that he might want to take a few minutes and get a cup of coffee, “You look a little tired.”
H.M. nodded his head.
“He wanders off to think:
‘I would chew your eyes in rage
And drink deeply from you veins’
The vending machine seems to
Return his smile
Offering unoffending comfort
To his ever present hunger.
Take, eat, this is the bread of our life
Afternoons are slow
Affording gracious window time.
Winter clouds and summer suns
Chase each other through the days.
Sometimes the programed ways of early
Whisper their secrets on the way home.
His eyelids are heavy at the solitary
He reassures himself with fantasies of
the next holiday,
A habit learned at school,
Turns on the reflecting machines
And watches other people getting paid.
The news will arrive a little later.
CHEWING AT OUR SOCIAL STRUCTURE
SEND NOTES, BUT NO MUSIC TO LET US KNOW
THIS CANNOT LAST.
THIS CANNOT LAST, THIS HOUSE OF PAIN,
THIS CANNOT LAST, A STALE REFRAIN.
HOPE DRESSED AS A PROMISE THAT
THINGS WILL CHANGE BUT LIES ARE A SAUCE
SERVE ON TRUTH THAT IS PLAIN
NO ONE IS ABEL TO LIVE WITH CAIN