Some asshole was on the phone
Telling me if the delivery didn't
Arrive by five I was a
I put the phone down and bit into
A greasy ham and cheese
Joe sat in the cubicle
Next to mine and liked
To play the horses. He
Also played stocks.
did you see the Dow Jones today? Joe asked
over the top of his
it's off almost 500 .
The thought occurred to me
To check my margin
I put the sandwich down.
I wasn't hungry anymore and soon
I was in the bathroom over the toilet thinking no no no.
Log in password account status:
Where does it all go, that money that
When you lose it at the track or in a game of craps you know:
It goes to the house.
But my money just vanished and there is no one to blame
But my miserable
Every day I pick up the phone
and call the department of
It's the one call I make
It's a very tiring exercise because in order
to speak with a human being
who has blood pumping through his heart, I must first
automated network of questions and answers:
I wish to hear the following message in English?
this inquiry regarding a claim that has already been filed?
I wish to continue in English?
Yes. (I wonder how often it is that a person will begin his inquiry in English and then switch
to Spanish or Japanese. Is the service better for bilinguals?).
enter your social security number.
that the right number?
this relating to the status of payments?
you returned to work? No. Please hold.
When I'm finally transferred to a real
that person tells me my account is
under review by a supervisor.
I am being transferred.
Don't hang up.
Five seconds, ten seconds, then a
familiar sound. It's a
I've been disconnected by the Department of Labor of the State of New York.
The hang up I can live with. The thirty two minutes they've stole from me, I know, is
a house in a warm climate
on the road to
dogs run with open mouths
and eat the dead birds
on the sidewalk that fell
on fire from a burning sky.
My hair is long, unkempt, and the
Air coming in through the window
Is cool. I watch
The peddlers, the cheats, the mendicants, the
Wonderful raconteurs roaming the markets where
The fruit is fresh but won't
My house is off this winding road, on the
Water with a dock in front.
There is boat tied to that dock
And when I enter the
Old house I see through
This boy is stealing my small boat or
I put my hat on my knee
And watch the boat move
Slowly towards the sun-splattered horizon.