I have become a knot in this tree
and by “tree” read collapsed futon
having acquired free time
as was granted to other inmates
I have been placed under house arrest
unofficially of course
unemployed and vexed by purpose
my fate confined like Howard Hughes
limited by fear of the unseen
or passive aggressive internet life

I would jog this sedentary atrophy
in congenial bliss and venture out
were this summer or early fall
but winter’s cold offers no rapture
to the paralysis of my frozen world

Visiting the gym or preparing a meal
quiet victories snatched from despair
aching muscles and a warm, full belly
the only constructive peace of mind
like farming to a warrior in armistice

Resumes sent out and email receipts
speckle my inbox like seeds in a field
perhaps there will be something to harvest
reaped from the toil of my labor
only time will tell as the seasons change
if not, the spade will be exchanged for a spear
and the farmer will go hunting
we will not go hungry


4 Responses to “Unemployment”

  1. Some poems take time. The first and last sections here seem to be composed with pictures and objects from everyday life. But how did a phrase like ‘sedentary atrophy’ find its way into the poem? An ‘intellectual naturalism’ might argue in return: Phrases like that do occur in everyday life. But that’s beside the point, since the reader doesn’t have access to more than a few snapshots in any case.

    We all have many authors within us, and that’s fine. Still the first part led me on…its author comes from a much more interesting place than someone who uses the phrase ‘congenial bliss.’ A difficult beginning.

    • Vic said

      Gardener, I appreciate your stopping by to read my scribbles and also for your comment. Most of my pieces are “one writes” with no editing before or after I post them, simply written with no filter. That said, most of what gushes out is going to be flawed and usually not very good. Read on, you may find something I’ve written that you may like better.

  2. Actually I liked it a lot. But as for your method, why the mutation in only one direction, with no looking back, with no branching and rebranching? A poem is more like an origami, with many poems inside of each one. The linguistic inconsistencies here might suggest that there are several other poems inside this one, or seventeen, or several dozen. It could be unfolded, and refolded, into any number of shapes. You say you don’t do this. Fine. But then these poems will go unwritten, unfound, unborn. I think that ‘what comes gushing out’–especially this–is always quite complex, and also, multi-folded.

    • Vic said

      Thanks Gardener. Perhaps at some point, I’ll revisit these pieces to work on hatching the “unborn” poems therein. Thanks for reading my words.

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