Wednesday, August 12, 2015

poem of the day 08.12.15

the old college try

i thought i’d quit
everything there was to quit
until i tried out for the college newspaper
the editors huddled all of us around cubicles
under bad florescent lights
in a room that looked more like
it was made for cold sales calls
rather than cultivating the collegiate facts of the day
and the news kids
talked about responsibility and deadlines
about their readership
which was mostly bored students like me
they talked about circulation
even though you could find their rag
free and almost anywhere on campus
usually in bathroom stalls or garbage cans
they gave me an assignment
to interview a lacrosse player
and, i thought great, not even a real athlete
but i gave it a go
interviewed some floppy haired twink
who was a teaching assistant too
and acted like the professor’s office was his
he was boastful and nauseating
but i sat down under the hard fluorescents
and did my best to pound out a story
for the three people on campus
who wanted to read about lacrosse
the sports editor came in while i was typing
he leaned over my shoulder with his bad breath
and immediately said, no, no, no and no
i stopped typing and we looked at the screen together
he said, look at those paragraphs
i mean, look, man, at how long those paragraphs are
he said, man, kids in college can’t read paragraphs that long
three sentences tops
the paragraph bare minimum, man
then he walked away
to go and give the hockey writer some shit
i sat there for a few more minutes
thinking about the money i was wasting
and all of the debt that i’d have
before i grabbed my shit and left the newsroom
my moby dick of an article
on a fucking lacrosse player of all things
still on the computer with the cursor flashing
decided maybe i’d go out
for the radio station next semester
but only if they let this white boy
play some old soul or rap
or maybe i’d do nothing
which always worked so well for me.


No comments: