Friday, October 31, 2014

poem of the day 10.31.14

a nightmare before christmas

jaws kept walking around
the front of the store

he said, you missed a spot…there

then i’d have to bring the mop back from the stockroom
and do the whole section over again

jaw said, don’t look so angry
there are tons of kids who’d like your job

he sipped his coffee
jaws drank coffee all-day
talked close with his coffee breath

he said, besides we’re paying you for this
and with the holidays coming
i have money in the budget for over-time

you want over-time dontcha?

when i didn’t nod or answer
he leaned over the counter and said
that section could use a good mopping
…and….that section back there
which he couldn’t even see from where he was

so that was the night
that was halloween

me mopping and sweeping for some asshole
after chasing costumed thugs around the store
giving candy to crying brats
and having a fleet of scantily clad girls saunter by
in cat suits and maid uniforms
to look around while jaws harangued me
for the way that i looked

pull up your pants
shave your face
cut your hair

his haiku of complaint chasing the chicks
who wouldn’t even take a snickers from my hands

and outside in the world my friends were somewhere
with girls they’d met in the food court
waiting for me to get out of this hell

do you think the jerseys need to be steamed? jaws asked
while i continued silently swabbing the deck

he looked at his watch
should i have you steam them or not?
then he stared off into the distance
of a lane bryant across the mall
as if contemplating some great philosophy

to steam or not to steam?
that was the question

but good old jaws kept me like he always did
a good ten minutes after my shift
but not enough to pay me for it

and as i walked out of the store and into the mall
men who had it worse than i
were taking down the halloween decorations
and were putting up the christmas ones

for a moment
it was a sea of orange and black
and red and green and white

a spectacle of commerce so ugly i couldn’t find the words

but just went out to the car
disgusted with everything
deep down inside of me knowing that jaws
would be the first of dozens of bad bosses to come

i had a cigarette
and thought about the friends that i wasn’t going to meet
and those pictures of jaws’ wife in a bikini
the ones he had posted in his locker from their trip to aruba

while three kids dressed as devils
kept pulling on the cat lady’s tail
as she screamed
while the maid hit them with her candy basket

and the month of october died again
like it always did for me
with a bit of sadness and regret

making its way for the yuletide
eventual thanksgivings and christmases

black friday america
full of a bunch of bloated, spirited pricks
in santa hats

ready to kill each other
over a premium parking space

and a dollar off
some ugly sweater
made for them with love

from the good folks
in bangladesh and china


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