Sunday, April 23, 2006


Modes of Jack's existence

During the day, Jack sits behind a newspaper, a desk, a coffee cup,
office worker props and a calendar he bought himself for Christmas.
There are times at work, he thinks he’s invisible
but he’s all too noticeable when his eyes wander too low
while talking to the boss’s personal assistant, or if
he thought he could slip off early to lunch, or have tea
at McDonald’s. During the meeting, they talk over his head;

he realizes he’s usually invisible there. He sits back,
twirls his pen over an idle notepad. No one asks
for his opinion
regarding his paper tray and what goes in it; then the meeting
ends on a hanging question as the answer dies
of asphyxiation.

At the day’s end, he turns visible enough for a colleague to ask
if he would like to join them for a drink at the pub where underaged girls
puke their guts out in toilets with black marble floors and older men
pretend they still got it. So while he sits there with them
with his 20-something face and his 30-something heart,
his 40-something mind just can’t keep up,
his jokes come too late, too inappropriate;
and it won’t take long before they make him invisible again.

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