Youse

The caddie to-do wasn’t ever much more
than an anglerfishworth of gender trappings;
our souls’ faint inner-shirkings
beg to interrupt the rat race formula
so conveniently laid out for us.

Failure is a foregone conclusion
when you stack the chips a certain way.
Of course, we all must stray
from our internal clocks

for the convenience of our plutocratic overlords.
Demean yourself so you can put food on the table,
then you’ll be the richest of us all, I tells ya.

Then maybe one day you can afford
to take a ride on the merry-go-round
of solid gold. Only one ride though,
are you crazy? We’re not running a charity here.

Or perhaps it would be easier to imagine that we are,
if that’ll help you sleep at night. Anything
to shut youse up for a couple hours, you’re exhausting.
Now go play with the TV in the other room for a while,
and try not to get electrocuted like last time.

Pinned

Jim Olivo left a note behind for me
many summer camps ago–pinned
to a pine–that reads:

“If you want the recipe for that turkey sandwich from mess hall, you’ll have to pry it from the clutches of none other than Neander The Articulate. Born with almost-exclusively neanderthal blood, his scrawniness prevented him from competing with his peers on a physical level, leaving him alone with his thoughts on a regular basis. Over the years, this ostracized fella developed a peculiarly sharp wit, mainly due to his constant observation of the individuals he would have considered his peers (if they would ever let him). Little by little he started sneaking tiny esoteric quips in edgewise–mainly in passing–that befuddled the muscly alphas and intrigued the blossoming females.”

It goes on like that
for a couple more pages.
I think Jim was working out
some kind of material on me,
because I couldn’t ever find
a turkey sandwich recipe
or a local neanderthal
for the life of me.
Maybe he was talking about
the camp across the lake.