The Melancholic Present

In celebration of today’s Poetry Day, we’re sharing The Melancholic Present by roibeárd from the historic town of Corydon, IN, courtesy of Blue Collar Review.

i’ll be damned
if i know where the time went.

45 years, & this blue collar
is worn & faded beyond bronzing,
will leave a tattooed torc
bruise-like around my neck. 

All those years of concrete, 

dust & fumes    noise & heat & cold, 

burning feet & bouts of sciatica,

tetanus shots & stitches, 

scatological humor,

pedestrian IQs & sullen attitudes, 

sleep deprivation & my weekend warrior
head-butting his battle axe, 

chasing a broom
in his twilight years
after settling for any grubby job
tossed his desperate way. 

(i missed the golden handcuffs,
but hope enough of me is left
to supplement retirement
With a few odd jobs)

Scrubbing the boss’ toilet
it’s a porcelain mausoleum 

to dialectical materialism. 

i guess there’s dignity in work
as long as you understand
what the lord giveth
the stockmarket may taketh away,
& a cost-of-living adjustment
is a figment of your imagination

Leave it to a strong back & a weak mind
thinking with the calluses on my hands —
it’s pull all the leprechauns to death,
& there’s no solace in knowing
i’m not the only one who failed to save
for a future they didn’t expect to see.

Salt of the earth.

Salt in the wound.

Because there’s no bandaid large enough
to cover Planet Proletariat. 

                                            Corydon, IN

Blue Collar Review

Journal of Progressive Working Class Literature

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