work: an ode for the human micropoem*

one has to have
a reason for living
a guiding philosophy
a purpose
a goal

the best way
to communicate
an idea
is to act it out

no work
no eat

i want to have something to say
about my own destiny
something i care about
something of value
something important

*Coda: The Human Micropoem is a call and response choral form. It amplifies the speaker’s words by those listening. The poet says a line aloud and then everyone repeats it. Micropoeming was collectively devised by Chicago writers during the Occupy Movement of 2011. We continue to perform together in public spaces and hold the words of others in our mouths.

Related Poems

Night Prayer for Various Trades

Machinist in the pillow's grip,
Be clumsy and be blind
And let the gears spin free, and turn
No metal in your mind.

Long, long may the actress lie
In slumber like a stone,
The helpless words that rise from sleep
Be no words but her own.

Laborer, drift through a dark
Remote from clay and lime.
O do not tunnel through the night
In unpaid overtime.

You out-of-work, walk into sleep.
It will not ask to see
Your proof of skill or strength or youth
And shows its movies free.

And may the streetcleaner float down
A spotless avenue.
Who red-eyed wake at morning break
All have enough to do.

Enough to do. Now let the day
Its own accountings keep.
But may our dreams keep other time
Throughout our sprawling sleep.

Money Is an Energy

Everybody is already
someone else
An existential tag line

Money is current

I would like to not live
paycheck to paycheck

You could make a pun on currency
but not quite

Money is an energy nonetheless

Dark space        Dark water

A long silent drive

Dark matter(s)

Driving is my personality

The methods of one wor(l)d revealing
the hidden harmonies of another

Prayer card      Lotto ticket      You occupy
my pocket

My payment has not arrived

Once Barbie Chang Worked

Once Barbie Chang worked on a
     street named Wall

once she sprinkled her yard with
     timed water once

she wore lanyards in large rooms
     all the chairs

pointed in the direction of one
     speaker and a podium

once she stood up at the end to
     leave but everyone

else stood up and began putting
     their hands together

and that started her always wanting
     something better