I know I’m supposed to be stoic

and I try to be

like Stalin smoking his Cuban cigar, without any feelings

but I’m like one of the millions

dying in the forest


We know the masters of power

who don’t blink

who send mixed messages

who tell us whether or not we’re worth it

even when we know

it’s bullshit

and the fact that we don’t believe it

is evidence, we don’t matter

in the halls

of power.

I want to be a cowboy

who spits

who can’t be held by fences


because I know



the controller.

They wonder why they’re not happy

They make the rules

and they don’t love life.

They murder the spirit

before they bury millions.

Staying Alive

is my philosophy.

I do it

with my attitude

Not the one, assigned to me

It says, “Let me follow the rules, and watch them fail.

If I act appropriately, I seem absurd.

Fear is gone. Stress, isn’t real.

Money, doesn’t matter.

Why am I here?”

And now, I can answer this question

because situations serve me.

I’m waiting for the angry and the insane

for senseless acts of hell

for, the divine comedy.

I thank the rule-makers, silently

because I get a thrill

from milking their sacred cows

“You’ve been called-in for disciplinary action! You were not where you were supposed to be!”

“I had diarrhea.”

“If you had diarrhea, you should’ve called first.”

“I don’t have a telephone next to my toilet,” I said.

“You are too calm! Failure in the future will be grounds for dismissal.”

“I understand.”

“You had an incident like this two years ago!”

“Well—I wouldn’t put it that way, but yes.”

“You don’t deny it?”


Two years ago, I was sick most of the time for fear of losing my job, and then I thought about a homeless life—how I might sleep on the grass, and smoke grass, and watch the sunrise.

Philosophy, changed Me.

Now, I wonder when my boss is going to have a heart attack. She seems tense.

“Thank you for taking this all so well, Andy.”

“Not a problem,” I said. “My goal is to make people like you, happy.”

She looked at me, suspiciously— like a toad staring at an irritating fly.

“Sign on the dotted line.”

“I’m signing because I was here, right? —not because I agree with the rule?”

“The rule is absolute!”

“But it changed last year.”


Her next meeting was a performance review with a new hire.

I suspect she will say, “People really like you.”

And they will check the boxes, nervously.

Now, I take pleasure in life

because I write about it.

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