Killers of Work

April 11, 2010

A poem

Draw the red lines / Cross out the black ones

Killers of work / Much killing work to be done

A glance at targets, numbers / They’re going down, holding steady

Head shaking, the killer snips away / The weary workers ready

Pull up

Somewhere engineers building illusory numerical bridges / Most failed

In the wake of collapse they sigh and document / Full benefits entailed

Somatic ripples in the arms and heads of work killers / Furrowed brows that just say no

Committees form, protest, elapse, sigh and document / Fingers pointed away: “Just go”

Pull up the ladder

Architects of micro-components for the common good / Their moment has come

They are society’s esophagus, stomach, vital organs / Workers but cilia in the guts, glum

Seekers of ideals and prophets selling 12-step programs / Psycho-tricks are the new culture, always were

Don’t you want to game-change? / Become a self-subsistent curve in the blur?

Pull up the ladder behind you

The killers distill helplessness into their lives / Secure jobs in pained regret

“A leaner meaner” business or institution, they say / “Mean” for “mediocre,” I bet

Leanness – a denial of the body in favor of the coat-hanger / Taking the human out of the design

What’s left is the killer’s likeness / A subdued killer with career in mind

Pull up the ladder behind you as you march

Contracts dishonored / Agreements unfulfilled

Late night meetings / Projects quietly killed

Mortgages make the hands shake / Hands steadied by killers through force

Futures must be signed away / They belong to the entitled few, of course

Pull up the ladder behind you as you march up through the institutions

The elderly retire to watch their jobs killed / Unimportant labors and lives

Killers educate to save, save to save / Important killing positions must survive

The very best advice that a killer can give / Learn how to kill, target work, strike home

No public or public good justifies passing work on / Just billions of people collectively alone

Pull up the ladder, and claim the comfort that is your due

Shake your head and sigh at the generation behind you.

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