Somewhere, there’s a file on each of us
Filled with the things agencies dream of:
Childhood report cards and transcripts of
All our educational adventures, all the R’s
And beyond, a full set of work evaluations,
With our shortcomings clearly highlighted
And cross-referenced, and lists of all we read
The books we bought or borrowed, all our
Subscriptions, newspaper and magazines,
Certain titles underlined, ominous notes
In the margin, our complete medical records
Are there, of course, and a listing of all drugs
We took, prescription and over the counter ones,
Even the under the counter ones we were
So sure no one saw us buy, and glossy pictures
Of us picking them up at Walgreen’s and out
Behind the shopping mall from that odd little man
With the pickup and pit bull that never barks,
And the names of our friends and relatives, all
Our known associates and casual acquaintances,
The usual suspects and a few persons of interest.
It’s all there, our lives echoing, all our shadows,
Our blood type, fingerprints, footprints, DNA,
Our dogs’ names in chronological order, our
Favorite teams and ice cream flavor, our sign,
Our passwords and passports; it’s all right there
Ready to be digitalized, etherized, ready to be
Part of that cloud that hangs over us all.
The Merk of Muckle
Welcome to deep down into this merk of muckle;
it surrounds you sinking, thinking, blinking; now,
you tread your feet, move your arms.
At first, almost at home in it, this merk of muckle,
but then tiring to too tired, losing a bit you slip begin
to kick and flail, kick and fail.
At first, warm, bath-like, cooling to tepid, edging to
cold you kick some more, flail even harder, rapidly
losing, you slip deeper down into it, chin deep.
At first, light, then dark, like night or someone closed
the lid, sealed you in. If by chance you had any sort of
life, this is when it flashes, actually it scrolls slowly before
your eyes and you realize how much muckle you knew
before this merk, this quirk, this bad turn out of things.
At first, you fight then slacken, then stop; sometimes it’s better
just to surrender to this much anticipated merk, the inevitable
muckle; the end, in the end, can’t justify the means, or any
of this give it meaning, this merk of muckle.
Dead on His Feet
This man knows tired well enough
The way it weighs him down
The hours like lead have led to this
As if years awake, weary walking
Bone weary, dog-tired, drained.
He knows worn-out and drowsy too
Wears them as well as expected
Far beyond their expiration date
His energy on emergency reserve
Beat, burdened, almost all spent.
This man knows fatigue too well
Is still on speaking terms with it
His closest friend, dearest enemy
Its downward pull reminds him
Like an overused phrase might.
He’s bushed, he’s sleepy, he’s beat
He has claimed each in turn, as if
Naming gave it life beyond its drag
It’s one foot in front of yet another
It’s plodding slog, trudging tromp.
This man knows destiny and design
The way the temporary takes over
And continuing becomes enough
Motivation to keep it all going on
His fate, his calling, his lot in life.