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Poetry by Damion Hamilton 

Damion lives in Missouri.


© 2005 Damion Hamilton


Bad Job

I got a gig at a trucking company, loading freight,
And damn it was bad, sweating in a suicidal
St. Louis Summer night

And the dudes in the place were scary looking and numb,
Most of them were around thirty to fifty years of age, most
Were supporting families; and I was only, twenty-one at the time.
My trainer showing me the ropes and the wharves, as it all seemed
Too much for me at the time,
As the planets in my head swirled
One had to do so much to earn a living. so much
The guys so scary looking, they had been there so long
That were beginning to look like the truck, the trailer,
The freight, the skids and the boxes
As they drove up and down the aisles of the warehouse,
Banging and running into each other, with their fork lifts-
All the boys looking so insane. so insane, making money
And one of the guys told me, "that someone was always getting
Hurt from an accident."

I look around and saw all the determined eyes and blank
Faces and thought, this was the sum of all wars

And I was sweating and lifting the heavy boxes:
My face, T-shirt and blue jeans were covered with grease,
And trying to make it, and not making it, working the graveyard
Shift with the sound of fork lifts and men's voices burying me;
Thinking about the eleven dollars an hour,
As men barter their hours and their souls and their sanity
With boredom, and heat and noise and other masculine stuff,
Moving with a quickened agony

I stayed a couple of more nights and left,
And got a job in a library,
I had to trade in a fast agony quick
For a slower one





I heard Tennessee Williams used to do it
So this made me curious

The girl at the liquor store handed me the pills
And she was so thin from taking them

She looked very alert and whenever she yawned,
She would pop these white pills and they would
Help her to make it through the hell of boredom

So I decided to try them, because I wasn't making it
Down at the warehouse and the faces and the music
And the noise were putting me to sleep
And I couldn't look at anyone, for I had death in my eyes

So I popped, a couple of these pills and they worked marvelously
I can't stand still and the faces are more bearable
And the music isn't quite as bad and I can move faster and the
Suicidal thoughts are gone for now, and I can stop checking
My watch every five minutes
But my eyes must have been very wide, because people
Kept staring at me and a lot of these people are calm and dead
And paralyzed and I'm moving faster and faster, moving to
Obliterate the faces and music and claustrophobia
Powerful and meek alike could look at me, and I wouldn't
Be able to return their glance

Anger in my asylum, closer to the dead ends,
Than the streets

We're men standing in one place for most of the day,
And I can smell insanity in us all

And I am insane popping speed pills
My hands moving in a flash, and speech isn't necessary
For there is nothing to say
Just working, keeping my hands moving and thinking of something
Faraway like freedom

And I can't believe I made it through the days, before these
White pills.  It's like someone else is controlling my body
And they understand and move too quickly, faster than a brilliant

There's a guy that comes into the liquor store whose been taking
Them for over thirty years and he's afraid that the Bush
Administration will ban the pills, so he buys ten packs a day,
Stock piling them in his home

And the boys that take them in the warehouse seem ready. ready
For the war of labor





All work is property of Damion Hamilton.


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