Brian Henry

 

 

 

from More Dangerous Than Dying

 

How late we came into the story

not as protagonists but as props

 

But to be an extra

adds an angle to these lives

 

"Alouah   Alouah   Alouah"

 

 

*

 

The plant delves into degenerative cosmetics

the cause of more than one argument

a month of frenzied staff meetings

 

I pursue my own line

of logic to the end

neighbors and nay-sayers be damned

 

Across the table

fallacious conclusions and unencumbered assumptions

mark their method of attack

 

It all ends up at the landfill

                                pots and barrels and cans

                                our invention near completion

 

The plant reshifts priorities

returns to shredding trees

 

 

*

 

A top-down directive

requires a shuffling of cubicles

 

Farewell faithful smokestack!

Farewell tower of the freshly cut!

Air redolent of pulp and death!

Farewell farewell farewell!

 

Eleven rows of cars my new vista

their gleam and window glare

their histories laid bare to me

my Daily Journal of Heretofore Unknown Events

ready to be filled

 

No one to ignore me

once I’m through

 

 

*

 

The day        that anaconda

twists through the motions

8 to 5 then back again

 

A huge day        swollen

with what it swallows

                                400 people on the premises

mouth broken open

a manhole without its cover

 

Those depths hide more than one rat

 

 

*

 

We strive for the effluvium

but lack all requisite lightness

find ourselves squarely placed

in the fluorescence of the feebly salaried

 

No lack of glory will redeem

this tendency toward failure

wayward intentions      insinuations

lives we circle and occasionally probe

 

Stasis      action       guilt

a common scene      a game almost

in its three-stepness       its crisp order

 

Would trade it for nothing

not an office with walls

not a callipygian receptionist

 

This motion subsumes all the rest

 

 

*

 

Seeming to be a part of things

this talking around the subject

 

a refusal to acknowledge

the supremacy of the subject

 

we lilt and caper around the plant

each cubicle a vessel          no        a draft

 

that lifts our words to the ceiling tiles

not like smoke       no movement visible

 

not spiritual or even emotional

but they're up there       blending

 

long after we release them

acting the parts we refuse to play