Benjamin Schmitt, 12/8/2014

Current Occupation: Poet/ Teacher
Former Occupation: Customer Service Worker
Your Short Biographical Statement: Benjamin Schmitt’s poetry has been published or is forthcoming in Grist Journal, Solo Novo, The Monarch Review, Blue Lyra Review, Packingtown Review, and elsewhere. His first book was published in 2013 by Kelsay Books. It is entitled The global conspiracy to get you in bed. He currently lives in Seattle with his wife where he teaches workshops to both children and adults.

 

#

On wealth

There is money to be had
in dark corners
we follow
the bleeding shadows
hating the rich
as we walk toward the crevices
between children and foreclosed homes

There are dreams of such light
we must dig for them
until decadent pleasures become routine
showers and three coarse meals
and the brightness will diminish us
into phantoms
without guilt

There is a kind of wealth
that is restful
and happy as well
not indolence
but a success story of accidents
striving to be accomplishments
in an increasingly safer world

#

Customer service

I pen these words
for America. A short poem for a large nation
set to the rhythm of an assembly line.
My grandfather turns the levers
and wheels spin, machines clamor,
steel clashes against steel,
sparks whisper dying chants
before fading into the concrete floor.
My other grandfather
makes his triumphant exhortations in the boardroom
with his trumpet he becomes a master of business
creating dollars and francs in the air.
I am the son of rich and poor
I have a college degree that is of no use to me.
Do the same things anger you?
Let’s start a group and meet on Tuesdays,
our swelling outrage will build
into an adagio of idleness. Don’t worry,
there is a new game coming out
on PS3. Don’t worry,
you can always leave a comment on the internet.
Now that my grandfathers have died
we are stuck working in customer service.
Rude people paid to not be rude
to rude people whom we will enjoy being rude to
once they go to work.

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