Carolyn Gregory, 10/3/2010

Current Occupation: Hospital administrator and freelance writer
Former Occupation: Hospital administrator and freelance writer
Carolyn Gregory has published poems and music reviews in American Poetry Review, Seattle Review, Off the Coast, Main Street Rag, Bellowing Ark, Wilderness House Literary Review, and Slant. She has published two chapbooks and a full length book, OPEN LETTERS, in 2009. Her next book, SCENARIO, will come out in 2011. She has worked in academic and research jobs for over 25 years. She is also a community activist.
The Space Man

All day, he sits beside a computer scanning polyethylene.
He tells technicians what to look for on the screen
as his words measure electrons and radiation.
How odd: in the hospital, no sign of blood
behind experiments though they’re supposed
to measure bone.

When there’s a mistake, he puts people in their place,
never says thank you, doesn’t acknowledge holidays.
Everything’s one way: to make him shine.
As he loads his outbox, juggles his tasks,
he inspires little joy with drafts of legal defense,
the justification of tubes and protocols.

Dry and loud, his conference calls are broadcast
on a speaker phone.
He calls everyone his friend but trusts no one.

On the screen, wave forms flow and dissipate
as he dreams of machines, never hearing a flute
warbling on the radio, accompanied by broken piano.

Lost in the Highrise Economy

Coldest winter day, I get lost,
looking for an office in the wrong place.
The front desk sends me to an empty floor,
twisted with wires and asphalt.
The wind chill reaches ten below.
I pull up my hood and hit Federal Street.

Diving across intersections,
flying into a faster elevator,
I reach the thirty seventh floor
of One Financial Center.
Long halls and security codes beckon.

Catching my breath,
it’s a blur till noon
when three cakes magically appear
and traders descend upon them,
lusty with forks.

In 1929, traders threw themselves
over railings, certain it was the end
while in 2007, a husky blue bull
in bold white letters.

Down the street, a homeless man freezes
in a wind tunnel.
I keep the news to myself,
knowing we will all be cold
when rush hour comes.

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