donnarkevic, 11/25/2019

Current Occupation: Behavioral Health Technician, caring for people who are mentally challenged
Former Occupation: Twenty years as a Food Service Supervisor, mostly in a 300-bed hospital
Contact Information: donnarkevic: Nutter Fort, WV. MFA National University. Recent poetry has appeared in Triggerfish, Nassau Review, and About Place Journal. A Best of the Net and Pushcart nominee. Poetry Chapbooks include Laundry, published in 2005 by Main Street Rag. FutureCycle Press published, Admissions, a book of poems, in 2013. Many Sparrows, a book of poems was published in 2018 by The Poetry Box. Plays have received readings in Chicago, New York, Virginia, and West Virginia.



Job Interview


There is not much to tell.

I would describe myself as unemployed.

I do not know what I will be doing
five years from now. I may be dead,
a suicide. I have had experience
in sales. I sold my birthright
to a man on a corner for a couple grams. 

No, Sir, I cannot pass a pee test. 

To be honest, I am not trustworthy. 

I cheated on my wife. She is a doctor
of philosophy. Once, I believed
she tried to poison me like Socrates,

but I felt better after she kicked me out.
My best quality is thrift.
I can live on a shoestring. In fact,
I want to die with my boots on.
No, Sir, I do not plan on hanging
myself with my shoestrings.
At the Methodist Mission,
the ceilings are too high, and I am afraid
of heights. Same goes for bridges.
I do have transportation.
I can walk, unlike my war buddy
who fought in Iraq. Fucking IED.
No, Sir, I do not think it is appropriate
to cuss in the workplace.
Like your company, I am motivated by money.

I handle stress like a snake charmer.

Having been bitten in the ass a few times . . . 

Yes, Sir, no cussing in the workplace.
When my last boss fired me,

he said I wasn’t a good fit, like some old shoe.

I am wearing my war buddy’s Nikes.

He no longer needs them. Lucky me.
Nike is the goddess of victory.

No, Sir, I was not proselytizing.

I enjoy working alone.

If you need a team player, 

I’ve got your back like a Kevlar vest.

I don’t have pet peeves, just goldfish.

If needed I can gut any hostile like a deer.

Yes, Sir, no violence in the workplace.

Just one question, Sir. When do I start?



The Ohio River


As a child, I heard stories
about the unforgiving Ohio,
how kids disappeared in the dark
cold water like paper- mâché puppets,
bodies never found.

As a child, I watched my mother
sweep the porch of steel mill soot,
each day, a black sunrise.
No one cared.
The money good as a new Buick.

As a child, from the polluted river,
I caught catfish and carp,
good for nothing
except fertilizing the backyard garden
of tomatoes, onions, peppers.

As a child, barges clogged the Ohio.
From shore I waved to fearless men
taming the terrifying water,
delivering cargo to the miles
of smokestacks, blast furnaces,
and gray steel buildings, producing
tin plate, I-beams, pipe, and jobs.


As an adult, the river is a scar,
a reminder of a life I once believed
would never end.
Along the shores, no mill,
Torn down, sold for scrap,
No trains, no railroad tracks,
Uprooted, sold for scrap,
The barges, a rare sighting,
my children asking
What are those; what
are they for?



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