Henry Crawford, 7/11/2016

Current Occupation: Software Engineer
Former Occupation: Lawyer
Contact Information: Henry Crawford lives and writes in the Washington, DC area. A native New Yorker, Henry received a BA in Philosophy from Queens College and a JD from the George Washington University. For the last 12 years he has worked as a software engineer. He has practiced law, worked in the garment district in New York and began his work life as a factory hand in a Queens laminating shop.

 

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The Orientation

[Good morning] [so glad] [to meet you] [we’ll show your around] [your cube will be over there]

[where Mr. Davidson] [had an office] [before he retired] [and Sandy from HR] [took over]

[because Mr. Davidson] [was a “lifer”] [and had to go] [he used to take the train] [up to New York]

[on weekends] [to visit a guy named Sam] [who was his lover] [but you couldn’t say that]

[in those days] [ Sam was an account exec] [so he could be] [more open] [but his secretary]

[Betsy Williams] [one of eight girls] [from a religious family] [up in the Bronx] [with a father]

[who worked as a printer] [with a union card] [and he did not like gays] [and wouldn’t work] [with them]

[since they were not] [like him] [or his buddy Bill] [who had a job] [reading meters] [for Con Ed]

[and he was let inside] [a lot of homes] [and fathered twenty children] [in his territory]

[in the neighborhoods] [between Brooklyn] [and Queens] [and one of them] [was an Irish kid]

[they called “Eddie the Red”] [who would laugh hysterically] [whenever he smoked pot]

[which he did a lot] [since coming back] [from Vietnam] [where he lost his friend] [Jimmy]

[whose mother] [Joanie] [was the brightest student at Christ the King] [but didn’t go to college]

[because that was not an option] [for girls] [so she took a job] [at the Playtex factory]

[where she never] [filled the hole] [left by her dad] [who lost his left arm] [in a car crash]

[coming back] [from the second] [world war] [and settled in as a regular] [at the American Legion]

[where he was known as Bob] [until he died] [sometime] [back in the 60’s] [so there]

[do you have any questions] [make yourself at home] [we’ll stop by later] [see how you’re doing]

[make sure] [everything] [is all right] [welcome aboard]

 

 

 

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Day Shift at the Hula Hoop Factory

Jack and I make plastic rings out of

reconditioned railroad waste [talking hoops]

with prerecorded messages like [“Stand Clear!”]

voiced by [silver plated microchips] embedded

in [miniaturized ceramic networks] etched

into [poly-tri-coated surfaces] and it took months

to find this job and even now we're both

electronically scanned for [contaminants]

at breakfast and given steaming buckets

of [Uncle Al’s Flaming Chicken] for dinner

and we came to this town because

we heard it was good for [hula hoops]

Jack said "we'll get in on the ground floor"

[But the walking foreman said “not so fast buster”]

so today I'm working on a 10 x 10 military grade

hula hoop [first] I stretch my arms in a circular motion

grabbing whatever loose theeds come burning off

the rim [then] I loop backwards using a forward motion

[but] if I fail to grasp the [right clocking flange]

it all comes melting down onto the floor and

[I’ll be docked for the parts] but if it goes just right

it's like a [yellow heaven] of rainbow sparks

exploding in [cotton candy] vapors [smooth]

like a Don Garlits rail job [all metal flake paint]

and [coo-coo canary yellow] and [I’m happy]

like getting a family size bag of [Cheese-Ease!]

or an extra five minutes of Christmas

 

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