Current Occupation: English Professor
Former Occupation: Furniture Delivery
Contact Information: Some of Jared Pearce's poems have recently been or will soon be shared in Picaroon, Southword, Wilderness House, Triggerfish, and Valley Voices. His collection, The Annotated Murder of One, is just released from Aubade.
Musical Chairs without the Music
Does anything I do matter,
He asked and then sobbed
Behind his desk. I was there
Submitting an inconsequential
Report that occupied me
Four months, then returned
To crank on a three-year project
We all pretend is worthwhile.
To brace him I mentioned the necessary
Scent of leather, the locusts’ vitality,
But my heart chirped, like that cardinal
In the spruce right now, that,
Nope, we’re all wasted, stewards,
Place-holders in a duck-duck-goose,
Lunging property like hot potatoes.
He was sent a consolatory
E-mail. He didn’t reply.
My boss won’t say he’s sorry.
Once he forced everyone submit
Their work before he’d sign
Their contracts, and when no one did,
He explained how the nature of the business was evolving
At an even greater pace today, and to keep abreast the changing market
We must all sacrifice and be a team-family and understand his terrible
Position in mediating the increasing government, public, and team-family interests.
And no one cared.
All he needed was an apology, and
We’d be brothers,
All he needed was to be loved
For coming down and knowing
We are all afraid.
Everyone is sad
the world’s no
a cookie and punch
box after the game,
like how we were raised,
Yet on my corporate
team it’s clear you shut
do your dirty,
cash the check,
check to see everyone’s
happy as me.
Department of Education
The boss applauds our work to make
The company an holy place,
Where kids partake of saving grace
Through academic lessening:
We take it soft on coming late,
Assignments roll whenever they please,
We guard the student’s egos and ease
Them back to safety space.
So we maintain our passing rate
And keep our college functioning
And cite retention and assessment
For proof our efforts taught someone.
The business holds; we keep our jobs.
The college gets from whom it robs.