Current Occupation: Stay-home father / novelist/ student pursuing teaching credentials
Former Occupation: Broiler attendant/Dishwasher/MSN Tech Support Representative/mining corporation microfiche filer/student/telemarketer/pan-handler/delivery driver/thief/Medical Transcriptionist/cook/secretary/graveyard shift Alzheimer’s ward caregiver/sandwich artist…
Contact Information: Ray Succre currently lives on the southern Oregon coast with his wife and son. He has had poems published in Aesthetica, BlazeVOX, and Pank, as well as in hundreds of others across dozens of countries, online and in print. His novels Tatterdemalion (2008) and Amphisbaena (2009), both through Cauliay, are widely available in print. Other Cruel Things (2009), an online collection of poetry, is available through Differentia Press. For inquiry, further publication history, and information, visit him online (http://raysuccre.blogspot.com), or feel free to approach via Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/raysuccre).
Before the Stone Oven
Five p.m. Bags of white bread scrawled with dates,
stacked in a pyramid near memorably hot oven-stone.
Bread into oven, then out onto a grid, cut, filled.
The woman who cuts tomatoes with a bread-knife
“No– too thick.” “Too thick?” “No one likes these.”
rubs her nose hard and wipes at her apron.
The sandwich is diagonally cut, set on paper,
rolled and scratched out a name: Turkey Provo.
Relleno and Beef. Cranberry Special. Then chips.
Large boxes of small bags of salty, powdery chips
dropped by an anorexic that delivers stock at street price.
The sandwiches are ordered, the orders are fulfilled.
Some of the fill is tomato; I remember the woman
who cuts the tomatoes sports acne cream so severe
and overused, you could smell it until seven.
An analysis of time provides the sandwich,
the sandwich people, the sandwich place,
and the manner of sandwich afterlife as heaping refuse.
The can is emptied into a bin out back,
while the owner picks at her scalp behind a register.
I and others come and go, but for a shortness
are trapped, each person becoming the realisation,
an –ology, skirting deaths like crabs in a tidepool,
and each order, each quantity, some cruel filler
in a sputtering time.
Hungry people arrive with training, a reference of tastes,
and an old appetite. In the future, I look back, I try
to remember, but I find only the counting, hungry people.
They block the road into one-and-a-half years.