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).
At my mid-teen, my father worked in a candy factory,
a machinist above his toolbelt, guts tooled in whiskey.
He brought home buckets of hard candies the company
gave its employees, candies fallen from loose conveyors,
or that hadn’t been wrapped in the ideal spiral,
or were simply in the way of the human weldment.
When this factory fired my father, he drank
with a blast-worthy friend, a blackbearded tub-belly,
then he returned to the factory, far into night, bottle-hopped
with his drunken friend, and shot his angers at the building
with a large caliber handgun.
They came to our house at a scrunch of morning,
and arrested him silver-wristed and furious.
The correct motion of the house was to cry,
though my stepmother waved he’d be fine.
I watched a movie and waited for her
to retrieve my father from the jail in town.
The vehemence, acceleration, sour mash, the crawls…
Before the bench, just previous my father’s hearing,
another big-gut man was tampered two years in prison
and five-thousand dollars for fishing in the reservoir.
The heavy gavel of this outcome was horrifying.
Then my father was before the bench, young,
full of blood, hair streaked wild and brilliant black.
He was going to Hell, and his sons knew it.
But the world sparked, and the judge passed our father
on two-thousand dollars, the fine and then advice,
and sent him home, unemployed, lost, and free.
There was no meaning to any of it.
One of the Employers
He needed it done and the cost was my low wage.
He found another for pennies less, the lowest wage,
and relieved me indecently,
transported the work to the worse next.
A profits-man punctures deeply when he smells
even a miniscule savings. A trifle.
Oh, he rode a buck home pleased.
That good buck with many points and some
pennies, the more. A cup of coffee a week, about.
I woke under devastating air for months, looking
and asking for work, approaching the fruition of
a looming, crash event.
The ones that assail you worst always give
brief and empty apologies first. And then
you’re gone. They continue.
Of all the stealing, conning, and fining I’ve seen, they are
the savings of others that have always hurt me worst.