Walter Beck, 5/26/2014

Current Occupation: Unemployed Writer
Previous Occupation: Warehouse Picker, Gas Station Clerk, Camp Counselor
Contact Information: Walter Beck is from Indiana, while working a various series of jobs he has managed to establish a growing cult following in the literary underground. A member of the Third Thursday Poetry Asylum and the New American Outlaw Poets, his work has published in numerous rags including Assaracus, Burner, Regardless of Authority, and Zygote in My Coffee, he has several chapbook available from Writing Knights Press.



Dissolving Ink


By signing, you hereby grant us permission to contact former employers, employees, law enforcement officials, banks, family members


And inquire about your reputation, credit history, criminal background, way of living, habits, hobbies, philosophy, sense of humor, cars you’ve bought, cigarette brands of choice, personal preference in alcoholic beverages, religion (if any), romantic life, political views, and any other information we feel is relevant to your employment with this company.


I no longer worry about the government spying on me,

Employers already do it.


What Normal People Buy (Consumer Picking Warehouse Blues)


They buy Eddie Bauer diaper bags for their babies

And porcelain pagoda water fountains for their dogs,

They get masks for their kids

Made out of 100% cardboard.


They exercise on Indian made yoga mats

And wrap themselves in 500 thread count Egyptian sheets.


They buy Paula Deen pots

And Rachel Ray skillets

Wrapped in black plastic,

Like they were dirty magazines

Instead of celebrity-endorsed cookware.


They defend themselves

While fighting breast cancer

With their pink painted pepper spray guns;


Nothing says find a cure

Like a face full of Oleoresin Capsicum.


They fall asleep on iPod pillows

Softly pumping out adult alternative,

They claim it keeps them young.


All of it picked and packed by people

They’d never give the time of day to.




Slide your card and check in.

Check your assignment on the board.

Do your stretches,

Put on your gloves

And grab your scanner gun;


Get your order from the black rack,

Fill your cart,

Take it over to the shipping guys.



Listen only to the bleeps on the scanner gun

Telling you the next section, the next aisle, the next item.


Listen only to the occasional blips of music

Seeping in from the radios overhead.


Listen only to the constant beeping of the horns

From the PIT trucks moving in and out all night.


Get your order from the black rack,

Fill your cart,

Take it over to the shipping guys.



Only wave politely to the others you see

One joke could mean the end of this paradise,

The disconnected faces all look the same.


Call your boss “sir” and “Mr. ______”,

Ask about voluntary overtime

(Who would ever wanna leave?).


Focus on the thousands of items going out tonight,

With hopes that you’ll get ‘em all gone

(Like that black rack ever goes empty?).


Get your order from the black rack,

Fill your cart,

Take it over to the shipping guys.



Forget the fast and weird lane

Slipping away.






From everything

And only listen to what the cold gray aisles tell you.


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