1. How Can a Boss Be Good?
All contracts are signed with
the wet of our bodies —
with blood or sweat or come what
may from our corporeal doorways.
Blue ink a proxy for our truer vow:
damp hands holding fast
until we are made one.
Then we dine on bread and salt,
and lay on a bed of roses.
So collected, we forge mettle,
trade leeway for regimen, and
chisel away our weekends.
Our bonds will make us an unclear family,
or else they will make us prisoners,
guarding each other against outsiders,
hardly knowing if we stand for labor or
for love. Lock of hair; lock and key.
Our numbers decline every year.
And there will always be those who disapprove
because they do not benefit. No right is absolute;
even gods hold authority by alliance.
both have been our animus.
For this is not a world where the powerless survive —
when we say only death will sever us, we mean:
we can never afford to live apart.
Whoever did this is anonymous. They dug
a hundred meters of horse-shaped trenches
in the topsoil, filled the void with loads of
crumpled stone that glow ghostly against the
insistent green of the living hillside, and still
they have been forgotten. Slowly, or all at once,
sometime over the last three thousand years, while we
go on adoring the mysterious geoglyph they left behind,
showering it in ceremonies of renewal. Their horse
swells with the sum of lessons it can teach us:
You see more clearly from afar than from above,
or, That which is not worked on will be lost.
Their wisdom has since spread across four continents.
If we do not tend to their tricksy horse and its clever
replicas, the hill figures will climb up or creep down
the slopes until their tails flee entirely from our sight.
We must brush debris from brackish manes and
make a promise to ourselves to bear the dead into
the future on the backs of their nameless labors.
Over our heads, the shifty clouds ask: If you are
so tired, why do you want to live forever?
The perpetual motion machine
is capital’s perfect myth —
tireless as Sisyphus,
shifting rocks, ticking in a
trance of work, grinding like
a tide against the Earth.
There are rumors
that the perpetual
has permanently changed
its name, and goes now
by a mononym.
Overunity: the desire to
produce more than
to construct a
getting by on cake;
to act out
a crisis of
to transmute the
copper in our pockets
into another’s gold.
To over-identify with
what someone else wants:
Stock Market Syndrome.
If we survive like this,
it is because of catgut
singing to us from the walls,
cranks in the attic
who help to turn our wheels,
mice who slip us secret bread.