Rough Night, Rough Workaday

Mouthing the urgency of age, but watching
Still just watching, the pounding headache
Tempted by leaving, but such a possibility
While entering the imagination
Would not occur.  The hangover would remain
Amidst its not very impressive resources
Amidst the trashcans and the jammed copiers.  No,
Our character would not leave
Not on principle, but out of simple weakness
And possibly, if we’re generous, inertia.
He entered the boardroom
Placed intentionally bald head on fine but scuffed
Water stained conference table
And plundered his own sleepy reverie: not much.  He imagined
That the room would remain empty, but it would not.
Papers flopped beside atrophied arms
Merely made it appear as if he were the meeting’s leader
Gearing up for a great win.  He had no wins left in his soul
But when the boss is breathing down your neck
For at least a walk you take the anvil
And smash some fucking heads.  He breezed through hastily composed graphs
(Dow Jones Industrials over Temperature
Was all he could think of on the spot).  Apparently, the spot was good
Because believe me there was applause.
There was talk of a promotion.
There were testimonials such as Joyce’s
You’re the leader of this task force, the reason we are now more than
merely colleagues.
This was proof of nihilism’s soul crushing argument:
What we do does not matter.
We don’t matter.
Later, the poor man shot himself in the head.

by Francis Raven

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