Staying on the job for money

Is a romantic thing.

The anniversaries you have.

The favorable reviews

And the monetary skies above your own

Satisfied mind, the moments

When it counts, arriving home,

Stars in a dim city sky.

There’s the boss’s busy bee smile

And the fire engine secretaries,

The rubbery godhead nailed to the wall,

Upended tributaries, the Nile! The Nile!

You become blissfully transfigured

If you take on the posture

Of the dead, ranging Santa Monica

Holding a cigar out the window

Observing with obstinate curiosity

The immeasurable reliability

Of Chinatown, the nomenclature.

“No problem,” you say, and they 

Come in droves to touch your face

With their rose petal fingers.

You circumscribe the globe

In your bulletproof yacht,

A literary character learning

The language of the flags,

Greeted by sunrise helicopters.


Among other journals, Alejandro Escude's poems have appeared in Poet Lore, Rattle, Phoebe, California Quarterly, Main Street Rag, as well as in an anthology entitled How to Be This Man, published by Swan Scythe Press. Alejandro received a masters degree in creative writing from U.C. Davis, where she won the 2003 University of California Poet Laureate Contest. Her chapbook entitled Where Else But Here was published by March Street Press, December 2005. A second chapbook, Unknown Physics, was published by March Street Press in 2007. 

Paycheck is about reversing the age old concept that you have to love what you do for a living. I think this is a fallacy meant to ensnare the individual in a life that is perpetually disappointing. The poem is an ode to work. Real work. The kind that sucks most of the time, the kind that creates the spiritual pressure within us all to accept what cannot be changed, to be ourselves in the face of great societal demands, to write a poem.



Copyright 2009