Ethic
 
I did a shift once
as a dishwasher
bent over at an angle
that did my back no good
so I slept in a ball
curled up against the wall
and didn't return when I should
I've filled a hundred. thousand bottles
with a concoction of colloidal silver
and countless capsules with coral calcium
until my skin was dry as bone
and I did most of this alone
because it's easier to work
with no one on my back
some say that it's an ethic that I lack
but both my grandfathers were hard workers
iinconsolable and resentful until they retired
and I'm trying my best
not to live like that

one made cling-film in a factory
and the other broke his back fixing cars
and they went far enough
to have a house, a car, and kids
but they were furious at life
they kept a thumb down on a wife
while she kept the peace
from falling to pieces
and I know it paid their leases
their mortgages and rent
but it held a lot of broken-hearted
buried feeling from the surface

I've hooked up internet and television
sweating and freezing in all four seasons
I've photographed models,
horses and weddings
and sometimes when it feels too dry
and I'm just so sick to death of it
someone looks in my mechanical eye
and stares right through it
maybe they've been blinded
by dreams of my success
that still haven't stayed
with waking yet
I'm addicted to the bet
of somehow, someway making it

I've spent six years
behind a desk
selling artwork to strangers
mostly paintings
sometimes a photograph or two
and you'd probably see me there
and think that I'm a daydreamer
and maybe that's still true
but it's hard to keep the hope
while I'm weaving the end of my rope
that will climb me to the top of a cliffside stop
(my view to anywhere but here)
I'm facing my fear of boredom
and obsolescence
I'm on my third or fourth
second-guessing
I just want to be wanted
for something someone else can't do
so I write while I wander
in the woods where nothing
is too old or new
and when I hear
the dead divulgence of depression
I remind myself with a kind of compassion
that the least common colour in nature is blue...

...

September 2, 2017
Hampton, Nova Scotia