They are there, but you don’t see.
If you do see them, you soon forget.
If all else, many don’t notice.
The passing glance of your own shadow, how many pay attention to such a novel thing that lingers ever so presently in your blindspots? What if the shadows were living?
Much like the beggar on the streets, the waiter, janitor, the handler.
Those that work in a blue collar or else background ‘noise’ to your life.
This is my Contribution for the Halloween festivities cast away into the nether. What more scarier than dreaded taxes, rent, and a Dead end job? So do enjoy this collection of poems constructed from the animus of other’s spitting their woes and casting it into the internet graveyard, apathetic to the winds and feelings.
This is a collection of various stories, edited for poetic consumption. A sort of improv Anthology, whether real or not, the feeling that you might feel from reading this is as real as you determine. This is Society’s biggest Giant, the shadows that we forget, the Shadowed Giant that we cast.
O’ Hallowed are they, the shadow, the forgotten.
What we are worth
At the beginning of the pandemic,
There was a girl in her mid 20’s,
She had pre health conditions,
She kept working at a grocery store.
She got Covid,
She missed work for a week
Before she died.
The manager called her Grandma
Whom that young gal was the caregiver for,
To ask her if she can pick up her last check.
Her last check was $26 and change.
It’s sad, it’s a perfect example,
of what workers are worth.
$26 and a few coins.
That’s all we are worth.
“Gamble on Rent Peasant”
I did Bartending at casinos,
The Drinks were free,
I worked for tipped min wage.
I’d watch people bet thousands a day,
to see them not tip me,
for the free drinks and service,
to not throw a chip my way,
I’d watch hundreds of people each day,
They noticed me long enough,
To pick up their drinks,
And then my presence-
It was cyclical,
I talked myself into caring,
Then not caring,
Then into caring again,
Talking me in, and out,
Trying as hard as humanly possible,
To be fast and friendly,
Listening to them self proclaim their magnitude,
Stroking their own ego,
All for the hopes of some coin,
It was during the Pandemic,
The Casino had a Record Year,
My Work is obviously valuable,
When a Casino pays Tipped Min wage,
To burnt out service workers,
What they’re telling them,
What they’re telling us is to;
“Gamble on Rent Peasant”
I worked at a hardware store,
We sold a lot to contractors,
I’ve counted $20,000 in bills before,
I’ve watched customers come in,
Spend thousands on a whim,
All for a ‘good deal’.
They yell, scream, and berate us
if our service isn’t up to their standards
While they buy more than I’ll make,
More than I’ll make in years.
I’ve started to play a humiliating game,
To see what random things I could afford,
“Oo hey plywood is only 60 bucks!”
“Hey a 5 gallon can of paint on sale!”
“Oh wow I can buy a whole section of fence!”
“Oh a small decorative fountain!”
I don’t need any of those things,
I don’t want them,
I sort of mock myself in this game,
I want to be more like the customers that come in.
I want the ability to just buy them, to buy things,
And be so confident in being able to make the money back,
All I really want,
I used to work as a roulette dealer.
This one lady would come in every morning
and drop 10k per spin,
and never win.
Just having that money is unimaginable,
I would stress out clearing the table,
And then she’d just open her purse,
And casually drop another 10k. . .
That amount would take care of my rent for 7 months
I used to want kids
Was just talking to my sister
about how our aunt is upper middle class.
To us that’s super wealthy,
when in reality it’s not.
I’ve worked for Boeing and seen people buy custom 747s
Personal, for themselves, a private 747,
I worked at banks where the clients had large sums,
Worth more then my entire extended families’ wealth,
Me and my sisters would have to wait,
For our parents, to Die.
Just to get a shot at getting out of this situation.
I used to want kids,
Now I just want to not starve
At the end of every month,
One Case of Large Avocados
When I worked in produce,
I’d calculate how many of a certain fruit or vegetable,
That we’d need to sell in a day to pay for my labor.
I’d think to my self;
“if we sell 26 large Avocados today that will pay for my labor.”
I’d then restock the shelf.
With at least 4 cases of large Avocados.
I’m worth less than,
One Case of Large Avocados.
So, this one in particular took me a while for it to click. This person was being paid roughly 26 Avocados for an ENTIRE day’s work. Yet this person had stock the shelves with 4 cases of large Avocados after they sold out in one day. A case of Avocados come with either 36/40/48/84 per case. If there was an equal proportion of Avocado to pay, this person did at least five day’s pay-worth of avocados by simply restocking the shelves in the span of what, minutes?
I don’t know about you, but for someone to realize that, their labor, is like that, that it’s that disproportionate with all things considered, is pretty fucked. Even when you consider the logistics and overhead for that sort of operation.
Once a year
When I worked retail,
I bought a pound of ground beef,
a pound of potatoes,
dried skim milk,
and canned corn.
I made this into a “casserole”
that would feed me for 3 to 4 days.
I ate out of garbage cans.
I drove straight home
and straight to work at 55mph
because gasoline costs money
and I had to make it last.
Once every two months
I would go to a Chinese buffet,
and that was my treat to myself.
$10 for a huge meal,
One that I didn’t have to cook.
Sometimes I would treat myself,
I’d go watch a movie in theaters,
Once a year.
Used to work in NYC,
in the jewelry industry.
My job was to run errands for the studio.
I would carry about $500k+ worth
of gold and diamonds,
on a daily basis.
I made $13 an hour.
I had to moonlight as a bartender
I worked 16 hour days,
Nothing is Different Afterwards
I live in an extra warehouse,
And drive a 20 year old truck,
sputtering it’s death throes.
I work on multimillionaire people’s homes.
There is a lot of elaborate details,
Houses full of very expensive,
I remember one home owner
bought a $10,000 slab of granite,
to see if they liked it,
Threw it in the garbage,
Because they didn’t.
We had to leave early the other day,
because a politician was coming to hang out
at their block party.
They didn’t want any of our ‘type’ around,
While they decide how best to bribe this person,
And maintain this unequal world.
The charity’s are really,
just a way to hide more money,
as the tent cities grow,
so do their walls,
Around their Mansions.
We all see it,
and know it,
but I feel it will not change.
Our hurt goes on to the Internet,
A shout into the world,
And then Nothing is Different Afterwards.
It seems there is a new rise of the same old grumbling anger, some sort of reflective shadow of society. The Disproportioned and the Disproportionate, they are feeling a certain Red and Black feeling. With the rise of a new frontier, r/Antiwork, is calling a lot of new actions, and new thoughts. Igniting the spirit, the flame, the sparks in angry men and women.
The Pandemic that dubbed essential workers but handed paltry alms for ‘pay’ was an awakening for many. That coupled with the profits soaring for major corporations, while most struggled to get by, and the corporations taking handouts from the government while issuing Layoffs promptly there after their ‘rescue cheques’. The Non-Capital class are feeling the brunt of pain, and they too have realized their situation.
The Cat is out of the bag, the Pandora’s box is opened, and perhaps the people want more equality. Perhaps they want justice. Perhaps they want violence. Or perhaps they only want Financial Stability, for our nation, for our kids, for our fathers, mothers, parents, grandparents, forefather, for our futures, and ultimately for our selves.
For Sacrifice should be rewarded appropriately, and not rewarded with more sacrifice.
What does it even mean to live pay check to paycheck? Are we really in a society where the veil to poverty, pain, and suffering is missing a single paycheck? One Paycheck away from homelessness?
What the fuck even is the phrase ‘Cost of living’ supposed to really mean?
Whatever happened to the American Dream? What ever happen to liberty and the pursuit of happineness?
“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!“
Seems like somewhere along the way, things got lost, and fucked. What happens next?
I Don’t know? Do you know what’s going to happen now?
No, I don’t.
And I know I don’t, but at least I know that there are No safe bets,
*Not Valid, Financial, Legal, Life, or Any Advice