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A Secretary-Receptionist Faces the Future - “I Know Where the Door Is, You Little Police Academy Dropout.”

The name on the building changed again today
I must apply for my own job, they say
A smarmer wants more work for much less pay
It’s time to reconstruct my resume’

I once was great with videotape and film
And could type fifty-five words a minute
On an IBM Selectric; my skills are dim
The boy-boss taps on a plastic box - what’s in it?

For forty years I ruled the company’s ground floor -
Security, with a sneer, shows me the door
Your ‘umble scrivener’s site is:
It’s not at all reactionary, tho’ it might be drivel.

Lawrence Hall’s vanity publications are available on as Kindle and on bits of dead tree:  The Road to Magdalena, Paleo-Hippies at Work and Play, Lady with a Dead Turtle, Don’t Forget Your Shoes and Grapes, Coffee and a Dead Alligator to Go, and Dispatches from the Colonial Office.
False Poets Feb 2018
complexity bias

how you love to criticize my poems
as too long and overly complex

poor me, I’m no genius, don’t prosper by exploiting
unrecognized simplicities, rather deconstruct the
intricate complexities that I flatter myself are the me-sinews

Writing is a **** temptation -
we focus on the 10% that is complex and ignore the easy 90%

perhaps this once I will surrender my bare bones
put aside the rich, satisfying of cave diving, urban spelunking
word caressing tongue verbiage rich tapestry exploring -

give you the plane of plain where nestles my destiny: nesting near motionless where the couch is my kingdom and cold cereal is
easily digested and there are no consequences

I am a member of a discriminated-against minority
we have no charismatic leader, no marchers anywhere, and government programs say
hey you’re free white and twenty one plus, get the crap out of
our faces,  you useless piece of rhymes with **** and includes dirt, though I shower twice a day to keep myself occupied

25 years old, a high school dropout, of course I’m white,
my occupation is playing video games and making sure
my supply of opioids is adequate in these great United States
where I was born

there are fewer jobs than none that my application survives
a first glance discardation, and now my disability preempts
any demand to pretend there is gainful employment in store in
my future

this reductio ad absurdum is a technique to expose the fallacy,
ah what’s that you say no interest in hanging about,
on your way out, of course, of course,
we are the wrong flavor of downtrodden

my life is simple - simplistic in its a chaotic entropic way,
order slowly declines into disorder

my rituals are a fight against slip sliding down, falling off the
the Herzog continuums
and the poems are desperate hand holds to prevent my
going, gone under

so forgive me if I tax you without possessing not the
requisite taxing authority

you hone in on the obvious disparities and my contradictions

resenting my sending you this bill of extravagant length

compose with me and a mean will be located and to sleep I go,
perhaps to undress my dreams and explicate the wealthy multiples of complexity in the simplicity of a junkies life
My college
has dropped me
for lack of

Being a dropout
by my 21st birthday
was not part of the

Right now
I'm just a guy
with a dead-end

I hope
you read this,
it's my cry for
Staind - Epiphany
Just because I am on food stamps,
I am not lazy
I am not broke
I am not using the system
I am an educator.

Just because I am covered in tattoos,
I am not reckless
I am not on drugs
I am not irresponsible
I am an artist.

Just because I am a high school dropout,
I am not easily discouraged
I am not defiant with authority
I am not a trouble maker
I am a enthusiastic learner with a college degree.

Just because I am a single mom,
I am not raising my kids in a broken home
I am not doing it for a check
I do not hate my children's father's
I am doing twice the work.

Claire Alexander
Ath3na Jan 8
I woke up this morning and I was thirty something and I was a waitress and I was a mother whose children are being raised by their grandparents.
I woke up this morning and I was an ex ***** who was trying to put her life back together and I was a high school dropout who got her GED but never did get that nursing degree that I've always promised myself I would have.
I woke up this morning and I was living in my sister's house that she so graciously offered me a room in but even after more than a year, it's never quite felt like home.
I woke up this morning and I wondered if I'll break down at work today or if the relationship that I'm in will finally be the one, the only, the last relationship I'll ever be in.
I woke up this morning and I wondered how much time I have left and why I wasted so much of my life wishing that I was dead.
I woke up this morning and I didn't want to hurt myself or anyone else.
I woke up this morning and I made plans and set goals for the day and for the week.
I woke up this morning and I got out of bed. I went to work, I socialized, I didn't crack, I didn't cry. I was normal today.
I woke up this morning.
Gerry James Jul 2018
He was a nineteen year old high school dropout.
He was black.
He wore his hair in dreads.
He had a few nose rings.
He wore gold chains and expensive clothes.
He went partying every night.
He got drunk on alcohol but his drug addiction was the biggest problem.
He had a lot of friends.
Because he was ‘cool’.
He was the ‘man’.

He was 18, finishing his final school year.
He was white.
He wore his hair very short.
He had large round glasses, sitting lopsided on his nose.
He wore a long sleeved shirt and trousers.
He studied hard, and he got good marks.
He played the cello in the school band.
But he was gay.
And so he didn’t have any friends.
But he had his family who he loved dear and who loved him back.
He was happy.

The differences between the two are unbelievable.
They are nothing alike; they are complete opposites.
Yet, they are human.
They walk the same streets, at different times.
They both live on the same planet, if not the same world.
They both have a right to live.
They both have people who love them, despite all they are.

It’s their differences that make Jay and Gray human.
Both of them.
Until Jay raised his gun and fired three times at Gray.
That’s when Gray was lost to humanity.
And Jay had lost his humanity.

Coz Jay shot in the chest a boy named Gray
Killed him without giving him any say,
The boy who did no wrong, but was gay,
With his life, he had to pay.
His family cried in despair and dismay,
For their loving son had been taken away,
And now they all sat in silence,
For Gray would never see another day.

For souls who have had their lives ripped apart, and those who rip their lives apart, we pray.
Grace Ann Sep 2018
I was three years old standing barefoot on the screened in porch in the summer heat
you had a beer in your hand with condensation wetting your skin
I asked and you answered
My first sip of alcohol fascinated my three year old self

I was six and wearing a white dress walking next to a boy in a suit down a church aisle
Eyes fixated on the moment I would grow in my faith
First communion came with excitement to me
I tasted church wine for the first time

I was twelve and at Christmas dinner with extended family
table set makeshift bar locked eyes with mine
You poured me a glass of red
a special occasion you said

I was fourteen then fifteen then sixteen
Every week a glass of wine with dinner
A beer in the summer
it complemented the steak
You taught me to drink at home to know my limits
To protect me from going crazy when I left home

I was eighteen and a two-time college dropout
The wine on the counter and a constant supply of liquor comforting
A stressful day ended with a numbing to my feelings
A glass away from silence in my head
and an easy night of sleep from being mixed with my medications

I was twenty when I realized a drink would turn into a few
and a few would turn into asleep on the floor
or vomiting and sitting in the shower for hours
I was twenty when I realized it took more to get me tipsy than it used to
that I needed to drink and when I did I wouldn't stop
because what was the point unless you were drunk
I was twenty when I started to jokingly call myself an alcholic
I was twenty when my friends dropped the joking part
I was twenty and tipsy and unable to legally drink and I had already become what everyone else in my family denied being

I blame you
the three year old with a fascination of forbidden things
the six year old who had an intrigue in the taste of communion wine
the twelve year old who accepted the drink from her grandfather's ***** breath every holiday dinner
the teenager who let herself drink at home in the presence of her parents who thought it would help prevent the inevitable
the eighteen year old who learned the hard way life was a much crueler teacher than school and accepted the easy access to numbness
I blame you for the twenty year old I have become
Primes and primary numbers
Make my patterns right
Teach me how to make the connections between equations
Time and tide wait for no one
Someone, please ask them what is one
Changing or creating, adjusting to your useless feeble-self
You can still take on those hurricanes, with experience
Time and tide wait for those who are laying in desperation
Waiting to be washed ashore
Like the immigrants, clicking their feet like the opportunity
And door-knobs, ringing like hallowed bells
Telling us the door is open for those with want
Series of bottles washed over, like island telegrams
College applications for the college dropout, looking for the corpus of his master's oeuvre
It's on the top shelf. You're working for wages crossing bus-stands with city-light colleges
Crowded and make some noise, coherent with crime
The crazy thing about love is the journey is the pilgrimage
In the end, there is a marriage that I don't wanna stay in
By the time we understand love, the crosses have become longer
Like stars winking at each other kinda cross-eyed
And the marriages become shorter, and good luck is gone in crucibles
Weren't we younger, with the raucous youthful silence looks absurd
Clause and far away ideals, all written in the recorded book of timeless riffs
Creases of grassy lights and trees hang like winging towns in this transitory town that moves to-and-fro
Impotent I feel in this imperfection, everything seems perfect
You completed me at aphrodisiac and took my power for greedily granted festering wars
Feeding the Chordata of moloch, genome hanging like graceless grades of the college dropout from faceless despair of learning biology
Becoming a named politician following the murmur of rosy beads and green grass, ****** out on a frenzied Friday good for another year
Walking these halls
For the very first time
It feels like I've been here
For a hundred years
Unfamiliar faces all blend
Into one high school dropout
One singular name
That I don't want to know
When it starts to snow
I'll pray for ice to crystallize
Around my feet
So I can stay in my bed
And never leave again
I want to weep but
My eyes stay dry
There's a drought in my mind
It's draining away
All that I once was
All that I will be
Who I am today is not
Who I should be

— The End —