Earning a Living

In this cubicle a manuscript of stories

is flung carelessly into a corner

pages are dog-eared, some are torn

others have stains invoking accidents

with body fluids, beer or coffee.

 

The plots themselves are filled with

anger, lust and violence. Half-naked

warriors battle pseudopods from outer space,

a witch locks some children in a cellar,

inmates of asylums and prisons escape

to disguise themselves as policemen,

create a new empire of terror.

 

In an adjacent office, artists work ceaselessly

daubing swathes of black, yellow, green

and red acrylic. Monsters leer from their

brushstrokes, fangs dripping blood and

menace. Vampires and other ghoulish creatures

fly and pounce on innocent victims from

mountain ridges. Vultures hop between

landscapes of carcasses and bones.

 

A loud cacophony erupts from behind

un-soundproofed doors of background music

rooms. Drumbeats, cymbals, screeching

violins and blazing trumpets rise in long

crescendos, descending into hush of growling

baritone and wailed soprano solos, ending

usually with screams and final silence.

 

At five o’clock activity ceases. Employees

in their pin-striped suits, demure skirts,

designer jeans and floral blouses, queue

quietly for elevators, descend to parking levels,

get into their late-model Toyotas and SUV’s,

drive carefully to manicured suburban streets

with pretty matchbox houses and tended

unfenced gardens.

 

Their children attend Montessori schools, play

with wooden toys, go to music and tennis lessons

in the afternoons and church on Sundays. Parents

try to prepare them healthy food, keep them away

from movies, tv and computers.

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© Johnmichael Simon

2015

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