This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
All poems by Wayne Mason copyright 2005,2006,2007 Broken Zen Some of the poems in this collection first appeared in Concrete Meat, Children Churches and Daddies, Glassfire, Pemmican, Poet Plant Press, Remark, St Vitus Press, Socket Shocker, The Cerebral Catalyst, Words Dance, and Zygote In My Coffee
Dedicated to the working class everywhere
Monday Morning 7am Bleary eyed watching sunrise through factory doors Even Hell is not without magic .
In my car before work The star hang low dim and melancholy as I watch the workers pacing wearily down the path to factory doors collars upturned against the cool morning breeze the song on the radio carrying the weight of the entire universe and my eyes begin to water for no reason at all I'm reminded men don't cry we drink But it's six in the morning and not a bottle to be found just me. alone. waiting for the day to end before it really even begins I turn off the car and wearily tread down the same tired path to dirty factory floors .
sullen faces and smoke stacks through heavy factory doors down assembly lines and dry humping of machinery with the sound of commerce reaching a dizzying crescendo in our heads while we patiently wait for the bitter end I watch and I wait but who am I to lead a revolution when I can barely get out of bed .The War At Home You see them tired and sick trudging across abysmal dawn in dingy worn work shirts and steel toes beating down cracked sidewalks to warehouse and factory floors They look like defeated soldiers amidst a war they'll never win Because desire for change has been swallowed by need and the vision of Marx is now but a a dreamy utopia to be discussed by rich students in dreary college classrooms Because strikes are resolved by shipping jobs away and the face of Che Guevara is now but a logo to move cheap shirts in sad hip boutiques So we keep on walking past iron gates.
still yet in the morning they were just another body passed out on my living room floor My wife .Orange St Drove by the old place on Orange St the other day and it was like seeing a ghost of myself The nights I spent there slowly going crazy talking to the cats and drinking the hours away watching sunrise through the bottom of liquor bottles some nights it was so quiet all I could hear was the sound of heart thumping or the sound of my goth roomate in the other room doing god knows what with her euro trash lover Most nights though it was a party and then I felt even more alone the lazy tea-heads and paranoid meth freaks never made it boring but they couldn't grasp what I was hoping to achieve this destruction was holy in a misguided way There is nothing worse than a junky telling you that you drink too much Of course there was booze and the cheap sex fucking away the pain of being alive.
sitting across the car asks me if I miss it I contemplate the madhouse nights the booze cheap sex and drugs and the days withered away with nothing but cheap beer ramen noodles and a typewriter and tell her Nah Good answer she tells me .
One more factory poem What would Buddha do? I mean if he worked here in this factory Would he quietly read Marx? in his hands calloused palms instead of lotus pedals Would he still spout sutras of compassion or maybe spit words of fire Would he ask my boss the nature of his face before his ancestors were born .
is conspiring against me and I'm sure it's an agent of Fox News There is nothing left to do but turn it off and pour one more drink .One more drink My t.v.
After Lunch The workers stroll back from break laughing and smiling. wearing their crowns made of thorns with quiet dignity Back to the chaos of assembly lines where time will stops dead they'll keep on pushing till the clock is swiped Weary and worn down they'll have survived another day without noticing that they're a little more dead To them life is what it is something to be toiled at one day at a time These are the zen saints of modern time meditating their way through layers of illusion No matter how many times kicked down the proletariat keeps getting up .
tired.The old bum and me The old bum whom I pass daily standing on the corner of 98 and Daughtery has left the store with a quart of beer and a pouch of rolling tobacco I watch him retreat across the street and into a patch of woods to the run down couch and bonfire where other old down and outs gather I pay for my beer and catch a glimpse of myself in the storefront reflection unshaven in unwashed jeans weary. and hungry with a dollar to my name heading home to my own run down couch to drink away another sixty hour work week Another week ends and the world has ripped us apart at the seams and in the end my things own me and this man owns the night Who is the fool here? At least he has the stars above his head .
The fragile old man That should of already retired slowly hustles boxes off and on splintered pallets Like a sea battered boat he moves sure and steady towards his destiny through the foggy morning By the crack of dawn he’s hunched over the paper with a coffee thermos checking last nights lottery Years of labor have burned down his youth but not his ability to dream .
Behind these factory walls spirits buckle under the multitudes of mechanical nuts and bolts Behind these factory walls mechanical as machinery aging and tired I watch every tick and tock Behind these factory walls tired and defeated walking ‘round oblivious tryin to be numb Behind these factory walls nervous and preoccupied I’ll never write the great American Poem . Behind these factory walls rich white republicrats . Behind these factory walls poets in cages meditating amid dirty break tables and burning cigarette butts.Factory Walls Behind these factory walls machines whine and hump oblivious supervisors half dead proletariats.iron triangles and military industrial machines.
When I was ten I went on a school field trip to a factory. I had no idea the message they were sending that The world doesn't need poets it doesn't need thinkers it needs muscle to feed hungry machines We were just dumb lower class kids . I was just a dumb kid looking up at the huge steel framework and enormous machines the shaking and clanking assaulting my senses It was exciting.Full of holes When you're a kid your parents they say "You can be anything even President." Of course over time you start to see the holes in this theory You realize the world needs scrubs too and for some to suceed others have to fail I've been in training for this my whole life. I didn't know better I didn't look into the workers eyes I didn't pay attention to the lifers shuffling by with hunched backs and calloused hands.
watching our future open up right before our eyes .
Being Time Dogen had his finger to the pulse we are not really dying because we are not really here at all We are everything passing through the nothing or maybe we are just being time No past no future only time That is comforting to me Monday morning and I am already dead .
Buddha After Work Visions of Buddha in a recliner chair meditating on white noise Breath heavy with Sake Does a factory worker have Buddha nature? His wife reminds him to take out the trash .
Poets in cages From factory floors this world seems emptier everyday In this drab building like any other nameless hell in this industrial ghetto it seems downright barren So far away from the sound of rubbing elbows of elite literati drunk on power and champagne So far away from me here where a pen in hand isn't power or money but sheer naked survival In Hell money is useless it burns and crumbles to dust In Hell dreams are the only currency that matter and in that sense I'm rich .
Planet to pixy dust My mind sways with palms in the breeze gazing off at lonely shadows dancing down shrouded alleys Shooting stars come and go burning brighter than life and dying just as quick being too beautiful for this world They're poet stars sprawling fiery words across ebony skies blissfully going where words cannot ever hope to go From planet to pixy dust in the beat of a heart And in this speck of tiny dust called earth I see nothing but impermanence and what am I but a speck of dust with hair and flesh and teeth so insignificant and easily wiped away .
After the applause I give thanks and step down the emcee says goodnight the lights fade Microphone stands alone all quiet except my ringing ears Twenty minutes they hung on every word everyone high on poetry Tomorrow they'll pass me on crowded streets and I'll be another face Voiceless and heading home to empty notebooks where the mic is always on and my voice wearily carries in its timbre the pain of being human The applause is over and I am reminded no matter how much we .
connect we all die alone .
Hey Karl Marx Are you listening? Can you see it? Your words are being taught in elitist universities to the children of rich white republicrats while laborers buckle under the weight of a system that they can't beat Obviously. . they have missed the point.
At Dawn At dawn watching the fog softly roll across the bay Smell of stale alcohol and yesterdays clothes In the sunrise tragic beauty of existing illluminated .
Every Day Is Labor Day Behind the glossed up t. commercials I see not beautiful people but the cancerous blemish on Whitmans America I see death and sneakers made of sweat and cruelty emanating from a daft screen I see my co-workers with dried up dreams and empty wallets grasping at crumbs of respect I see twilight over industrial ghettos rows of factories warehouses like prisons I see bleary eyed workers marching to assembly cells unshaven in holy sneakers to the rattle of machinery I watch the sullen faces of my reluctant brothers and oh. I will not shut up and shop I will write a poem for all the children in industrial dungeons toiling for change I will write a poem for the busted unions of South America dying for soda I will write a poem for faceless American workers who go to work to buy someone elses American dream I will write a poem for Karl Marx whos ideals where swept up by totalitarian regimes I will write a poem for all the collateral damage sacrificed so capitalism .v.
Walmart and Nike too But for you America I have more than sweat and calloused hands I have prayers Every day is Labor day only the seasons change days drift by and all that is reaped is death And I will not Shut up and shop . republicrats iron triangles flying high over American sky I have rants for Key Safety Systems Discount.may prosper I have blues and voodoo for Nafta and cafta curses for the department of labor I obscenities for the caryle group.
Dead Poetry Gods Sitting shirtless before the reading trying to channel the ghosts of dead gods giving my heart as an offering to this thing called poetry and who am I to summon this muse? Who am I to look people in the eye and say I'm a poet Who am I to place my ragged boots in the footprints of giants There will always be Michelines shadow crawling down alleys or Kerouacs lonesome highway of endless words and every time I step behind a microphone there will always be Ginsbergs howl echoing through half empty clubs and hip coffee shops And I'm but a scrub from the factory floor sitting in break rooms reading Marx silently I'm but a boy wrapped in aging flesh I'm a father. and son raptured by mediocrity of bills and routine I'm just a man that sees secrets everywhere . husband.
But there will always be tiny truths just beneath my breast and the voices of dead poetry gods rooting me on .
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.