“My Grandfather’s 90th” by Jared Harel is another poem I come back to read again and again. This time it was after digging through Slice Magazine’s past issues, then back to Rattle’s Summer 2008 issue. Jared had a great opening line.
“Everyone not dead was there:”
There are so many rich and accessible images, and a reminder to all writers that it is the experience and not the explanation that pulls us into the page. Here is another compelling life image by Mr Harel.
In the Bed Bath & Beyond basement (included by permission of author)
We spend the morning unloading nose-trimmers,
corkboards, cap-racks and duvets.
We slice through boxes, ripping them open
like the bellies of livestock,
laying them flat, their entrails removed.
When a new shipment comes, we wheel it
past the lights, to the Bed & Bath basement
where our radio plays K-Rock,
Highway to Hell, and the swell of sawdust
envelops our brooms.
Our supervisor, Leo, soft-tags toasters.
Once a banker on Wall Street, now he spends
his lunch breaks at KB-Toys, searching
for a model of the Porsche he used to own.
Beside him is Keith who pounds espresso-kits
with his plastic price-gun, and who
I am fairly certain hates me.
Across the table, unpacking packs
of a Black & Decker cutlery-set, I hate him back.
Nothing personal, just the way things go
when you don’t go far;
shift-clock stagnant. Punch-card punched.