Unemployment (2)

By Mark Levine Mark Levine
Another day come, add it
To the list, the
Not to do list.
Son of mine,
I was rambling across the undercarpeting
Strewn with imperceptible tacks
In one shapeless slip-on
When a pain rang out in my flank
And I fell to,
But who should answer but no one.
I lost good cause that day, don’t ask,
Let us sit a bit in this ill-starred
Suit in the form-filling
Chamber of subtraction,
I haven’t another trip around the sun
Left in me. Speak to me
Son, vague one.
For this is where it thickens,
Me here and it there and me there and them here
And you with the soul.
I’ll cross that gravid boneyard
All the day poking
Radishes for remembrance.
For this is a private matter
Between a man and his scaffolding
And it shall remain so
Privation permitting.

Source: Poetry (July/August 2012).


This poem originally appeared in the July/August 2012 issue of Poetry magazine

July/August 2012
 Mark  Levine


Mark Levine has written three books of poems, most recently The Wilds (University of California Press, 2006), and a book of nonfiction. He teaches at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Parenthood, Sorrow & Grieving, Activities, Jobs & Working, Social Commentaries, Class

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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