(On Gainful Employment)


His DNA expresses itself
in average health, unstable wealth.
Quaint and queer, hysterically taught
to dress, impress, in ties too short
I catch his eye (where all are sat
awaiting each bleached bureaucrat)
and step inside – scrub, stack, smile, brace
are all that’s found behind the face.
There’s talk of infinitesimal rent
and curtain calls expedient,
of cheaper quotes and quick promotions
to supervised posts in fast food oceans.
Identical traits we share in necessity:
Ours a transaction intended as recipe
for disaster’s nubile suburbian clatters
where everything counts and nothing quite matters.
Perfection is trapped, capped at fifty percent,
fermenting, while crossroads in praise of cement
draw a line to its stubbornness. Porcupined practises
flourish in stagnance, the fact is his mattress is
only for sleeping on. What’s our design?
Screwdrivers do more than open paint jars, that’s fine,
but synapses fraught with much to do,
by ears so clogged with dried shampoo,
claim sound was found without a master,
next aspiration all sealed in plaster.

Photo by Chris Zielecki, via Flickr. Used under a Creative Commons licence.

Robert Busiakiewicz

Robert Busiakiewicz is an English composer and tenor who studied music at the University of Cambridge, King's College London and the Royal Academy of Music. His music has been performed by artists such as the Britten Sinfonia (Mr Zizek Speaks), the choir of King's College Cambridge (Think on These Things), and the Lontano Ensemble (On Royalty) as well as numerous choirs in London. He is currently living in Toronto, Canada.

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