Timeclock: Bloody Survival -- Poem, Part 1
- By: Kenneth Avery
Swalloski, did you hear 'bout Jills?
Fired on the spot with six mouths to fill!"
"Stupid foreman, one is ever crowd
Struttin' over us and feelin' proud."
"Hades gonna be full one day, Swalloski!
I tell ya' that!
Fire gon' be so hot burning their butts
And scorching their high hats!"
"Been workin' this one job on the line for years
Ne'er getting' a raise wading through my beer and tears."
"But Swalloski, I tell ya' this
Life in the tenament ain't no pie or chuch house bliss."
"Landlord's cussin' and growlin' at us
Late on the rent--sick of line work and missin' our bus."
"Yeah, we missed our *bus for shore
Licking his pans and scatchin' his door!"
"That cursed sun, how he hates our skins
We crawl to work and fill "the man's" iron bins."
"That cursed clock just sits on its stocks
Whilst we slave on time like bustin' up rocks."
"Hey, over there! Jimmy Beaux, yah you!
Did ye' get ye' raise and walk his blaze?
Ye'd think we've ne'er seed a man in suit
Kickin' our work with store bought boot!"
"Yeah, you gonna be a boss for shore
Cos' they can't kill off none of us no more.
Stop ye' liar's tears, Jimmy with the knife,
Brag to ye' chillin and strut to yore wife!"
"Ye' made it well, Jimmy now Judas of a friend
We'll suck and starve from teat on the end.
Ne'er you mind you suckling o' a man
Crawl where we crawl and nail yore hands!"
"Swalloski, did we slave it for 60 hours or more?
An' get paid worse than a dime sto' whore?
I'ze sick, Swallowski, my mule-for-a-friend
Of dis' misery and greed they ain't gon' be no end!"
"A man has his pride that's all in his hand
A two-cent wage, a crust, drops o' blood in his land.
"When dat's took, don't whip us to look
Your name's wrote and told in His dust forsook."
"One by one, ol' grinnin' boss o' mine
One by one, ye' all bend low to get the line."
"He looks in where nobody breathes a breath
Beyond the uncertainty of wealth
And cold, sure certainty of death."
"Our work's done over, o' grinning boss so low
We'ze might be crawlin' and slowly we go."
"We'ze might be dealin' of tongue's now true
No more sweat . . .
No more regret . . .
No more lifeless breads we get . . .
No more life seeping out soles o' my shoe . . .
And no more devils and scoundrels . . .
And begone, shell of a boss in you."
Timeclock: Victims' Falling
Roll that line . . .
Kick that line . . .
Stomp! Stamp! Clap!
Sweat! Sweat! Sweat!
Never ending, always pending on skeleton's thin hands
Get more hands! Get more hands!
I've got money on the line! Money on the fly!
Fire that line! Gear to high! Hit the sky, sky, sky!
What? You can't work? Smoke's too thick?
So what if your wife is sick?
Thick! Thick! Thick!
Make more machinery
Tick! Tick! Tick!
Working double shifts, can't afford lazy drifts!
You better hear me, for I'm your boss!
Only profit for me and for you only loss!
Loss! Loss! Loss!
Remember, gritty man, skin of tan,
I'm the man! I hold the hand!
I grit my teeth, little men on the line!
I stomp my shiny feet right on time!
Feet! Feet! Feet!
Shapely shapes of blurry blue hue
I tell you true
Or you get my shoe!
Shoe! Shoe! Shoe!
Sweaty production line-a rollin' black
Frowning men, beaten men, broken backs
Roll and roll, steam, yelling to broken ears
Nuts and bolts ground to dust in years
Cementing little men's darkened fears.
Boss standing proud braggart aloud
Wy' I whispers, he's as big as a cloud.
Standard and plowed
Arms a crossing--lissen to 'im bossin'
The crying river o' peace and death
I be a crossin'.
© 2017 Kenneth Avery