Skip to main content

1971 • My Whiteness Shines

Paul Lojeski: August blazing across Boston. Working that factory, a furnace inside, sweating sheet metal walls. Blacks and Cubans and Puerto Ricans and two long-haired white boys banging iron, wielding flame.
My Whiteness Shines

1971

August blazing across Boston.
Working that factory, a furnace
inside, sweating sheet metal
walls. Blacks and Cubans
and Puerto Ricans and two
long-haired white boys
banging iron, wielding flame.
Mornings spent clearing
hangovers, avoiding
the foreman’s hard-fisted
stare. Lunch in the empty
boxcar out back on the dead
tracks, chatter and smoke
and laughter. Then cries
and shouts plying
the leaden air turned the day
sullen and dark till quitting
time and an exhausted ride
home with the Mexicans.
To an evening of drink
and consternation
on Fort Hill, listening as
the gunfire of locals
and police splattered the night.
Hot morning, still wrecked
and wondering, stumbling
down the hill to catch
the ride back for another go,
two escapees caught
in something un-ironically
called the working man’s life.

My Whiteness Shines

Every blessed morning
I wake my whiteness shines,
a beacon of immunity.

Every sacred day I join
the mob rumbling down
the roads, my whiteness

sparkling. For no bluenose
will drag me from my ride
and put a bullet in my brain;

my whiteness burns the air,
sanctifying my presence,
a glorious protector forever.

Paul Lojeski