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New Year • For Safety's Sake

Paul Lojeski: No such thing some might say. after all, what’s new about it? ushered in with all the same drunken rituals of every other “new” year that bury the previous year’s fatal mistakes and brutal crimes.

no such thing some might say.
after all, what’s new about it?
ushered in with all the same
drunken rituals of every other
“new” year that bury the
previous year’s fatal mistakes
and brutal crimes. followed
by the same hurried repetitions
of daily toil squeezed even
tighter in the vice-like grip
of capital inherited from the year
just expired. new? I think not.
the holiday should be called
Same Year’s Eve. happy Same
Year, everybody. cue the fireworks.

new years lament

For Safety’s Sake

The mouth doesn’t work as it once did, lips puffy,
rubbery, words flowing slow sometimes like lava
easing downhill, a stutter barely discernable
flutters across the thick tongue, logic of meaning
slightly confused tumbles into thin air, all within
a split second, hopefully rectified before witnesses
notice and turn away. Aged brain signals sputtering,
wires corroded by time and distance, decades
burning the connections. Walking, too, re-ordered
as trial and error, the gate careful and delicate like
a child first learning the walk, hips and knees
ground down, internals sparking in the stinking
darkness, near the end. But you need to keep that
job even as 70 yanks you towards the grave, all of it,
all the fear and pain must be kept hidden. Because
you need that job to pay rent and the rest of it. To keep
the wolf from the door. To die with a roof over your head.

Paul Lojeski

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