Tuesday, December 7

i know hate is just no good
but goddamn, parking ticket lady
in your little white pseudo-jeep
with the flashing orange lights on top

in the five minutes after i noticed the
damp square of parking ticket paper
in the frost on my window,
goddamn did i ever hate you

oh, until i had stared at it long enough,
(trying to figure out what snivelling, prissy
little regulation i had brushed against)
all i really felt was contempt
but then i noticed the little checkmark
by 'expired registration'
and the '$100' circled, one column over

and then i hated you
because i do not have one hundred dollars
i do not even have the ten
you would have stolen, for some lesser offense
than being a target of opportunity with
my plates 7 days out of date

and let's be honest
parking ticket lady,
goddamn would it still
feel good to say 'fuck you'
once, decisively
and then slash the tires on
your little fucking buggy,
and smash the windows into so many
little crystal pieces on the
ground (like hail, or fresh
sleet) and, in some world
where you are not the apparatus
of the authority and the bloody
cutting edges that move just below
the collective delusion that this society
gives a good god damn
to care nothing at all.


this is the undertow
can you feel it? it's a current
made of money solvent in ethanol and
nicotine, its channels are city statutes
and posted regulations, closed circuit television
lotteries, mass mail, the debt you own and
the three credit card applications
it moves the limbs and mouths of
cops (nervous, angry, bored and righteous),
psychologists, preachers,
insurance companies

— but nevermind. there is no sense
in which i am really poor. i only wonder this:
a parking ticket, one too many beers before
the drive home, a dead alternator two
weeks before payday, a bounced check —
how many people ride this ragged edge
where checks and balances become
a thousand cuts, bleeding already from
their addictions and boneweary,
scrambling but also waiting
for some final blow? how many people
fall down where we don't notice,
can't see, won't hear,
never will?


anyway, parking ticket lady
i don't hate you any more
a month or two ago, i might have
taken your job - or one no better
and lord knows i am not unlikely
to get that far again
but i do wonder
why you all can't find something better,

tags: topics/poem

p1k3 / 2004 / 12 / 7