Write If You Get Work
“It was understood by everyone that this was a sinecure; Robinson’s job was to write poetry. He went to the Customs House every morning, read the newspaper, folded it neatly on his desk, and left.”
—Robert Mezey, “The Poetry of Edwin Arlington Robinson”
POSITION SOUGHT: News-reading office bard
With working hours to freely disregard.
No mandatory training, secret clearance,
Or ID badge—just news and disappearance.
I’ll read the Post, the Journal, and the Times,
Then straightaway decamp to wrangle rhymes,
So once I’ve done the crosswords and Sudoku
And tidied up, I’m off for verses beaucoup.
You’ll only know I’ve been there and have vanished—
Perhaps to where the smokers have been banished;
Tobacco, world enough, and time to burn
Are all I should require—and in return
You’ll get sestinas, villanelles, pantoums
To hang and frame in tony meeting rooms.
Heroic couplets, sonnets, and ghazals!
Some raunchy limericks, scrawled in bathroom stalls!
There isn’t any form I couldn’t try;
Let absence be my flame to qualify!
(There’s just one thing: to write a hefty tome,
Is there a chance you’d let me work from home?)
Brendan Beary lives in Maryland. His works have appeared in Lighten Up Online, 14×14, The Spectator, and The Washington Post. He is, in general, loath to write about himself in the third person.