John Erianne





Blue Collar

I stock shelves
for a living.
I don't know
if that makes
me blue collar
but it sure as
hell makes me

It's not like
I've never tried
to do anything
else, just that
every time I
go for a job
they ask me
how much I can
bench press and
I end up
unloading boxes
and placing them
on a shelf.

I'm not saying
the white collar
doesn't have his
troubles; he
certainly has
more to lose.

Still, it would
be nice to trade
bodies with some
guy who looks
like Tom Cruise
in Jerry Maguire
wearing my suit

like a Halloween
costume.  Hands
free of soot, neatly
manicured, body free
of aches or  paycheck
to paycheck worry

with my ass planted
in a padded leather
chair as I tell my
cute secretary
to fetch that all-
important fax from


The other
day, my boss
pulls me aside
and confesses
that she is afraid
I might shoot her.

True, I often joke
about it, but as
far as I know she's
the only one who
thinks I'm serious.

boss lady,
I don't even
own a  gun
and besides
even if I did,
I wouldn't waste
the ammunition.

So, how's about that


in the emergency
room lounge waiting
on my father.

There is a child
and Dan Rather
on the tv grinning
insincerely about
the future.
when the
wheel in a
woman who's
been in an accident
later I hear the same
medics talking
about another
accident earlier
where a man had
his insides torn out
by windshield glass

At seven o'clock
my father still hasn't
come out and I can't
take the waiting and
hearing more talk of
death as the same child

Outside, there is the night,
the darkness waiting like
a giant mouth ready to
devour us all.