Thursday, July 21, 2011


[Inspired by an article in THE NEW YORK TIMES]

if you feel the urge

to commit a mortal sin tonight,

just call me

and I'll tell you all sorts of tales

about how there's someone out there

sweeping up everything you've said and done online,

all the times you've been to the principal's office,

all the things you've yelled at strangers in traffic,

all the stab-through-the-soul comments you wrote

when you evaluated your professor

at the end of the semester,

all the times you were told to pick up the tempo

on your productivity at work,

all the moments you said or did something

momentarily out of character you apologized for later


can count against you

and leave you poor and starving

and living out of your car

after months to years

of not being able to find another job

to replace the one you were fired at will from

so if you hold your tongue

and never say anything

rash or wrong or ill-informed or maladroit,

I promise I'll do the same

and I hope

that the agency

who my future possible employers

have hired to read this poem

won't hold it against me

and keep it in their nonerasable hard drives forever


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