“Lunch” – Poetry by Jeff Laughlin

Christ Feeding the Multitude - Artist & Date Unknown
Christ Feeding the Multitude – Artist & Date Unknown

In our Summer 2014 issue (currently available in PDF form for $3 US), our old friend Jeff Laughlin has two viciously funny and deeply incisive poems about poverty & other job-related miseries, excerpted from his fantastic new collection Life and Debt. We’re very flappy to present one of those poems, “Lunch,” below.

{ X }

oh counterculture, lie down next to each of us
band us together under avarice-torn skies
as we rip to shreds our love of the moment.

This sandwich belies the true ideas of the gods!
Tuna fish! Tuna fish! I hearken to the days when
only seven of you would have fed 5,000 of us.
Now I am still hungry after devouring you whole.

Do you remember when we got an hour? I gave
lunch up for overtime long ago—when the air
was still clean and soda cost fifty cents and oh
when the myth of raises weren’t so horribly stale.

When the old guard still worked here, we drank
all day and cavorted with women all night, but
some of them died and others disappeared, say,
have you heard from them? I miss their candor.

They would never have taken these benefit cuts.
No, they would have painted their faces and boldly
attacked with blind rage! No matters of money or
heart can destroy the will of those ineffable beasts!

Send us the treasonous, venomous lying horde of
office-workers! We’ll crush them, hands wrenching
raw neckbone, blood streaming down our arms, but
I need a ride to the bank first, please, I have overdrawn.

{ X }

JarffJEFF  LAUGHLIN writes about the Bobcats Hornets for Creative Loafing Charlotte & about sports in general for Triad City Beat in Greensboro, NC. His 1st book of poetry, Drinking with British Architects, is riddled with mistakes but available free if you want it. His 2nd book is Alcoholics Are Sick People, and If you ask nicely, he’ll probably give that to you too. Contact Jeff on his seldom-used twitter (@beardsinc) or email him (repetitionisfailure @gmail.com). He likely needs a haircut.

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