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Famous Long Jobs Poems

Famous Long Jobs Poems. Long Jobs Poetry by Famous Poets. A collection of the all-time best Jobs long poems

See also: Long Member Poems

by Philip Levine

The Present

 The day comes slowly in the railyard 
behind the ice factory. It broods on 
one cinder after another until each 
glows like lead or the eye of a dog 
possessed of no inner fire, the brown 
and greasy pointer who raises his muzzle 
a moment and sighing lets it thud 
down on the loading dock. In no time 
the day has crossed two sets of tracks, 
a semi-trailer with no tractor, and crawled 
down three stories of the bottling plant 
at the end of the alley. It is now 
less than five hours until mid-day 
when nothing will be left in doubt, 
each scrap of news, each banished carton, 
each forgotten letter, its ink bled of lies, 
will stare back at the one eye that sees 
it all and never blinks. But for now 
there is water settling in a clean glass 
on the shelf beside the razor, the slap 
of bare feet on the floor above. Soon 
the scent of rivers borne across roof 
after roof by winds without names, 
the aroma of opened beds better left 
closed, of mouths without teeth, of light 
rustling among the mice droppings 
at the back of a bin of potatoes. 

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by Maggie Estep

Bad Day At The Beauty Salon

 I was a 20 year old unemployed receptionist with
dyed orange dreadlocks sprouting out of my skull. I needed a job, but first,
I needed a haircut.

So I head for this beauty salon on Avenue B.
I'm gonna get a hairdo.
I'm gonna look just like those hot Spanish haircut models, become brown
and bodacious, grow some 7 inch fingernails painted bitch red and rake
them down the chalkboard of the job market's soul.

So I go in the beauty salon.

This beautiful Puerto Rican girl in tight white spandex and a push-up bra
sits me down and starts chopping my hair:
"Girlfriend," she says, "what the hell you got growing outta
your head there, what is that, hair implants? Yuck, you want me to touch
that shit, whadya got in there, sandwiches?"

I just go: "I'm sorry."

She starts snipping my carefully cultivated Johnny Lydon post-Pistols hairdo.
My foul little dreadlocks are flying around all over the place but I'm
not looking in the mirror cause I just don't want to know.

"So what's your name anyway?" My stylist demands then.
"Uh, Maggie."
"Maggie? Well, that's an okay name, but my name is Suzy."
"Yeah, so?"
"Yeah so it ain't just Suzy S.U.Z.Y, I spell it S.U.Z.E.E, the extra
"e" is for extra Suzee."

I nod emphatically.

Suzee tells me when she's...
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by Charles Bukowski

A Man

 George was lying in his trailer, flat on his back, watching a small portable T.V. His
dinner dishes were undone, his breakfast dishes were undone, he needed a shave, and ash
from his rolled cigarettes dropped onto his undershirt. Some of the ash was still burning.
Sometimes the burning ash missed the undershirt and hit his skin, then he cursed, brushing
it away. There was a knock on the trailer door. He got slowly to his feet and answered the
door. It was Constance. She had a fifth of unopened whiskey in a bag. 
"George, I left that son of a bitch, I couldn't stand that son of a bitch
"Sit down."
George opened the fifth, got two glasses, filled each a third with whiskey, two thirds
with water. He sat down on the bed with Constance. She took a cigarette out of her purse
and lit it. She was drunk and her hands trembled. 
"I took his damn money too. I took his damn money and split while he was at work.
You don't know how I've suffered with that son of a bitch." "
Lemme have a smoke," said George. She handed it to him and as she leaned near,
George put his arm around her, pulled her...
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by Robert Burns

68. The Holy Fair

 UPON 1 a simmer Sunday morn
 When Nature’s face is fair,
I walked forth to view the corn,
 An’ snuff the caller air.
The rising sun owre Galston muirs
 Wi’ glorious light was glintin;
The hares were hirplin down the furrs,
 The lav’rocks they were chantin
 Fu’ sweet that day.

As lightsomely I glowr’d abroad,
 To see a scene sae gay,
Three hizzies, early at the road,
 Cam skelpin up the way.
Twa had manteeles o” dolefu’ black,
 But ane wi’ lyart lining;
The third, that gaed a wee a-back,
 Was in the fashion shining
 Fu’ gay that day.

The twa appear’d like sisters twin,
 In feature, form, an’ claes;
Their visage wither’d, lang an’ thin,
 An’ sour as only slaes:
The third cam up, hap-stap-an’-lowp,
 As light as ony lambie,
An’ wi’a curchie low did stoop,
 As soon as e’er she saw me,
 Fu’ kind that day.

Wi’ bonnet aff, quoth I, “Sweet lass,
 I think ye seem to ken me;
I’m sure I’ve seen that bonie face
 But yet I canna name ye.”
Quo’ she, an’ laughin as she spak,
 An’ taks me by the han’s,
“Ye, for my sake, hae gien the feck
 Of a’ the ten comman’s
 A screed some day.”

“My name is Fun—your cronie dear,
 The nearest friend ye...
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by Walt Whitman

Sleepers The

I WANDER all night in my vision, 
Stepping with light feet, swiftly and noiselessly stepping and stopping, 
Bending with open eyes over the shut eyes of sleepers, 
Wandering and confused, lost to myself, ill-assorted, contradictory, 
Pausing, gazing, bending, and stopping.

How solemn they look there, stretch’d and still! 
How quiet they breathe, the little children in their cradles! 

The wretched features of ennuyés, the white features of corpses, the livid faces of
 drunkards, the sick-gray faces of onanists, 
The gash’d bodies on battle-fields, the insane in their strong-door’d rooms, the
 idiots, the new-born emerging from gates, and the dying emerging from gates, 
The night pervades them and infolds them.

The married couple sleep calmly in their bed—he with his palm on the hip of the wife,
 with her palm on the hip of the husband, 
The sisters sleep lovingly side by side in their bed, 
The men sleep lovingly side by side in theirs, 
And the mother sleeps, with her little child carefully wrapt. 

The blind sleep, and the deaf and dumb sleep,
The prisoner sleeps well in the prison—the run-away son sleeps; 
The murderer that is to be hung next day—how does he sleep? 
And the murder’d person—how...
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by Richard Brautigan

Part 3 of Trout Fishing in America


The man who owned the bookstore was not magic. He was not a

three-legged crow on the dandelion side of the mountain.

 He was, of course, a Jew, a retired merchant seaman

who had been torpedoed in the North Atlantic and floated

there day after day until death did not want him. He had a

young wife, a heart attack, a Volkswagen and a home in

Marin County. He liked the works of George Orwell, Richard

Aldington and Edmund Wilson.

 He learned about life at sixteen, first from Dostoevsky

and then from the whores of New Orleans.

 The bookstore was a parking lot for used graveyards.

Thousands of graveyards were parked in rows like cars.

Most of the kooks were out of print, and no one wanted to

read them any more and the people who had read the books

had died or forgotten about them, but through the organic

process of music the books had become virgins again. They

wore their ancient copyrights like new maidenheads.

 I went to the bookstore in the afternoons after I got off

work, during that terrible year of 1959.

 He had a kitchen in the back of the store and he brewed

cups of thick Turkish coffee in a copper pan. I drank coffee

and read...
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by Tony Harrison


 'My father still reads the dictionary every day. 
He says your life depends on your power to master words.'

 Arthur Scargill
 Sunday Times, 10 January 1982

Next millennium you'll have to search quite hard
to find my slab behind the family dead, 
butcher, publican, and baker, now me, bard
adding poetry to their beef, beer and bread.

With Byron three graves on I'll not go short
of company, and Wordsworth's opposite.
That's two peers already, of a sort,
and we'll all be thrown together if the pit,

whose galleries once ran beneath this plot,
causes the distinguished dead to drop 
into the rabblement of bone and rot,
shored slack, crushed shale, smashed prop.

Wordsworth built church organs, Byron tanned
luggage cowhide in the age of steam,
and knew their place of rest before the land
caves in on the lowest worked-out seam.

This graveyard on the brink of Beeston Hill's
the place I may well rest if there's a spot
under the rose roots and the daffodils
by which dad dignified the family plot.

If buried ashes saw then I'd survey
the places I learned Latin, and learned Greek,
and left, the ground where Leeds United play
but disappoint their fans week after week,

which makes them lose their sense of self-esteem
and taking a short cut home through these graves here
they reassert...
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