Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Future Looks So Bright

In the aftermath of the suicides, Foxconn installed safety nets in some of its factories that make iPhones and iPads, and hired counsellors to help it's workers. In 2012, Tim Cook took a cut that reduced his annual pay to $4M.

Because this is how you honor your father.

Install motherboard, install motherboard, install motherboard,
install motherboard, install motherboard, ignore the intestinal cramp.
Do no take time to look for a clock that isn't there.
Install motherboard install motherboard install motherboard.
Two weeks three weeks four weeks double shift
collapse, your hands move in your sleep, small room
with seven other girls, joints already grinding at 18,
repetitive motion does that, elegantly efficient movement forward back down 
forward back down forward back down forward back down.
Do not fall behind, do not make a mistake, do not interrupt the rhythm
install mother board install mother board install motherboard
install motherboard stand in the pay line, sorry there has been a mistake 
NEXT my money my pay my overtime my $228.82 this month what will
I send my father  my family my village, move along NEXT. Air air air I need
air the sky is blue, my father my family my village
fly home, Tian Yu, fly home.

Did she think of her father when she flew out that window?

(second edit)
(another 5 words 5 minutes "Iron Poet" draft. This one sorta got to me, I took the time to look up the Foxconn story to be sure and went over on time. I'll work on it more.)

Bologna Inserted

Sneaker toes counting time,
finger popping headphone 
Chewbacca howling along with god-knows-what 
or who in his teen-strewn room
bologna sandwich curling on the floor
until his father, who once
played air guitar
in his parent's foyer wearing only
tighty whities on a stolen day,
opens the door and gives 
The Look

(Another 5 words 5 minutes poem. I hear the next generation down calls it Iron Poet.)
(Also, working title. In the first draft I forgot the bologna and the prompt giver said title it this.)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


I just played the poet's game 5 words in 5 minutes. 5 random words and you write a poem in 5 minutes. Short is fine.

The words I was given are bananas, blue, wheelchair, cup, pool.

Then this happened. Thanks, Eleanor.


The pool sparkles blue as the cabana boy
serves her a coconut cup filled with banana daiquiri.
She smiles up into his RayBan tan.

The attendant smiles back and turns to the next
wheelchair in the circle at the Center,
passing out apple juice.

Monday, November 4, 2013

This Shell

He says
do not become a little old round woman.

I look down at this shell
and find no way to stop the process

written in my DNA.
I did not grow taller

after the sixth grade
when the twin shames

sprouted on my chest.
I did not survive 

55 winters without learning
the name of each line, each scar,

each fold mapped upon this skin.
I did not learn

to swallow past the anorexic 
gag shards, tiny bits by the clock,

without donating my size fours.
I was not born

to be reduced, 
an arm trophy without sun 

or food or a body owned
by anyone but myself.