Saturday, April 13, 2019

How the World was Made 3

Over the next few months,
I’ll be posting many prose-poems from the manuscript 
How the World was Made.

Creation by Hieronymous Bosch

Another One Below.

Job Interview came out of the ridiculous questions that are usually asked of people who are applying for what US society considers "menial work." This work is what keeps the economy going. Included are actual text from employee/associate manuals (now employees are called "associates"). 

I simply juxtaposed the assinine corporate "positive psychology" questions and phrases with the goofy, surreal quality of my actual, everyday life. Bascially, pointing out the vast distances between what most jobs require of us and who we really are...

Job Interview

To be a successful customer service technician requires personality, enthusiasm, and a proactive attitude. 

The manager asks me: “Why do you want this job?

Sometimes at night, my hands become anglerfish; bioluminescent antennae trawl the dark. I am not saying this from inside a dream. The light is real. I have seen this dim green-yellow light cast shadows across my bedroom wall.

Ideally, customer service technicians will be confident in customer service techniques, be highly motivated, with a strong focus on upholding the company brand. 

“How do you think you can contribute as an associate in this company?”

Let me tell you about the face that once appeared to me through charred bark; a bear god, a black mask; the curious eyes of the long dead. I am not saying this from inside a dream. If I cock my head a little to the right I can hear the dead god endlessly whisper lines from a poem about the location of her hidden bones. 

You will need to focus on achieving the highest standards of productivity, quality, and efficiency, as well as looking after our stock accuracy. Key Performance targets will be set, and you will be expected to achieve and improve on those. 

“Why do you want this job?”

I know a live oak that explores the deaths of those that walk beneath it. Invisible fingers pull at you until something terrible you’ve forgotten is revealed. I am not saying this from inside a dream. I can’t tell you how many times it has pulled my death up from a cave-lake at the bottom of my spine, dangled it in front of my face, wriggling, like a worm on a hook. 

Here at (fill in name of store chain) we reward those who show initiative, delegation, empowerment, transparency, accountability, mutual respect, collaboration, innovation, recognition, and passion. 

“Why do you want this job?”

When I was four I was swarmed by a hive of bees. My head and shoulders were covered completely for at least twenty minutes. Blind, deaf, my lips trembling, I remained still, so still. They eventually flew away, not one sting. Is that a question? If so, what would be the answer?

("Job Interview" previously published in Gargoyle Magazine)

The first three prose-poems in the manuscript
can be found here.

Two more can be found here.

There's a new tab on the banner above called "Interviews." 
Inside, along with two short interviews online (one for my fiction, the other for poetry), there is an edited version of a long interview with Paul B. Roth that previously appeared in the Fall 2017 issue of The Bitter Oleander.


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