Contractor Blues

I can stroll through their muted neutral corridors

be conveyed between floors and

worlds of ethereal architecture

by the loftiest escalators

I can shit in their toilets

and park under pines

near the front entrance

I can discuss the events of my weekends with teammates

congenial and dull

stand in long lines

during personal pizza luncheons in the cafeteria

be proffered pens and tchotchkes

bearing pharmaceutical logos


But they won’t pay me their wages

won’t include me in their sick time

and paid holidays

and accrued vacation time

and medical, dental, vision, prescription, 401(k) and life insurance plans

They won’t even include me in their on-site gym

so I can try to undo the deleterious

effects of all this sitting,

this mysterious “word smithing” they demand of me

40-plus hours a week


My badge is the wrong color

it has a pale blue stripe

doesn’t bear the royal purple Continue reading