Posted in Before the Rain


The Director wasn’t at work on my first day
on my second, he spoke to me :
The workplace as museum exhibit –
in the early 1980’s, staff didn’t speak to the Director,
he – there weren’t any she’s – spoke to staff.

At lunch he gazed to where I was sitting.
After he left the room
his secretary came over –
“the Director wants to see you … at 3:30.”

Before my time he smoked a pipe
later, when considered almost okay,
I witnessed much air pipe smoking.
He spoke as if he was,
as if his words faced an obstacle –
phrases rushed,
climbed, dropping to full sentences.

Speaking: production and transmission
clunking diction fires bullet points
  – This should be our only meeting.
  – I was responsible to,
  – and the responsibility of, the senior scientist.
  – Bryan will ….
  – Applicants had proved less than ideal … “you’ve been given a chance.”
“I appreciate the …”

This is not a dialogue,
he speaks over ….
One final directive –
in red and underlined.
This is a small town workplace –
fitting in, is of equal importance as finesse.



Most of my life has been spent on the bench, occasionally called into the game by extravagance or attenuation. Waiting has turned a loner into a recorder - nondescript and inconsequential, more not noticed than overlooked - the non-vantage point of children not yet considered old enough to understand. Orphaned Islands (Un)poetry is a lifetime of picking anecdotes up and not throwing them away. Stories collected like odds and ends placed in a box in the basement, the garage, the garden shed - uncertain as to what their use might be but knowing that one day there might be one.