Poetry: Christopher Mulrooney


in his briefcase he carries
official documents

they prove him
auspicious in his functions
worldly well-spoken

he signs the paper
dictating an action

as you would sign a child’s report card
full of hope


labor conditions

the face says plainly
work is very hard and very copious
so that we have to deal with all sorts of rigmarole
to get it accomplished
and here is the reason

pitted against the bull
is the torero sizing up the arena
he sings a popular song of the bullfight
and goes away laughing or crying
it all depends on the matador
in his mind

you kill the bull
like the Minotaur

you’re Theseus

or else you’re the sad victim
flower of youth

it’s a system folks
good as any
with a bull’s head full of pride
you’re the deciding factor
and the jobber hauls the carcass away
to the butcher

no show
how if we do fancy
a concert hall
with a three-ring circus
overhead the pie-throwers on the flying trapeze
afterward white tie and tails in the green room

of the press

a folding bed
in the hallway

what principles are these
that govern the guests?

who strikes the type
for the foundry
who measures the paper?

All rights reserved to Christopher Mulrooney

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