Work

Prayer

from Poems 4
(Boston: Little, Brown, 1974)

by Alan Dugan

God, I need a job because I need money.
Here the world is, enjoyable with whiskey,
women, ultimate weapons, and class!
But if I have no money, then my wife
gets mad at me, I can’t drink well,
the armed oppress me, and no boss
pays me money. But when I work,
Oh I get paid!, the police are courteous,
and I can have a drink and breathe air.
I feel classy. I am where the arms are.
The wife is wife in deed. The world
is interesting!, except I have to be
indoors all day and take shit, and make
weapons to kill outsiders with. I miss
the air and smell that paid work stinks
when done for someone else’s profit, so I quit,
enjoy a few flush days in air, drunk, then
I need a job agian. I’m caught in a steel cycle.

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