Job No. 75-14 Poem

Job No. 75-14 Poem By Clemens Starck

Drive stakes, shoot grades,
get a big Cat to scalp and scrape and gouge:
contour the site for proper drainage.
Berm and swale.
Rough-grade it then, with
a blade, and hope
it don’t rain. Set hubs,
haul in base rock, grade it again, then
pave it with a thick crust of blacktop
to make a parking lot.
I’m building
a new Safeway, in West Salem,
for some religious millionaire,
and we will all buy our groceries there.
“Well, tomorrow’s Friday,” I say
to the guy who looks like Jesus driving stakes
and rod-hopping for me,
and he says “Yeah, then two!
and then five and then two and then five…”
Seven being a magic number,
and the earth having a thin skin,
we make motions to bow
ceremoniously, but instead, a couple of
unmasked accomplices, confederates
on a losing planet,
we look at each other
and grin—
which means: “to draw back the lips
so as to show the teeth
as a dog in snarling,
or a person in laughter or pain.”

Job No. 75-14 Poem

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