Sean Casey
A Valuable Service

   after Cavafy



I'm not the least bit put out my tire's flat

And I, late to work.


I don't live to work or work to live—

I enlarge living to eclipse working.


It takes effort to be free from effort

But, when you're free, symptoms include: 

An invincible, affectless face—

An enduring interest in online, yahoo pool—

A belief in tardiness as moral imperative.


Today, though, my tire's flat;

I have no choice but to be late.

Life and I are aligned—

I sip the present moment;

The present moment sips me.

It is 2003, autumn.



My supervisors? Catfish.

They perform a valuable service

And suck lice from carpets.

What can life make them do 

I don't already want them to?


It is as it should be.

Tomorrow, they will write me up—

The following week, fire me.



I sigh in satisfaction already.


Life, you are a teenager with no self esteem

And turn like a weevil in my hand.