Monday, June 6, 2016

Tuesday Poem - 'The Violence of Work' by Geoff Goodfellow


The Violence of Work


I work in a factory
Monday to Friday
       punch on    punch off

i work a rotating roster
Monday to Friday
       punch on    punch off

i wear earmuffs & gloves
Monday to Friday
       punch on    punch off

i stamp on a press
Monday to Friday
       punch on    punch off

i still had my fingers last
Monday to Friday
       punch on    punch off

i work on a tally
Monday to Friday
       punch on    punch off

i'm told to work faster
Monday to Friday
        punch on    punch off

i have smoko with Billy
Monday to Friday
       punch on    punch off

i play euchre at lunchtime
Monday to Friday
       punch on    punch off

i just do my best
Monday to Friday
       punch on    punch off

i'm paid the award for
Monday to Friday
       punch on    punch off

i don't complain to the boss
Monday to Friday
       punch on    punch off

but complain to my partner
Monday to Sunday
       want to punch on
                   punch on.


Geoff Goodfellow

Punch On Punch Off was published by The Vulgar Press in 2004, so it must be kind of hard to come upon now. It was one of the books being chucked by Frankston Library, so that's how I got my hands on it. My father worked in a factory. A wooden box factory. Yes, he and his brother owned the factory, but they both worked on the floor. And yes, they both lost fingers. Law of averages. One careless moment. So I was very moved by this book. And very taken, also, with the musical intensity, and the compassionate simplicity. Simple is never easy.

http://www.geoffgoodfellow.com/

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