Thursday, October 1, 2009


Steel toes
and classic rock
dice thrown on
the loading dock

barcodes on
the racks and stacks
bitter coffee
pallet jacks

pictures of
the wife and kids
in a wallet
on the skids

in the bathroom
second stall
taped wall to wall

route the day’s
hide the forklift
driver’s keys

pick and pull
the orders when
the boss gets all
pissed off again

six to three
the whistle blows
classic rock
and steel toes

fill the bar
on Friday night
for beer and wings
the title fight

All in for
another pitcher



K.Lawson Gilbert said...

You really nailed this, Joaquin! I have known a few blue-collar workers in my day - and this describes their lifestyle to a T!

Steel toes
and classic rock
dice thrown on
the loading dock

I can see the scene unfold perfectly! Good title choice, too.

Julie said...

Excellent!!! You have taken me back to the guys at my last job. Yep, just a few months ago. I detested that place, fought with the fat pig bosses, and breathed toxic fumes every day. But I dearly love the guys who did the grunt work. I even went out with them in the field when Boss Hawg needed another body to bill out.

Sorry for the ramble. Your poem took me back, and I can hear the forklift and smell the beer and wings. I love your poem with a passion! You have portrayed the workers accurately, beautifully, and with respect. I just mentally put on my PPE. Two jersey gloved thumbs way:)

Julie said...

I meant...Two jersey gloved thumbs WAY UP:) HA! HA! See what happens when I try to be clever? I do something stupid. But I love the poem.

Silly Girl said...


but why should we care? I mean, I know we all think that from time to time, and it's probably then when we stop carrying. Or maybe you've said it just as a conclusion. But it's a sad one. Why reduce life with all it is to making money? /:(
then again... what do I know.

I liked the poem, but it's still sad. and somehow the sadness in the last words spreads all over... till "the bathroom/ second stall"!

Man, I'm having a bad day!
nvm me. :)
I'm glad u still read my thing, and that u liked my "Truli, Truli, dear"

S.L. Corsua said...

It's a different life, yet I could still relate to the 'life-not-given-nor-lived' musing. Work is 'hard work' for different people, 'easy money' for others, but basically still a darn devious sleep-thief. It's always good, though, to have friends to share break-time and a drink and a laugh with. Friday nights can be such life-savers. ;)

RachelW said...

I love it! You've done this just perfectly.

Catvibe said...

Blue collar reality captured excellently. I could see it as it went along, very visual.

Nevine said...

I've been looking at your recent posts, and I'm very impressed with your style. I'll be back...

Karen said...

Great depiction of this workday world, joaquin. I think we could pair one of these guys with Kaye's Blanche and they'd have a great Friday night!

Sarah Hina said...

I saw your stanzas as stacks of boxes, in the opened warehouse that is this life and poem.

You have a style that's instantly recognizable, yet all your own. The impeccable details speak for themselves. But the addition of the ending thought, that comforting if empty lament, gave the whole cycle an added poignancy. Who are they working for? Someone else. And yet they make it their own.

Aniket said...

Its a classic man. It makes their tiring jobs seem not that bad. At this very moment, wouldn't mind spending a day or two in their shoes. :D

joaquin carvel said...

k - thank you. i don't think it's really where i want it - thursday snuck up on me - but i'm glad to hear it worked.

julie - too funny! having driven a forklift and done some time in a place like this, just seemed time to give these guys their due. thank you for seeing the spirit of this one.

sg - "Why reduce life with all it is to making money?" - it's a great question, and i think you make a strong point. and i think you know plenty. thank you for making me think and for not letting that slip by.

s.l. - i think you're right - just as some could never live off the strength of their back, some would never be happy sitting at a desk. but friday nights tend to bridge that gap pretty well. good to hear from you! :)

rachel - thank you! i'll probably be toying with it some more, but your encouragement is awesome.

cat - glad you felt this one - thank you - and a belated happy birthday!

nevine - thank you for dropping in - glad you like 'em - hope to hear from you again.

karen - no doubt - i think they'd be able to teach us a thing or two! :)

sara - i know you've been busy - i appreciate your time as much as your words. thank you for both - especially the last thought - i think that's how we all tend to make it sometimes when we're part of something so big (or at least, that's how i make it.)

aniket - thank you. it's really not a bad gig as long as you work with good people. and i was fortunate to work with some pretty classic characters.