Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Unemployment – Janet Fame

December was Janet Frame Month, but I missed it due to going back to my parents house for a month (leg op, plus g'mother died, plus xmas and new years), so January is now Janet Frame Month :D

Unemployment – Janet Fame

Each Tuesday at ten o’clock I go to the Employment Exchange,
fill in the form they give me, tell what I have earned
for chopping down the neighbour’s tree, feeding his horse,
rescuing a silly sheep from the swamp. Sometimes, with odd jobs,
I make as much as a pound a week, but no one
offers anything permanent. The official (whom I knew at school,
a bear in the back sear) gapes at me: I’m sorry we cannot place you.
And therefore I am not placed, not in this or that. I have
a fine box of tools that I keep well-oiled. I have experience
and knowledge tied in a waiting bundle in the corner of my mind
nearest the door but no one knocks and the door is never opened.

I collect my weekly allowance. I go home,
I cuddle my wife, feed the cat,
and, for no purpose in no place, grow fat.

I found these poems in an old poetry anthology from school. Unfortunately there isn't a reference for where they originally came from.

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