Earth became ugly on the last day,
the first day of unemployment. Laid off,
but not laying off 40% clear stuff
or feel good fast food fish tacos with friends
who organize my next move like employment
is chess or wrestling a moon-sized maniac.
The check came in a black leather book saying
Thank You so waitresses don’t have to. Mine’s paid.
All I hear in generosity is how I hate myself
for petty theft, smiling at strangers,
strangers smiling back, I remembered it all,
the sober empathy.
I love myself for the liquor store as
a truck full of pity chauffeurs myself and my
spiced rum bagged and chilled at my crotch
at a stop light’s lambent lit above, below
I see something not belonging to man’s planet.
On the property of a rock crushing quarry,
built to cut through atmospheres,
a phosphorescent orange orb on concrete blocks,
like hillbillies had taken up residence after
gunning the ship down by buckshot, BBQing the bodies.
No laws or locked doors
keep me from space flight curiosity:
Destiny as inevitable as asteroid dents,
crop circle conspiracies, clouds, human nipples.
Among stacks of sliced, stacked stones,
I run to the top hatch—
Every boy uses imagination to fly,
in bad dreams they fall,
same as every deadbeat getting away
from friends now running in the quarry
looking for me among rubble, planetary plundering,
I jump into the metallic rabbit hole—
A circular bench wraps around the hull,
Men’s magazines, dust jackets but no book intestines,
Bob Dylan albums, battery powered CD player. I sit,
spine bent to see if I could sleep on an interstellar trip.
A wheel’s in the middle, to outturn comets?
Squinting goodbye to the sun, through the hatch,
there will be more stars in new worlds—
A head muzzles the afternoon’s lucent light.
“This isn’t your home,” says the shadow in the construction helmet.
Yes, that’s precisely my problem.
Commanding my spine straight,
but bending my neck to fit the ship’s curve.
“We keep this for a homeless guy. This is his home,”
Even the homeless have homes. “What is this?”
“It’s a man’s home you’re squatting in.
But more accurately, it’s an oil platform escape pod.”
Built to bob, not to escape atmospheres.
Never believe stranger’s cover ups: The next day
The pod was gone. Unemployment,
the government wanted to keep me.