Nevada Grind

Did you read this poem as part of the #mondayblogs thing? And would you be surprised that I wrote it at the end of a long week at work? Having said that, I’m exercising the writer’s privilege and renaming this to Nevada Grind. Here’s the background.

The clutter leans against me
Lost in a forest of deadlines
Emails pour from a fire hose
We watch the State’s Silver go to mansions

Five o’clock is not freedom
Red lights stack bright white Camaros
My engine melts gray polar ice
Black leaves piled against the trailer

The checkbook is full of air
The wife had her own day, again
Facebook lists our many failures
My coin collection frowns on my stale beer

I write
My world, my rules
I fly, dance, kiss, love
I sing, full throat, all day
With open arms, I win.
I will be the me
I dream to be

The first three stanzas follow the same syllable pattern (7,8,8,10). I forced the structure on myself because that’s what our jobs and schools do to us: follow the same patterns while forced into little cubes.

The last line of the first stanza is a salute to my home state of Nevada where I am a public employee. One of Nevada’s nicknames is the Silver State. My agency has a huge budget; we watch our public dollars go to millionaires every week.

The second stanza is full of dark colors and hopefully passes on the imagery that life outside the office is not much better than inside the office. In fact, I hope you sensed a bit of helplessness and inability to change that so-called outside life.

This feeling is repeated in the third stanza, where there’s no escape from reality. The wife is venting (not my wife, btw), and I wonder how many wives reading that line focused on the comma in that line, the only punctuation mark outside the fourth stanza.

Facebook represents lost potential and unreachable dreams, especially when we see others succeeding with happy smiles and fun parties. (Spoiler: people on FB are not nearly as happy as we sometimes think they are.)

My coin collection frowns on my stale beer.” This line is a little obscure, isn’t it? Anyone want to take a guess?

The fourth stanza is the freedom of imagination, and represents why I write. Yes, there’s rules (“grammar”), but gosh darn, the ability to create worlds outside our own is an incredible gift.

Thanks for reading. Hope you enjoyed.

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