Thursday, 01 April 2021 16:47

We don't expect Napoleon to fill our glass with Courvoisier any time soon

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in Poetry
118
We don't expect Napoleon to fill our glass with Courvoisier any time soon

We don't expect Napoleon to fill our glass with Courvoisier any time soon

by Fred Voss

We make parts for a company that wants to send a man
to Mars
but all we need to do is leave the hard concrete floor of our machine shop
and step inside our company offices to feel like we are on
another planet
taking
a vacation request form to the lady
in the human resources office we are suddenly breathing
strange air-conditioned air
emails
from China or Japan or France or Spain cross oceans to arrive on computer screens
at nearly the speed of light as everywhere
the only muscles being used are fingertips
on keyboards
aliens
in white shirts walk across soft soft carpet using phony smiles and catchphrases
never known in machine shops
as they saunter toward huge tables and plush chairs in boardrooms
we’ll never enter
these office creatures might as well have 3 eyes
7 fingers E.S.P. kiss
by rubbing elbows talk with their ears walk
on the ceiling live 300 years drive with their feet
see through walls juggle 6 bowling pins at a time have a séance
with the ghost of Napoleon as he pours them
Courvoisier cognac
ring up Einstein to hear him play the violin receive radio waves
from a planet 1,000 light years away go bowling
with Mussolini listen to an organ recital
by Albert Schweitzer in the African jungle as an elephant
walks by levitate
a chair by twitching their nose
for all the chance we’d have of joining
in one of their discussions or decisions
and we take our stamped vacation request form out of the human resources office
and walk back out across the hard machine shop concrete floor
the ground under our feet again
blue sky outside a tin door
and breathe the fresh air blowing in from jagged mountains
so glad to be back
on planet Earth.

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Fred Voss

Fred Voss, a machinist for 35 years, has had three collections of poetry published by Bloodaxe Books, and two by Culture Matters: The Earth and the Stars in the Palm of Our Hand, and Robots Have No Bones.