A Culture of Labor

René Magritte: "Man in the Bowler Hat" (1964)

René Magritte: “Man in the Bowler Hat” (1964)

It’s a hardening of grounds,
a calcification that occludes, redirects
the flow of any fluid-state body:
man freezes into the role of laborer.
A bottlenecking of resources through
the narrow straights of attention
takes the broadness of personhood
and whittles it into a single, sharp point–
wax hardened into a tool one can write with.
That is what you become on Sundays
after washing away the leisure of yesterday.
Your face changes; you smile less–half,
once–the seriousness of business takes
over; it is the cold force that arrests you.
Even the press of your shirt stiffens
around the command of the future
that creeps like frost over a time piece,
masking the turning of the present.
You move forward beyond the moment,
leave only a partial trace of yourself here.
This shadow only bears the outline of man
recognizably, while you block the light,
take all the living detail with you elsewhere.
Where are you standing when you disappear?
Do you wear or are you worn by your labor?

About thepoetsglass

Professor, poet, philosophical dilettante, plus some other impressively heady alliterations. Instructional designer and copywriter. Cognitive neuroscientist by night. Self-diagnosed coffee addict, sometime dancer, brooding bibliophile, and an always salty sailor.
This entry was posted in Poetry & Snippets and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s