It will be the opposite of toil // the once-towed line that is now yours to draw // to define what has value // what will halve you // much like day from night // labor from leisure // from punch clocks to punch lines from those working the line // lunch lines in the corporate café // clock watching so as not to waste time on the timeline // the time sheets that need to be complete // accounting for hours // by the quarter // like a hoarder of time and profit // yet still not fit for the next rung //the one your brother said you should be gunning for // running for as if you were up for the vote // on the ballot // not some speculative write-in charlatan // work will not be this // it will not be just this toil of hands // head work intended to get you ahead // it will be eye work // mouth work // your words at work // your whole self // poured into something more than self-serving // a conviction of how time, more precious than profit, is spent // work is not the obligation you thought it was // told it was // sold it was // it is a decision // a vote // the only one you’ve got // the most consequential one you will cast.

Thad DeVassie

Thad DeVassie is a multi-genre writer and painter from Columbus, Ohio. He is a recipient of the 2020 James Tate International Poetry Prize for his manuscript SPLENDID IRRATIONALITIES. His chapbook, THIS SIDE OF UTOPIA, will arrive in 2021 from Cervena Barva Press.

NOVUS Literary and Arts Journal
Lebanon, TN