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false leads abounded today
as investigators sought to recover

lost destinies

from the societal pyre

rumor has it

these destinies were last seen

dancing around an immense bonfire

wildly— as if infected

with some medieval disease

some claimed

these allegorical figures

sought their own demise

they felt weary

one observer theorized

of their own conventions—

no matter how nonconformist

they were deigned to be

by onlookers

from the perspective

of the personifications themselves

they barely felt as if they were



film and television producers

are working feverishly in co-operation

with pop psychologists and New Age mesmerists

in order to dream up new stories

for these destinies to inhabit

without a place to live

the authorities fear

the notion of vocation

will be lost forever

or at the very least

consigned to the same historical zoos

that house other ideas

which have devolved

to the status of

exotic curiosities

in danger of extinction

"if people no longer feel

they are born to do something,"

one talk show commentator commented

"notions of personal responsibility

are liable to disappear—

next thing you know

they’ll be looking for a handout"

It Was the Night Before Monday

by Jerome Sala

and a good thing too

because if the weekend went on any longer

the populace was in danger of the overwork

it took to have a good time

you could feel the relief in the night air

in every restaurant

around every TV screen

among the crowds pouring out of the

Sunday night features

leaving the parks

or in the minds of those obstinate individuals

visiting a last site at their keyboards

you could hear the chatter

arising into the atmosphere like a swarm

people excitedly planning

how they would spend their morning

relaxing in front of a column of figures

or obeying the kind machines that

urged them forward

at a more human pace

than the cruel bosses

of the leisure industry

and among those who were tired

(and there were many)

of risking their lives

in order to enjoy them

voices began to cry out

and demand revolutionary action—

some called for a longer work week

supported by a leisure strike

so that the oppression known as entertainment

could be retired forever


Jerome Sala

Jerome Sala’s latest book of poetry is Corporations Are People, Too! (NYQ Books). Previous collections include The Cheapskates Look Slimmer Instantly and Prom Night, a collaboration with artist Tamara Gonzales.


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