Estate Jewelers of South Pasadena




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(pre)occupation

Jul 8, 2009

00f33 unfinished+staircase+night+black+and+white (pre)occupation  photoSomeone had been working in this Huntington office building the other night with paint brushes, a circle saw and a nail gun. When I took a closer look in the window, I saw a worn paperback of Great American Short Stories splayed on the floor next to a pile of lumber. Of course, I thought about a poem:

Day Job and Night Job
by Andrew Hudgins

After my night job, I sat in class
and ate, every thirteen minutes,
an orange peanut—butter cracker.
Bright grease adorned my notes.

At noon I rushed to my day job
and pushed a broom enough
to keep the boss calm if not happy.
In a hiding place, walled off

by bolts of calico and serge,
I read my masters and copied
Donne, Marlowe, Dickinson, and Frost,
scrawling the words I envied,

so my hand could move as theirs had moved
and learn outside of logic
how the masters wrote. But why? Words
would never heal the sick,

feed the hungry, clothe the naked,
blah, blah, blah.
Why couldn’t I be practical,
Dad asked, and study law—

or take a single business class?
I stewed on what and why
till driving into work one day,
a burger on my thigh

and a sweating Coke between my knees,
I yelled, “Because I want to!”—
pained—thrilled!—as I looked down
from somewhere in the blue

and saw beneath my chastened gaze
another slack romantic
chasing his heart like an unleashed dog
chasing a pickup truck.

And then I spilled my Coke. In sugar
I sat and fought a smirk.
I could see my new life clear before me.
lt looked the same. Like work.

0c9aa 4926759868384604174 3486144036179872288?l=southpasadena.blogspot (pre)occupation  photo

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