Monday, February 9, 2015
It's an old-timer's joke. When it snows, they call:
"Liberal Leave--That means liberals get to leave!"
Nature's predictable unpredictabilities, a big freak snow
(deniers say there's no such thing) springs the drones,
Federal workers, and their contractors, and their sub-contractors,
And their sub-sub-contractors from our pens in the cube farm
Before that 5 o'clock whistle blows. Down the rolling
Hills of McLean we slide in holiday mode,
And into the bar that bygone days called Charley's Place.
Halfway into the first round and already the ends of our hair are touching.
It takes three to make a conspiracy: You're a drunk,
I'm a PR trinket; Eddie, just another glassed-up geek.
Where did you learn to make your voice sound like a man in a movie?
Is this the part where I stumble to the ladies room and everything goes black?
I don't know what brought you here, but I'll tell you what got me:
It was the smiley people on the PowerPoint, those scrawled emoticons,
There among the Getty-grab montage, the calculated ratio
Of racially ambiguous stock-photo faces and bare-faced
Helvetica, there it lay, that half-assed plan to swallow it all.
Most of them were all, yeah, OK, they saw it as a technical
Issue, more overtime, something to spin
For more gold. He saw it and turned cold.
You don't even have to be the type who's played these games
Since birth (it helps to have a dad who came home and drank and never
Came to your school or told you what he did all day in that suit) to know
A few simple hacks that can change your life! Ghost and encrypt,
Randomize, keep it all in draft form on a shared address,
A sort of cloud-based mutual masturbation; and, um, cui bono, what else?
Oh: Look for the glitch. Glitch first, then pattern recognition.
Your innocuousness is your greatest asset. Cultivate a single
Artisanally crafted eccentricity as a sort of vaccine. You want to be
Overlooked. Like the Potomac. People live here for years
And never notice those rocks. That current. It's lethal.
The roads are ice and our wheels are spinning, trying to play it out,
Another million, another fiscal year, another sub-sub-sub--
(It makes a sound like going down the drain. It makes a sound
Like in a basement. Like water. Concrete. A hole in the floor.)
Contract for the app that drives the device that drives the system that drives the
Payday. You come up gasping, like Jean Valjean out of the sewer
And into the snow, dented cars, salt-rimed and ice-stippled.
Slipped through their fingers again. It looks like Moscow out here.