A Poetry Sporadical of Repeating Forms

The Riff of Sisyphus

by Michael Cantor

I hate these gigs: the same old, lame old role,
so stale by now it’s gone beyond cliche.
I help another plodding, earnest soul

with imagery of man’s eternal goal
and all that shit, and sweetheart, I can say
I’m sick of it. This same old, lame old role,

the stupid rock I shlep from pole to pole
(the airlines weigh it now, and make me pay),
to help another dull and learned soul

drive home some lecture point about control,
or motivate, or prate, orate and bray.
I’m sick of itthis same old, lame old role

it’s pack-and-roll and pack-and-roll, cajole,
extol, I do a metaphor a day
to help another dull and earnest soul.

Oh it’s a living, sure, but on the whole
you work like hell, you get no breaks, and hey
I’m sick of it! The same old, same old role?
I’m just another plodding, earnest soul.

Michael Cantor lives on Plum Island, north of Boston, Massachusetts. He is the author of the chapbook The Performer (Pudding House, 2007) and has won the Newburyport Art Association 2004 Poetry Prize, the 2006 Ibbetson Press Poetry Prize, and a number of New England Poetry Club awards.


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