To Make a Living
{An Umbrella Special Feature}

Frank Osen’s

work has appeared in a convenience store, a factory, a construction crew, a real estate office, a corporate legal department, and as general counsel for serial editions of healthcare companies; it is currently featured in property investment.

He was a finalist for the 2006 Howard Nemerov sonnet award and lives in Pasadena, California, with his family.



—Back to Work Poetry Contents—

Cover Memo Engaged at the office all day on a sonnet - Surreptitiously
—Wallace Stevens, journal entry, August 3, 1906

To Distribution:
                                      Stevens was aware
That many poets must go leopard-like
Among the striped, yet not be spotted there.
This isn’t easy, when desire may strike
At work, although it called in sick last night,
And, stricken, one must chase in search of tea
Or oils or oranges, to some distant height—
Or only to the nearest OED.
Yet, when protective coloration’s risked,
A job transcends that mental game preserve
Where fauna don’t go frolic, but get frisked.
For all who bear an office to observe,
We ought to mark each August third this way:
As Annual Surreptitious Sonnet Day.

Originally published in The Susquehanna Quarterly