"In These Times" by Bob Hicok:
That's what a job is: a pencil to hold, a scalpel,
shovel, "A Statistical Analysis
of the Probability That Anyone Will Read
the Statistical Analysis," even such slippage
is a mind-hold that keeps some someone
from drifting off into irrelevance.
I could offer this in Hegelian or Satreian terms
of engagement before the void, but really,
if you're alive, and sentient,
you're an existentialist in that you know
most of what awaits is neither breath
or the electro-chemical dream of you
you carry forth and mix with fellow soothsayers
of the eternal mysteries, know intuitively
that work is money, honey,
but also and maybe moreso, is your hands
kept busy with needle and thread, hammer and scythe,
memo and counter memo, is you
joining the thrum and hum that is all there is
except what there is not.
The full poem is here.
(Photo: People looking for jobs wait in line to speak with potential employers at the Brooklyn Job Fair on April 13, 2011. Thousands attended the event which featured less than 80 employers. By Spencer Platt/Getty Images)