Moneys Worth

Moneys Worth
by Halifax
per diem at Western Union
This here hobo rather been out gathering wood
flush with cash cached like personal belongings
walks a pole dog and cut paper trails that follow
bandana pouch reconnoitering, he made the way
once red until rain lit the lamp wick with the Word
faded it to orange tucked the corners in every night
almost rebel set his story lending flint and tenders
but not quite so for dreams where he comes back
headed homeward and every day thereafter payday
bound to a fat sack so that the fear he wears smiles
full of bills to pay gone with his teeth before sleep
hanging low fruit at the end of his hard hard day
put out on a limb plinks three keys in I love you
easy pickings really on mom’s upright in the foyer
when he throws in before the breaker switch cracks
to the open boxcar shutting down the house with all
the men catch him present and accounted as reward
help him up by hand it’s been said thanking a dead man
return to him his made is said for the sake of the one living
none the lighter for it if that’s the case all men are dead
while he scrambles up with women forgetting themselves
these are hardened men lost in grief and regret wasted young
now in among his own raising baby boys to grow up dying
drunken on sour extracts Here’s thanks for everything great-grand
each with a sack himself even though we never met in the flesh
he’s safe from interest I have known every facet and shard
in the wad he’s stowed that made me a man I could envy
put away for life later to shoot, cheat, steal, and pray with
for family back home it’s a pitiless faith really
that sent him outward kept him going all along
to earn his way alone stuffed carrot on a stick
long as he does return green bulged out the top
no banks needed to save us
he’s the reserve entrusted
getting his moneys worth
so long it’s not his to spend

0 thoughts on “Moneys Worth

    1. Sorry man, was waiting for a day off to give this poem the time it deserved and make a more in depth comment. Been working too much lately.
      Anyways, i had read this last week in the html and the ‘layered version’ and am still letting it sink in. i think the 2 word title is a good lead–just enough to steer the reader in a direction but not give anything away. The subject of money seems to be on everyone’s minds more so than usual it being a political season…the rich, the poor, the middle, taxes, wages, debt, etc. All of this leading to how we live our lives. i’m reading and re-reading the 1st poem (or taken as such), on the left and getting a lot of impressions. It’s a short narrative of a man who people might label ‘poor’. But i read on and it would seem that the man has chosen a free migratory lifestyle without anything to hold him down where he can be with his hobo buds and take in the beauty of the world. With words like ‘pole dog’ and ‘hanging low fruit’, a definite mood and setting is estalished and i can almost sense as if i’m walking with this guy and feeling his experience. Now ‘fat sack’ means a bag of marijuana in the urban dictionary. If that’s the case here, along with the ‘sour extracts’ of the other hobos, i’m thinking this guy just said ‘fuck it!’ to all the bills and headache and sacrafice that being status quo ‘member of society’ means. There’s a strong allure to freedom and life with no constraints. The poem says he’s ‘homeward bound’ with the cash stash he supposedly is gonna give his family. i guess the train, in effect, is his ‘western union’. i’m tempted to brand this guy as a deadbeat who will spend the money on booze, women, and the like but then i’m also compelled to give him wisdom and believe he makes it home to his family with the money to pay bills and put food on the table. Awesome dynamics here!

      1. No need to say you’re sorry~ I meant it. The structure was the thing I was most nervous about in this poem. You allayed my fears by demonstrating it translated into reading by people other than me. I call that validation…an essential component of my delivery.
        I also appreciate your reflection on the content. I can’t say I intentionally used “fat sack” as a weed reference but it works just the same. Your reading informed me on many other points as well. It had not occurred to me that I had left the lady and the tiger hanging in the balance.
        Thank you Quasi…you’re like an oasis in the desert for a poet parched by chronic misapprehensions.

  1. Any hope from the editor to have the wonky text conversions corrected? Ever since the attack from those rascally haxzors there have been some notable abberations in the font. The title and a few commas throughout this poem seem twisted like forgotten victims of Posttraumatic Stress disorder. If you have no time or interest; I will claim them as my war wounds and wear them proudly.
    I may make a papier-mâché purple heart and regale those inquistive persons what ask after it with stories of how I earned it.

Leave a Reply