on the outside looking in

January 11, 2007

you never look in
at me
i often look in
at you

you have
those things
i am told
bring happiness

i have
those things
i am told
bring shame

i look into
your
restaurant

you spend
my week’s wages
in a night

so elegant
so white

table cloths
and candles
fine wines
and waiters

I could go on
and on…

but i have been ordered
to move along…

18 Responses to “on the outside looking in”

  1. gel Says:

    (I’m here via Poetry Thursday, although I see my net friend Soulless on your blogroll which explains why your name looks familiar.)

    If this is a true piece, I’m riddled with holes of sadness. Someone in control “orders” as your ending states, but maybe that it’s inside voice ordering you to move on, I hope?

    The starkness of your work here, underscores it’s serious contemplations and/or consequences.
    Fine writing.

  2. howard Says:

    I hate to bore you with my reactions, but wow. This really paints the scene for me.

  3. timbob Says:

    Very profound. It depicts the attitudes of many these days.

  4. blackbank Says:

    The rich get richer while the poor get poorer, while politicians peddle the politics of selfishness and envy. BB

  5. qazse Says:

    gel, thank you. This piece is imaginary. The order to move along was external.

    Oddly, some restaurants want the diners to be able to look upon the sea of humanity passing by but that sea ought not stop to stare. It would be like all the fish in the tank ( which is there for our pleasure – not theirs)stopping and looking at us.

  6. ...deb Says:

    I like the sad rhythem of “you have/ I have” that carries this poem…along.

    I’m glad you write about such things. Thank you.

  7. qazse Says:

    howard, you never have to apologize for a “wow” or otherwise…glad you saw the scene… thanks for your interest!


  8. been there… wonderful way to express it.

  9. fondakowski Says:

    This is an intensely quiet and serene poem, with deeply moving themes that I feel fit VERY well with the soft way in which the poem walks down the page. Very well done.

  10. mikaelah Says:

    great poem. so evocative.

  11. Jon Says:

    Very moving. The minimalism of the lines really connects us, I think, with the narrator and gives the poem and the narrator a sort of quiet dignity (while also, of course, emphasize how little–including how little voice–he has), making it doubly shocking that he could be treated this way. Great job with this one.

  12. qazse Says:

    timbob – glad you stopped back. What attitudes to you refer to specifically?

    blackbank – “in the mean time, in between time, ain’t we got fun…” The governor of my state ( Pennsylvania )was reelected this past November and is having himself a big inaugural bash. While the amenities may be covered by private money, I suspect we taxpayers may be footing the bill for security and cleanup, not to mention the loss of productivity for this Tuesday. Why do these incumbents need to throw themselves a party after reelection on my hard earned tax dollars? Sounds like something the Saddams of the world like to do.

  13. Emily Says:

    Both your poems–very interesting and thought provoking.

  14. qazse Says:

    deb – thank you. When I write about such things I hope I am not being overly didactic.

    Ascender – Thank you. When you say “been there”, may I ask in what capacity?

    fondakowski – your comment is poetic. Thank you.

    mikaela – thank you for the “evocative”.

    Jon – my main job puts me in touch with many working poor families my other job puts me in touch with the very wealthy. Wealth has put a wedge between them. Luxury is taken for granted as a right and a duty by those who can afford it. They are socialized into this mindset. One man drinks Dom while another cannot afford to have a rotted tooth extracted. Thanks for stopping by.

    Emily – thank you for stopping by. I appreciate your positive comments.

  15. liz elayne Says:

    The last line, the image, is very powerful.

  16. Chris Sapp Says:

    This immediatly after reading hit me as a drug addict or alcoholic partner that uses up wages in a day on drugs or booz. That is just my experience jumping in but it’s what poetry is supossed to do. Excellent work. I will definetly be back.

  17. qazse Says:

    so elegant
    with white

    changed to

    so elegant
    so white

    restaurants changed to restaurant

  18. qazse Says:

    Chris – my conception of who was looking in was different from yours. You are right, that is what poetry is about. Thanks for visiting and commenting.


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