Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Man Versus Machine

By Joseph Hesch

Every morning I enter this workday machine
and it enters me with the scent of
burning electric motors,
like hundreds of toy locomotives.
They carry me up the escalator to
my seat on this train
to nowhere fast.
Where every sight, smell,
feeling of my butt in this chair,
my fingers on the keyboard,
my head to my desk,
is the same as yesterday’s
and will be again tomorrow.
And could be all the other tomorrows.

Can't I change tomorrow?
Maybe I’ll hold my nose and
walk close-eyed up the down escalator,
bumping into and disturbing
their order of things.
Or maybe I should just roll over,
when the alarm rings,
and open my senses to change --
the sight of her breathing,
the scent of her sleeping,
the feel of my skin on hers,
my fingers in her hair,
my head to her pillow --
maybe for what will seem the first time;
maybe forever.


  1. Joe...this is your Oneshot this week. It must be! Wonderful, that frustration, shared by so many as we struggle each day to do what must be done to keep us plodding along in the mundane. What would happen if we just stopped, and truly did what we WANTED? So much more passion and real living to be found..if only I could work up the nerve...I shared a dream with you today, but the machine woke me :(

  2. This is a great sensory write that fits the third prompt incredibly well. There's a sense of hope amid the despair with beautiful final lines.

  3. you chose the same pic as i joe
    living a life we do not love can be just like this...love the urge to break out in your writing - the weaving in of small threads of change...
    and esp. the last lines are very sensory and intimate

  4. nice...love all the little textures, think i might just roll over for change...cant stand doing the same thing again and again...

  5. really well done and although we may have mundane and routine lives their is always someone to break into that and make everything worthwhile ! thank you.

  6. Joe, this actually reminded me of Bukowski in that round about honest way he talks about his life. Really loved the thought of a normal worker taking a time out on the way to work to embrace the escelator. Brilliant!

  7. awesome take on the prompt. the photo is of cold, hard, repetitive, unchanging , defined properties - a great juxtaposition for life at times unless we do something, however little it may be, to shake things up!

  8. Excellent the way you moved from the monotony and sameness of the everyday to the scintillating fantasy of staying with love and losing yourself in the excitement that holds you to passion, life and joy. Wonderful.