Redundant C

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic
Society is built on people working, earning a living, providing for their families, but this society is not an equal one, there is competition for jobs - the work ethic is promoted. In order for the system to work, some must be rejected, some must be exploited, in fact, only a minority can achieve financial independence. This poem is about one who is made redundant - not his fault, not his employers fault, just "market forces". It is about the consequences of this, it is about one of the rejected, about once of the exploited, about the Redundant C.

Submitted: June 08, 2013

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Submitted: June 08, 2013



A long slow, excruciatingly so, word in my ear. The market veneer had cracked, they made it clear, they would have to delineate and define the bottom line; they were going to have to let me go

Gardening leave, my professional career cleaved. Cloves mask my acetone breath, my pallor becomes a languid alloy of flaking skin without and within, medical diagnosis is of stress induced dermatitis. Tribunal result a shocking insult, a-judges them right, and me contrite; they are going to be able to let me go

Merry happenstance, departmental developments, ICT, well customer services really. Slight demotion it is true but an alternative employment I could do, subject to recommendation. But those B’s did not reference me, they were resolute and vicious in their pursuance to maintain my status as Redundant C, no grounds or discretion of appeal; they were determined to let me go

Lonely in my room, incandescent in rage at the outrage, I plot my path to dislodge the lot, in every detail designing such mail as to explode in tinsel and nail. Merry Christmas to all, and a Happy New Year, but I was spotted by the sharp eyed B’s, the police came a-knocking, the judge’s verdict was mocking, sentence was passed, black hat class, leaving me definitely the Redundant C; the law will not let me go

Days drag to infinite measure at Her Majesty’s displeasure. My psychological evaluation a masterful accreditation, I determine not to be part of their conspiracy, I trade up cigs for Temazepam, I march with the Colombian band, cut with cleaner to fight grime, and in no time I cross the line and pass into the shadows, dancing with Frodo and who else, F knows. I cannot even remember my actual crime, I am the Redundant C, then my wife says, here’s the thing, it’s more than just a fling; she has to let me go

Counting the numbers of flies dried dead on the wall, tapping the bars lethargically before the parole board. I try to understand the affectation and the causality of my incarceration, I concur my actions were callous, cruel and unusual, but I cannot agree about the Redundant C, it should not have been me. I had a wife and three kids to support, did they not read the transcript of the court, they had they said, they were sad but their statement read, no release date yet; they could not let me go

Secured and sectioned once more to a padded room without a door. I see the doctors and the demons in equal pleasure, the latter gaining my trust and the former my jerking thrust.  Secure hospitals are such stately places of rehabilitation, for us special patients incarcerate, without remission is a clear indication of a judicial commission, and I decided, since the whole world had already tried it, I would bring the house down on this already ushered out show; I would be the one to let me go.

(First published in THE POETIC BOND, 2011, and subsequently in KEEP ON KEEPIN' ON, 2012.  Performed at RAW Poetry London, May 27th 2013)

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