A Whittenberg, Day Job

Rosemary Bailey, WC 9


Day Job

After a night of therapeutic bottle and blunt passing
He wakes on earth at 5AM
In a lumpy bed
He goes to the airport in his overalls
Brandishing a handkerchief
He scrubs the thick plastic windows
With long handles bruises
He watches the jets take off
They move hot through the endless sky
With purpose

A Whittenberg


Review by David Mehler

In “Day Job” we get another highly abbreviated portrait of a laborer who is jerked out of a dream to head to work “after a night of therapeutic bottle and blunt passing”—he is scrubbing, one presumes, the outside of jumbo passenger jet windows with a handkerchief on a stick? Only the jets move with purpose and heat, the poem tells us, implying certainly not this man. One thing that’s telling and true of Whittenberg’s poems is that he or she puts the title to good use. The title suggests that the day job after the meaningful work and sleep, which he actually does at night, is either ironic because the laborer’s meaningful work involves a bottle and a blunt, or it presumes he has artistic aspirations, perhaps as a writer or musician or painter? Whatever work it is that isn’t the day job doesn’t carry any weight financially or pay any bills for the necessities like rent or food, gas for the car, or a mortgage. There’s not enough time spent here to fill in the blanks, which in such a life is no doubt appropriate, but the suggestions say plenty.

Scroll to Top