Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Literature

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Quarter to Five (A Zombie Poem)

(reposting one from 2009)
*
*
He works as a zombie from 9 to 5. He climbs
into a catatonic state and performs duties
as are assigned to him. He's under the spell
of employment. (It could be worse.) His
co-worker, Barton, said, "You scare me.
You look like the living dead." "Don't worry,"
he said, "I'm just behaving professionally. After
work I become vibrant and garrulous."

"But I don't get it," Barton said, "--what
job-title around here requires a person
to behave like a zombie?" "In my particular
case," said the man, "it's Chief Deputy for
Zombic Affairs." "And what is it exactly
you do?" asked Barton. "Barton," he said,
"you don't want to know." With his blank,
unnerving, but professionally appropriate
affect, he resumed his duties, for the clock
read only quarter to five.



hans ostrom 2009
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