Salesman’s Blues

Originally posted 6/18/2008.

In town for a convention.

When not at a meeting or the booth
lives in the back corner of the hotel bar,
alone over soup, a salad, now and then
a rare steak, always
the drink, always the glass.

Right now, running
a finger around the rim

of the tumbler: two rocks,
single malt, half gone.

Half gone as well
the old tie — worn as a slack noose,
silk darkened at the tip
from fiddling with it
under conference tables,
in airplanes, in 

Looks down,
notices the staining

and says, “Man, if I still 
had the money
for every tie
I’ve had to buy in a rush
from a hotel gift shop
before a meeting 
where I had to look my best
or risk losing my confidence or
maybe the account,
I could have retired
by now.” Strips it off,
a superhero changing
for battle. 

Downs the last
of the drink, slams
the glass, gets up to go 

back to the room, getting
far away from people
laughing at the TV,
flirtations, deals
wisping on the air
like smoke foretelling fire.

Says it’s only temporary.
Only till things get figured out.
Only till all the obligations
to others are fulfilled. 

Offers silent prayers
to whatever has made happiness
such an overpriced commodity
that one can survive
on selling it to others
while living entirely within
a fantasy of making enough
to buy some of your own
one of these days,
sooner rather than later.

Falls asleep
trying to decide
what tie to wear tomorrow.


About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

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