SWEATSHOP TO NOWEAR
What if it’s not meant to go anywhere? What if it just IS?
The Model T’s to blame. Made everyone wanna “get up and go.”*
*The Music Man. Seriously.
I don’t want to bite the hand that feeds but capitalism hands out rations like it’s war-time. My better hours are spent shelling out slave-blood junk to the middle-aged!
Guess I’m sick of being a hypocrite peeling off Made In China stickers; guess I’m depressed that we don’t recycle any of our plastic; guess I’m down over the fact that
is (my) life.
Readers want stories to go somewhere. They want a clear, cogent map to the brain.
I’m sorry. I want to make something w/ vision/meaning/purpose, a road or at least a road block.
Plot and I don’t play well together. It ends up in the corner; I leave with a split lip.
Guess I’m bummed because every morning I wake up, sometimes at six and sometimes noon, but either way I can sit shirtless on these keys, miserable breasts penning their wills well in advance of their demise, grease-gelled hair curling of its own accord, ornery pits and unladylike pubes, with nothing better to do, no one missing me or needing my guidance, my hand to pull them from the grave.
Lots of people could use some help, but I doubt anyone could use me.
Aside from the obvious method.
Evidently I’m only good at being bad. Is this body mine to sell, like I peddle those trinkets to tourists? Is the few minutes or hours of repose worth a total loss of self? Is it the loss of self that grants repose in the first place?
For example, when we are fucking for the fourth or fifth or sixth time because your hip surgery is coming up and we want to get it in while we can, and for once I can embrace flesh rather than condemn it, for once my ugliness means something beautiful, for once mortality lies gaping wide and defenceless against the terrible power of the moment. We will fuck furiously on a bed or wall or couch or floor or bathroom counter or kitchen counter or computer chair/desk, long enough to risk feeling real.
Maybe I’m sad because you’re running away and didn’t invite me to run away with you. Then again, is this a life you’d fit into? You barely fit inside me. What about when I leave reality/reality leaves me. What about my honestly honest, utterly earnest smile when anyone asks for help, because I’m giddy at any chance to give someone what they think they want. Maybe I make their day better by genuinely caring what they have to say, even if all they have to say is, “Do you have wine bottle stands shaped like guitars?” (As a matter of fact, we do!)
I wish I could make more than a day better. I want to make a life/world better, but what can I do? I’m just a worker, a writer whose writing forever lacks conclusion, sometimes finds acceptance, but never
C.E. Hoffman (they/them) was born, gave birth, and tried to die in Edmonton, AB (not necessarily in that order). A grant recipient, Writer’s Union of Canada member, and winner of the 2022 Defunct May Day Chapbook contest with their chapbook, "NO ACTUAL SIN," they’ve been published widely online and in print since 2010, and edited Punk Monk Magazine since 2012. Current releases include their short story collection, "SLUTS AND WHORES" (Thurston Howl Publications, 2021), "BLOOD, BOOZE, AND OTHER THINGS IN NATURE" (Alien Buddha Press, 2022), and "GHOSTS, TROLLS, AND OTHER THINGS ON THE INTERNET" (Bottlecap Press, 2022.) Follow them on Twitter @CEHoffman2, and listen to their podcast Scribbles & Spills.