work work work

this dude next to me has been listening to clips of a cover of “Work” by Rihanna over and over for like 15 minutes. already I hate him. it sort of looks like he’s listening to it on a Zune. he’s like the one person ever who bought one and now feels like he has to act out in stupid ways to counter his bad life decisions. like cuffing his jeans and wearing a dog tag. a fucking personalized dog tag. the kind with the image engraved on it. he has a book on his lap titled The Power of Now. he’s nodding along like this cover is the sickest shit ever when it sort of sounds like someone recorded it in their bedroom. like you can hear the barrier of fb likes this recording is going to reach before some gif of a dog overpowers it. like 3 heart-likes then bust. even when he’s not listening to the same verse over and over he is still nodding his head along. just to life I guess. it’s like he thinks he’s a music producer dropping some heat in the studio. and maybe he is a music producer. but all his clients only do covers of famous pop songs. which could explain the Zune.
and this all sort of relates to how someone with pink hair just walked in wearing converse with skulls on them. not even self-drawn skulls. like “I paid $10 extra at Journey’s” skulls. themed converse are like the cover songs of alternative fashion. it’s like chasing a dream of recycling. like how I listen to songs and imagine that I wrote them and am performing on some fictional stage with a fictional fan base instead of sitting in my car on my way to, you guessed it, work. and in these weird fantasies of success, I fit around the song and not the other way. like justifying a glimpse of reality in my fantasies is what keeps me going. like I just want to be the RC Cola or Safeway Select brand of fame. it’s the only kind that seems relatable.

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Nich Malone

Nich Malone is a poet living in the East Bay. His work has appeared in Hold: a journal, The Weakly, Tripwire: a journal of poetics, Rubber Factory, and Macaroni Necklace.