New York postal clerk, don’t you know,
That if my package open shows,
You’ll make me tape it, aside—
On some other counter, begrimed.
And if I arrive package sealed,
You’ll demand the tape be peeled—
Expose the evils my packing hides,
As you announce closing time.
Postal workers, I too well know
The deadly seeds FedEx has sown,
So that we them laud and you resent,
Along with their best Congress friends.
Beadledom, beggary, excess fees,
Condemned you are — can’t compete.
Soon your pensions won’t pay the rent,
While greedy shippers’ stocks ascend.
So how can such a poem conclude
Without you broke and just as rude?
And my mailing no more delayed,
Nor triggering a too postal rage?
Doctors will sell us opiods
Complete with warnings to avoid.
Thank God sick leave still remains
And a home for orphan packages?
— Poem and collage (of the view through a café window) by William Eaton
∩ A previous Christmas collage-poem (all thanks to Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse): Time Passes; Chrismas 2015. And there’s Christmas 2014, an essay, with the following not-festive conclusion: “it seems to me that we are running out of people who we indeed care for and who indeed care about us.” And On Just Being recalls a year in France in the early 1980s “back before the Internet, etc.; the whole year we made one phone call back to the States, that one at Christmas from a booth at the central post office. Instead we wrote letters, . . . ” In The Top 5 Things to Do Wherever You Go, I praised the old “Madison Square” post office on East 23rd Street in New York; however, this praise has proved, to use an old expression, riding for a fall.
Now available from Amazon: Art, Sex, Politics
In a new, provocative collection of essays, William Eaton, the author of Surviving the Twenty-First Century, shares the pleasures of questions, tastes, reading and more visual arts. “That we are animals, that is as sure as ever. How savagely we behave! And how affectionately rub up against one another. How, desperately, make love?”
Kind words about Surviving: “Entertaining, yet packs a quiet intellectual wallop. . . . so thought-provoking and poetic I didn’t want it to end . . . beautiful and wise and moving . . . engaged, non-doctrinaire, well-read, independent-minded. . . . William Eaton finds arresting themes in unusual places. . . . The writing is masterful and wonderfully absorbing.”