Dress Up by Charles Rammelkamp

Dress Up

“If I was a bed I’d stay unmade.” – Grateful Dead, “Liberty”

Like one of the Ten Commandments,
“Dress for Success” ruled behavior
when I first went looking for a career.
Sized up in interviews by your clothing;
the three-piece suit a substitute for brains.

But once I had my cubicle,
a rodent in its hole,
I could relax, unbutton my collar:
nobody ever saw me outside of meetings,
just a computer-terminal galley slave.
Please-hold-while-I-connect-you music
playing all day out of unseen speakers.

But I did have a fondness for neckties,
gold paisley amoebas on a field of blue,
sinuous silk caressing the neck;
even tried bowties for a while but never
mastered lacing them, floppy beagles’ ears.

Ah, the freedom of retirement.
Suits now only for bar mitzvahs,
weddings, and funerals.

Charles RammelkampCharles Rammelkamp is Prose Editor for BrickHouse Books in Baltimore, where he lives and Reviews Editor for Adirondack Review. His most recent books include American Zeitgeist(Apprentice House) and a chapbook, Jack Tar’s Lady Parts ( Main Street Rag Press). Another poetry chapbook, Me and Sal Paradise, is forthcoming from FutureCycle Press.

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