I Work

I Work
by Ashley Dean

Smile my most concealing smile as you tell me I fucked up
Brought you PepsiCo™ instead of Coca-Cola® and that
Your subtle American palate
Can Taste The Rainbow (1) in the cocaine catch phrase of the latter.

Watch you Eat Mor Chikin (2) while your shirt buttons Snap, Crackle, Pop (3)
Apparently there’s not Always Room For /your/ Jell-O™
But this is capitalism so
You better Have It Your Way (4) before your neighbor does first.

Know it’s your duty as a Capitalist Tool (5) to retain and refrain from change,
So We Try Harder (6), spend after-shift hours cleaning your plates
Your gluttonous waste
Can no longer fit inside the prescribed Levi’s™ Jeans, American Dreams

Can’t seem to reach from the bottom of this corporate ladder.
But The Citi Never Sleeps (7) and the guy next to me Keeps Going and Going and… (8)
Acquiring minds want to know; ‘Are You In Good Hands?’ (9)
And Wherever You Go the Network Follows (10) — tell me, How Do You Spell Relief? (11)

See your need to validate your sense of self-worth, material things; a nation of want
While, below you, I work all day to pay my way to higher education
The Antidote for Civilization (12)
So I can spend my life away in hundred dollar bills.

How our planet was turned into a product, reality Reassuringly Expensive (13)
When our philosophy of I Think Therefore IBM (14) rendered us captive
Why we’re all so willing to Just Do it (15), and struggle to pay to live
On a planet that we were born to live on.


1. Skittles, 1994
2. Chick-Fil-A, 1995
3. Kellog’s Rice Krispies, 1932
4. Burger King, 1973
5. Forbes, 1966
6. Avis Rent A Car, 1962
7. Citibank, 1977
8. Energizer, early 1990’s
9. Allstate, 1956
10. Vodaphone, 2003
11. Rolaids, 1970’s
12. Club Med, 1982
13. Stella Artois, 1981
14. IBM, 1988
15. Nike, 1988

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