The poetry of Tax Declarations
On my way home from the office today, traveling
on bus number 66, I scribbled down a poem on the
back of a tax declaration form.
I have been doing tax declarations for my clients
for two months now. Soon I will have prepared over
a hundred of them.
A friend told me he knew of some famous poets who
had ordinary jobs but wrote poetry at their spare time.
William Carlos Williams was a doctor and wrote
poems on the back of prescriptions between patients.
Wallace Stephens worked for an insurance company and
ended up as a vice president.
TS Eliot was a teacher and a bank clerk before he started
to work for a publisher.
On the back of the tax declaration form I wrote a poem
about a client and a negotiation I had just finalized and
about how upset I had been with the other party for trying
to fool me and my client.
I know that Elliot and Stevens never wrote about their day
jobs but William Carlos Williams wrote poems and stories
about his patients and cases.
And he could call himself a doctor and a poet
at the same time.
Is it possible to be a bean counter
and a poet
at the same time?
Probably depends on the poetry,
not on the job.
Published in I Know What She Will Say, 2003