Three Poems by Urayoan Noel

Day after day
9 to 5 (or 6 or midnight),
a cartoon hunchback
in a cut-out cubicle
humming mindless Muzak,
typing mindless memos
to remind his mindless boss
of his mindless meetings
in mindless bistros
full of mindless waiters
and the mindlessness of
so much minestrone
slurped alone or in
the company of corporate drones
who throw him a bone
and make him work overtime for free
‘cause he’s temp-to-perm
but I hear the firm has
its eye on him.
He puts on his fake moustache
and goes to work.
He won’t get promoted
He won’t leave this cubicle
He’ll never slide into the comfortable tedium of success
He’ll never buy his mom that house
He’ll never vacation in the placid reflux of the Hamptons,
or get lost in the mindrot Rivieras
with a bunch of executive asshole buddies
in a state of joyous, drugged-out mindlessness
scoring with the babe of his dreams.
He will, however, get full benefits. Including top-notch health coverage
from a leading HMO. It even includes dental!


Urayoán Noel is a Puerto Rican poet, performer, and critic. He earned his B.A. from the University of Puerto Rico and M.A. from Stanford University, and is currently a doctoral candidate in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at New York University. He has published two books of poetry: Las flores del mall (Alamala, 2000), and Kool Logic/La lógica kool (Bilingual Press, 2005), the latter with a performance DVD. A book of his poems in Spanish - Boringkén - is forthcoming, with spoken word CD, from Ediciones Vértigo. His poems, creative essays, nonfiction, and translations have appeared in New York Quarterly, Long Shot, Pavement Saw, Rattapallax, and in anthologies of Puerto Rican, Spanish Caribbean, and Latino literature. He lives in the South Bronx, where he fronts the rock band objet petit a, and co-directs the arts organization 'Spanic Attack. See

These poems are from his book Kool Logic / La lógica kool (Bilingual Press, University of Arizona, 2005).