“You Have To Earn Money” by Robert Maxwell


You have to earn money
My father declared
In reply to my desperate query
For money's the glue of society
And that's fact, it isn't theory
But what if I'd rather step over a cliff
I asked in a melancholy tone
Then my boy, my father replied
You'll be starving, broke, and alone
So I forced myself to work that day
And many years thereafter
Feeding my spirit into the machine
Where uncommon indeed is laughter
The bleakness of my dependency
Stole from me every joy
The world sputtered and seethed at me
For I understood its ploy
Inside a box beside a phone
With documents ankle high
A cubical smaller by far than my heart
I yearned to blissfully die
Then my heart burst
I wrecked the box
And burned the papers black
I smashed the waxed and tiled floor
And made a beautifully irregular crack
I strode in a line that was far from straight
To where the Robot drooled from his throne
He crushed my skull and released me from work
Starving, broke, and alone.