Next Time You Apply, Bring Your Weapons

CVPileThe next time you pin out your life on paper

in butterfly sprawl –  for all to finger and paw…

tread cautiously upon the buzzwords,

prepare courteously for the skewer.


Next time they ignore or reject you,

call you Mr. Annie if they remember your name,

when they boast of hundreds of outstanding applications…

feel the low tide of stand-in, a has-been, intently dim.


Next time they invite you to look in their eyes,

bring out the weapons, the fake and the true.

Though barbs pierce you dearly and scar tissues tighten

to scour your heart, build up bile, rot and decay.

Though you long to cauterise wounds in sheer lava,

As layer by layer they strip you of pride, esteem and hope.


Next time…

Curse them softly.

But don’t melt to brine.

Don’t  let them define you.

Don’t you dare fall pigeon

into their hole.


Join me at the Open Link Night over at dVerse Poets Pub to enjoy many fine poems and some delicious company.

24 thoughts on “Next Time You Apply, Bring Your Weapons”

  1. Marina Sofia – You are so right! So often we let others define us, or we force ourselves to meet their expectations. And we never realise that pieces of ourselves fall away when we do that. It’s possible to negotiate relationships with others without sacrificing our own selves.

    1. I have days in which I think it is possible and other days when I think there is too much compromise (especially in the employer/employee relationship). And of course the relationship is getting worse and worse nowadays – it will take a whole generation, I think, to rebuild the trust.

      1. I couldn’t agree more, Marina Sofia. There is definitely not the mutual trust that was once possible.

  2. ah love the strength you encourage….made me think of how demoralizing it is at times when you are out of work and trying to get a job…or even submitting your work…and how if we let them…they will define us…

    1. Blessed old resilience – if only we could inject rubber ball qualities into our children and ourselves. But if we were all like that, there would be no sensitivity, or self-reflection or art in this world, would there?

  3. Bursting forth a waterfall of anger here. The subject is one I know and have great empathy for. I want to rant with you come the end and I love the final,

    Dont you dare fall pigeon
    Into thier hole

    Its not an easy task preventing that, but we can at least try.

    1. I had a talk yesterday with a group of job hunters, and I just took on all their frustration and pain and anger (as you say, personal experience helps too).

  4. Love the powerful punch in your ending.

    I remember sending my résumé to 250+ places before I found my current job. One even called and dared to tell me “You weren’t our first choice but if you want the job it’s yours” That had my defenses up immediately and when they told me what they were paying … It made it all that much easier to say “Oh. No thanks!” They were shocked. I wonder what they said to their third choice.

    It’s so true that we can so easily allow these “people of authority” made us feel like less because they are holding “security” and not handing it over – but we do find our way.

    Thank-you for sharing this!

    1. I have been unemployed in the past and then helped out as a volunteer at a job club, so I have seen first-hand just how devastating all those rejections can be.

  5. Don’t you dare fall pigeon

    into their hole.

    For lack of saying anything original – this is so inspiring Marina Sofia, and at this stage in life, your poem and words forced me to sit quietly and assess my current state of existence.

    After a brief moment, I smiled. Thank you. I hear you.

    1. I find recruiters, corporates, bosses in general lack imagination and if someone doesn’t fit nicely into their little labelled drawers, if someone perhaps is too big for their labels, they just can’t cope. And so they make you feel inadequate to mask their own ignorance or lack of trust or lack of freedom. It’s a hard philosophical question: do we play the game and lose our soul? Can we afford to do anything else?
      Sorry if I depressed you…

      1. You are talking right to my soul, Marina Sofia. I need this right now. It’s been a week of the corp turning me into something I really have no interest in being. I’m taking your poetry and tacking it up on the wall in my cube. I need to focus on the last few lines…You didn’t depress me. You encouraged me!

  6. This poem speaks exactly to where I’m at in life right now. When you’re unemployed it’s so hard to remember that your worth does not consist in what you do, but in who you are – and that is not defined by others; either by their acceptance or rejection of you and your talents.

  7. so true..oh i love the strength in your can be so frustrating and it’s good to not let them define how we think about us

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