"zams!"

textbooks cluttered
someone uttered
zams today
canít get away

studentsí woes
and studentsí wills
careers that froze
the course that chills

hurry, faster!
thatís the way
cram all that crap
inside to stay

deeper, deeper
into the labyrinth
mother, father
i canít think!

get me far away from this confusion.
i canít stand this mindís contusion
whatís the purpose of it all
at 2 am in the wandering hall?

iím learning to throw health out the window
iím learning to become some bimbo
parking cars and pumping gas
stuffing, cramming, trying to pass

woe is me! it works for some
they bash their heads, and still they come
calculus, econometrics, psycho-biology
flash by me, ai! a dizzying pastry

grades- a structure, just a framework
where the mortarís poured and the workmen work
grades- the measure of accuracy
grades- the pleasure of mimicry

grade point- such a magic spot
a pivot point, and angle hot
aspire to excellence, they say
just pay your dues: it was our way

i feel a vast compression here
my mind is sputtering- out of gear
i seem to hear a tiny voice
your might, your mind. itís all your choice!

and whoís this fine-wired heretic?
he questions knowledge- deep and thick
and calls to me now bitterly
i am your conscience. set me free!

horror of horrors! thereís class iíll miss
iíve got history to love and english to kiss
iíve got places to go and things to do
reports to write and seminars too

my conscience? ha! where lies the heart?
i should have questioned at the start
but i am many miles into the fold
i cannot think it is controlled

or not so by the likes of me
cause iíve got zams to conquer, canít you see!?
iím much too busy. see you later
iíve too much reality. youíre theater

i, i wonder though, who it is
behind the dash, the splash, the whiz
hiding there behind a-students
the cautious, careful, innocuous prudents

within the ones who always succeed,
the tables summed, the daily deed
and am i about alone in flight?
about to blindly seek the light?

at worst, an idiosyncrasy
at best, a generality?
in sum then, what comes from the game?
the rise of heroes, glory, fame?

we clutch at images. we cannot stand.
our hopes imagine. facts demand
the world is habit. oft ignored
is our emotion. correct me Lord

when chasing after lifeís detail,
we hit the block and miss the nail

Author: tom courtney
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