I am Bartleby i


“It never meant juvenile delinquents, it meant characters of a special spirituality who didn’t gang up but were solitary Bartlebies staring out the dead wall window of our civilization . . . ” Jack Kerouac

I am Bartleby,
So don’t bother me
The narrator say
“the easiest way of life is the best”
That, too, is my bray, don’t press it
“a bit of wreck in the mid Atlantic”
Sailed from Perth to Niantic
So let’s not get frantic
“No; I would prefer not to make any change . . .”
Think that’s not at all strange
“No, I would not like a clerkship . . . ”
Who’d give a flip to scribble slips?
“I would not like it at all . . .”
Bartley is right on the ball
“I would prefer not to make any changes at all . . . ”
Adam and Eve did, then the big fall
Eccentric unaccountably so
To Jersey City and Hoboken will I row
“ . . . a subordinate clerk . . . ”
Suddenly removed by a jerk
“ . . . in the administration,” you see
The same bloody thing happened to me
Bartleby, you’re my hero
And that crude CEO, minus zero
i Melville, Herman. “Bartleby the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street.” 1853. Melville. New York: The Library of America, 1984.

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GK Stritch


GK Stritch is a contributor to Beatdom and the author of CBGB Was My High School. The book is available at the St. Mark's Bookshop, New York City, and amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.

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