Alex Schumacher

BALLAD OF AN ECHO BOOMER


The alarm calls me to attention.
My aching back and creaking knees
could use an oil change and tune-up.
Like Mick said/“What a drag it is getting old.”

I drag my heels to the shower/drift to
the kitchen for coffee/and tumble into
one unwashed customer service costume or

another. The car I purchased used—to get from
point A to point B—has bronchitis/
coughing and hacking as the engine turns.

On the Bay Bridge, commuting to the menial
job where I make just enough not to qualify for
aid/I see in the rear-view that my hair and life
show signs of grey/my story being edited so
many times in my teens and twenties it’s now
unrecognizable in my thirties.
A happy ending isn’t necessarily unattainable/
it just may take a few more rewrites.
Or another editor.

Even successful friends have found their plans to
go awry along the way/blueprints and homework
can only account for so much.
In the San Francisco parking lot I kill the engine/hoping
that it will start again when my shift ends/watching the
litter/the trash skip across the gravel/and dial in to my
daily internal conference/debating whether or not to
call in sick.
I’d rather spend a day with no pay than a day with no soul.




Alex has toiled away in the relative obscurity of minimum-wage jobs, underground comics, and children's books since 2009. He prefers to share the wounds life inflicts, scabs and all, because he can't stand stories that are Photoshopped and airbrushed.

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The views and opinions expressed throughout belong to the individual artists and may or may not coincide with those of the other artists (or editors) represented within the magazine. Hobo Camp Review supports a free-for-all atmosphere of artistic expression, so enjoy the poetry, fiction, opinions, and artwork within, read with an open mind, and comment wisely. Thanks for stopping by the Camp!