Progress By John Stupp


Machines do all the work
at the Ford Engine Foundry
the company film said in 1954
that’s progress
but machines can’t
sit in the cafeteria all day
playing cards
or tell a foreman
to fuck himself
the film neglected to say

Oh progress
is a jolly sight
without asbestos
and foundry dust
and cigarettes
and the heart carving that comes after—
here’s a question
how many chests were cut open
and put back
without all the parts
how many lives rearranged
a little
for piss streams
to work on
in the showers
while a fucking machine
just stood there

By John Stupp


John Stupp is the author of Advice from the Bed of a Friend by Main Street Rag. His new book Pawleys Island will be published in 2017 by Finishing Line Press. Recent poetry has appeared or will appear in The Greensboro Review, Poet Lore, The American Poetry Journal, Into the Void (Ireland), LitMag, The Tishman Review, Door Is A Jar, A Quiet Courage and Slipstream. His poem “Goat Island” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2016. He lives near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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