Robert Cooperman

Link to home pageLink to current issueLink to back issuesLink to information about the magazineLink to submission guidelinesSend email to

The Security Guard Sues for Workman’s Compensation

Judge, you know how they say
if these walls could speak?Artwork by Gene McCormick
Here, the ghosts shout at night:
When the first boss killed himself,
he came back, this his favorite haunt,
liked it better than his mansion,
because he loved screwing
his competitors more than his wife.
Though when he did find out,
first he killed her, then her friend,
then he came back here
and did himself at his desk.

Worse, Vera: the Mexican cleaning gal
who thought of me as her Popi,
‘cause I tried to clue her on English.
Even before she started to show
all the joy went out of her,
and her just as sweet as iced tea.
I found her in the boiler room;
her neck like a small, broken bird.
I don’t go back there after
the first time I came across her,
hanging like when I called the cops.

So your Honor, I can’t work there,
even if you decide I don’t deserve
a cent, and I’ve been telling a tale
with more hot air than the balloon
that didn’t take Dorothy home from Oz. 


Robert Cooperman drove a cab in New York in the 1970s. His latest collections are Little Timothy in Heaven (March Street Press) and The Lily of the West (Wind Publications).