Data Entry Position Available on the Enterprise
By Gus Peterson
As I make a cost adjustment to an order
right before lunch, I find my mind orbiting
away from the original idea of this poem –
something about the shuttered spearheads
of flowers on the bush outside looking like
a phalanx of hoplites – and wondering if
someone on the starship Enterprise had my job.
Not pricing, leveraging cost or cold calling,
just a position where I am the middle man
between some nebulous pile of information and
its metamorphosis onto the computer terminals
they were always tapping at to paint
a picture of what was outside and around, whether
it was a gas or tachyons or supported sentient life.
Sometimes I think that would be more fulfilling
than reality, despite what would most surely be
my low rank of ensign, and a tendency to be
the first one vaporized on risky away missions
or the only crew member sucked out into
the vacuum of space when a hole is blasted
through engineering. I could deal with that,
that pervasive, palm sweating phobia of ensigns,
because on all the other star dates which do not
involve villains with an agenda or photon torpedoes,
I may help to uncover a new life form, cure a disease,
map a previously unknown star system.
So I don’t think it is too bold to go and say
that this certainly would be more satisfying
than faxing you, our valued customer,
this month’s holiday special on welding consumables.
Gus Peterson lives in Randolph, Maine. He has read his poems on
the WERU Writers Forum.
By Gus Peterson
for Leonard Nimoy
In a way, we all are.
Rising from the orbit of dreams,
we shower and warp
into the workday --
those stoic, calculated courses
we've gone before,
running the diagnostics
and procedure keeping
the vessel of us propelled,
one mission at a time,
through the space
of another week where
for an hour at least
we are entirely human --
fascinating in our love,
our rage, our sorrow
with its tears that fall
like shooting stars
across the lens
Gus Peterson lives in Randolph, Maine. His recent
collection is When the Poetry's Gone.