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I labour by singing light
Not for ambition or bread
—Dylan Thomas

To poetry I’ve given myself
the way monks or nuns
give themselves to nothing
I can see, and call it God
nonetheless. There is more
to this world than six figures.
My father disapproved
when I told him I wanted to live
for literature. I didn’t really
put it that way—said I was switching
from engineering to English.
Weak, ineffective, worthless, irresponsible
is how Merriam-Webster defines
feckless which has effectively
held a top ten spot in lookups
for three weeks running.
I feel it, wanting to slap it on
these heartless Trumps,
these crass and grasping sharpers,
but it’s such a pretty word
that instead of invective
I’ll claim it for myself, a title
for this poem, for all my work
that on trading floors
and in boardrooms has no worth,
but is dear to me nevertheless,
this my craft and feckless art.



What does ‘Feckless’ mean? [Newsweek]

Matthew Murrey is a poet whose writings have appeared in various journals such as Tar River Poetry, Poetry East, and Rattle. He received an NEA Fellowship in Poetry a number of years ago, and his first book, Bulletproof, will be published by Jacar Press. He is a high school librarian in Urbana, Illinois where he lives with his partner. They have two sons who live in the Pacific Northwest.