Too Smart

People like to say to me,
“You’re too smart for this.”

I had these thoughts while I was standing outside
smoking a cigarette
(ashes dancing in the wind like those little black flies)
and watching the construction site across from me
slow birthing a condo.

For some reason
“You’re too smart for this,”
irks me.

It makes me think that everyone thinks that the job I do
is only for dumb people
that most jobs that aren’t in an educational pursuit
are for Neanderthals sans clubs
who toil away without a thought in their head.

nobody cares how smart you are
because smart doesn’t pay the bills
my landlord doesn’t care how smart I am if the rent is late
the people sending me bills don’t care
and smart have never once gotten me groceries
my reading list has never picked up the check
and my knowledge of dead poets has never paid the health bill
(on time, at least.)

The phrase beats up on people
makes them feel trapped
takes every garbage truck driver who reads Joyce
and makes them uneasy.

We all have to go to work
because it’s the smart thing to do
because we can’t think our way out of this raw deal
so we remain smart and unappreciated for it.

not unappreciated
because only someone who was smart, regardless of how well read
knows that leaving it all behind and fending for yourself
is the dumbest thing you can do.

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