Who sits by the furnace
to stoke the fires of civilization?
Someone always has to be ready
to give the shovel talk --
if you fuck this up, I will bury you SO deep.
Who stays in the control room
of the engine of creation?
Someone has to keep an eye on things,
wiping grease from the gauges,
activating the safety valves to release pressure
before the whole thing explodes.
Who reads the instruction manual
for Spaceship Earth?
Someone has to pay attention to
the monkeys and the wrenches,
track the changes over time,
and update the captain's log.
This is the anarchivist's job,
as forgettable and essential as the black gang,
weird beast lurking in the basement,
half-scholar and half-hoodlum,
the one who writes warning signs in spray paint,
the one who cooks without a book,
the one who cuts family ties during a plague
and breaks into libraries to steal books
just before the whole building burns to the ground,
the one who carries the toolbox
that everyone prays will never be needed again,
but always is.