– a souvenir from cali –

Cali receipt

This is the receipt I (stole?) found at work today and is the inspiration for today’s poem.


On the job, on the clock,

living every bit of the Midwest Swing,

feeling every hit of this mundane thing.

I prepare to load the machine on dock eight,

exploring the beast from the inside.

No unusual debris on the floor –

pieces of wood, pieces of dirt,

pieces of a broken vow…

and a piece of paper.


What slip is this?

A simple receipt from a grocery store…


I remember my dreams of California

and my aspirations to stand in the Pacific sunshine,

witness the lights, smog, and sand with new eyes,

take in all that the left coast had to dish out,

and take it in on my terms alone.


Similarly, I take the receipt into my back pocket,

and return to my Midwest Swing.



D.J. Whisenant


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