Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Author's Blog: TRACY SOREN -- 9 to 5 Anthem

We the American working population hate the fact that eight hours a day is wasted on chasing the dream of someone that isn’t us. And we may not hate ours job, but we hate jobs in general that don’t have to do with fighting our own causes.

We the American working population hate the nine-to-five day-in, day-out, while we’d rather be supporting ourselves by being paid to perfect the pastimes that we have harbored based solely on the fact that it makes us smile if it sounds dope.

-Aesop Rock, on “9-5ers Anthem”

There’s something about the word “company” that makes my chest feel like pounds of cased sausage are being wrapped around it. Throughout this yo-yo job process I have seen variations of this statement, “We are looking for a freshly graduated to mold into our company”. Who would find this appealing? I imagine slaughter houses when I hear this. I imagine everybody in the nation always wearing dress socks. It’s a barbed wire fence with the words “we want you here forever” painted across it.

Loved ones seem to think I’m just afraid of making the wrong employment choice and I know I may be overreacting or at least generalizing but the idea of such a company makes me want McDonalds. It causes me to wave my arms during rush hour in Manhattan and say, “Are we all still here?!” I would much rather be surrounded by company than be within this form of “company”.

Since I graduated a year ago, I’ve been working odd jobs and temping to make my money. The flexible schedule allows me to pursue my poetic endeavors without having a bare wallet. It doesn’t lend for much security and I don’t know how long it’ll last but I’m doing my best.

Before I did this, somewhat still, I’ve went on job interviews for the full blown 9 to 5. Throughout each process I had some sort of existential crisis. There are only so many times a person can ask his or herself, “what I am supposed to be doing?” before crawling up in a ball and watching re-runs of the Bad Girls Club.

My Mother always says, “Tracy, you have to get A JOB before you can get THE JOB”. But what if the “A JOB” makes you stop breathing because you’ve known since that age of six that a cubicle was never something meant for you. Then, you discover writing and you realize this is the damn yellow brick road but not necessarily the golden brick road to financial security. For a structured person this can be very difficult.

Maybe I am just looking in the wrong places or maybe I have had this odd jobs/temping thing right all along.

What I know for sure is that writing, spreading poetry and working for things I believe in makes me smile cause it sounds dope.

In any case, I have a section in my closet for professional clothing that can be confused for funeral attire. I don’t know if this is a coincidence.

-Tracy Soren

Tracy Soren, a poet and writer from Queens, New York, discovered spoken word in college and ranks it with her study abroad in Australia and Jewish cuisine as continually bettering her life. She has performed and competed at various universities, venues, conferences and events ranging from youth to activist, academic to social.

Competively, she was a 2009 semi-finalist for the Nuyorican Poets Café and a repeating member of the SUNY New Paltz Slam team, which, in her graduating year, ranked first in their region and ninth in the nation. In 2009, she was the school’s Grand Slam Champion and she currently co-coaches the team.

Tracy is also a member of the Intangible Collective, a touring group of nationally-recognized artists that aims to connect with and empower artists, audiences and communities through multiple mediums of creative expression via live performance, publications, and educational workshops. They are in the process of founding the fourth nationally-recognized slam venue in New York City and are releasing a three-part Anthology by Penmanship Books that Tracy is organizing and editing. She will be featured in the first release entitled “Static and Other Lungless Things”.

She is honored to be awarded her first book with the Cora Craig Author Award for Young Women by Penmanship Books set to release in early 2010.

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