Poetry: Selections from Garret Schuelke

Memory Brought About by Trump Being Found Liable for Sexual Abuse and Defamation

The day before
the 2016 Election,
both Clinton and
Trump held their
final campaign rallies
in Grand Rapids -
Clinton at Grand
Valley State University,
and Trump at
DeVos Place.
I went over
to the Clinton
rally after work,
and didn't get
in - I stood
in line until
I got fed
up, and left.
Nothing particularly notable
happened, though there
was one dude
holding a sign
claiming that he
was a Gulf
War vet that
Clinton, using her
Illuminati surgical training,
had personally implanted
a microchip into
his brain before
he was shipped
He was there
demanding that she,
in front of
everyone, remove the
chip “...THIS INSTANT!”
I'm still positive,
to this day,
that if she
had actually done
that, she would
have easily won
the election, being
seen as both
a redemptive move,
and a severing
of her obvious
SATANIC connections, and
just the fact
that it would
RAD thing to
see played out.
I went to
the Trump rally
later that night.
The line was
tremendously longer, but
I tried anyway.
The woman in
front of me
began flirting, and
I gave her
half-baked white
lies so that
she would lose
interest in me,
but wouldn't suspect
I wasn't a
Trump loyalist, which
possibly could have
led to me
getting jumped there
and then.
I gave up
after 30 minutes.
As I walked
down Monroe Avenue,
there was a
small group of
protesters making the
Most of their
signs referenced Trump's
"...Grab 'em by the pussy"
One of Trumpers,
a slick-haired,
polo wearing frat
bro, stepped forward
and yelled at
the protesters,
He laughed, and
hi fived his
fellow frat bro.
I kept walking,
and wondering what
he was referring
I reached Rosa
Parks Circle, and
I realized what
he was saying:
The frat bro was essentially saying that Bill Clinton's rape allegations, compared to Trump's rape allegations, apparently aren't as bad, and that pointing this out was an epic lib owned moment. He also not only acknowledges that he supports a rapist, but is reveling in it.
Instead of just
simply being shocked
by the callousness
and stupidity of
it all, I
calmly took out
my phone, and
hit up my
co-worker, Chad,
with a barrage
of late night,
angry texts - leaving
him confused, and
telling me to
calm down - as
I made my
way to Menna's
Joint for a
depression-fueled gut bomb.
On Election night,
I got drunk
and ate grilled
cheese sandwiches as
the rapist got
elected (Michigan going
for him hit
the hardest).
Days later, a
cartoon was
published, depicting the
Statue of Liberty
crying as a
grinning Trump groped
her breast.
I imagined those
frat bros, along
with every other
fascist, chud, reactionary,
and piece of
human garbage imaginable,
having the time
of their lives,
giving each other
hi five, laughing
at the cartoon.
Now I was
properly getting disillusioned
with how much
shittier this timeline
has gotten.

The Restricted

Many controversial changes
were announced for
the next job
bid taking place
half a year
from now, all
part of management's
eternal war on
off standard jobs:
—No more Mondays off.
—Eight hour shifts have been completely and utterly annihilated.
—New rules and scheduling for the custodian positions, all inherently off standard, which were obviously put in place in an attempt to dissuade team members from bidding on them.
—All team members with restrictions are not only no longer allowed to work eight hour shifts, but will effectively ALL be placed, together, on a second shift schedule of their very own.
Cue the freak outs,
the vapid conversations,
the WTF's,
and the elation
from myself, Chad,
and every other
worker who has
gotten screwed out
of their job
placement by one
of these dipshits
who constantly screech
about their "rEsTrIcTiOnS!
Before you go
ahead and claim
that we're prejudiced,
or hateful,
or engaging in
discrimination, take into
consideration two things:
—These are the first accusations that management throws out in order to intimidate and embarrass us, and to dismiss our complaints and grievance filings, when someone with a restriction—who often times is also below us in seniority—takes one of our jobs.
—90 percent of the team members with restrictions are full of shit, and are obviously physically capable of doing the same back-breaking labor we all get assigned each day.
I've worked with
folks at previous
jobs, and this
warehouse gig that
I've been at
for over ten
long years now,
whose bodies, minds,
and souls were
so thoroughly broken
that I was
often surprised they
didn't shatter
like glassware when
they bumped into
something, or tripped
and fell.
I've worked with
people who were
so big that
they walked like
Danny DeVito when
he played the
Penguin in BATMAN
I've worked with
people whose posture
resembled Gollum when
he was chowing
down on a
I've worked with
people whose arms,
hands, and sometimes
bodies shook
so often and
violently that I
wouldn't have been
surprised if it
was revealed that
they were encased
in an invincible
ice cube.
I've worked with
people whose brains
only produced nightmares
and demons, or
put them in
completely delusional states
of detachment
I've worked with
people who should
have long retired,
be in a
care home, or
be forced, for
their own good,
into a mental
healthcare facility.
But none of
them had restrictions—
either they never
sought it, or
they were denied,
and had to
endure in order
to survive in
our society.
Less than a
handful of the
folks with restrictions
here truly deserve
Reek gets around
and works just
fine, annoying us
all with his
Joker laugh and
constant stench.
I guess his
emotional fragility, which
translates to him
running off into
a dark corner,
curling up into
a ball, and crying
when he gets
yelled at, is
enough that he
is rarely required
to make rate.
Mugsy is tall,
lanky, and somewhat
slow, but according
to management, is
physically incapable of
driving a mid rider.
As soon as
we are told
this, Mugsy starts
to tell us
about the tennis
tournament he is
taking part in
next weekend.
Suck Up is the
worst of the
bunch, because her
restriction claim is
clearly just another
part of her
constant schemes to
get ahead—and
bulldoze anyone she
Count her restriction
in with being
a managers favorite,
and being married
to a union
steward, and you
have an awful
piece of shit
who's nearly untouchable.
Her restriction claim:
she's incapable of
driving mid riders
due to her
hip surgery and,
the most laughable
claim of them
all, she fears
she will "...have
a seizure" if
she's forced to
work in an
area she previously
worked in for
years with no
sign of problems.
I'm working in
G on my
day off, because
the five people
below me who
are in the
Mods have restrictions.
As I'm trying
to set up
a coffin box
that's been nearly
ripped in half,
I see one
of the "restricted"
workers casually walk
by, looking physically
capable as everyone
I'm positive a
restriction is somewhere
in my future,
20-30 years
down the line.
This job has
given me months-long
foot pain, a
currently docile hemorrhoid,
and I've been
on high blood
pressure meds for
over a year
I can easily 
see myself hitting 
middle age—
or being near
elderly—and becoming
everything I've described:
Scratch part of
that—I'll still
have to make
rate, will still
have to work
in high-paced,
backbreaking work areas,
and still be
told I have
to work faster.
And there will
still be some
jerk off with a
restriction, passing me
by as I
struggle to keep
my job, not
a care in
the world.

It's Never Worth It

The extra $200
you get for
working overtime on
your day off 
is never worth
It's never worth
missing out on
all you could
have done the
night before:
Finishing up that
short story you've
been sweating over.
Watching that silent
horror film.
Making up that
weekly pasta dinner
with mushrooms and
parmesan, and seeing 
who's available on
your hookup app 
at two in 
the morning.
It's never worth
sleeping through your
three alarms, waking 
up at 5:35 a.m.,
and having to 
go nearly 80
on the interstate
in order to
clock in at
6 a.m.
It's never worth
seeing yourself be
dumped into G, 
having to demand 
that you be 
put into your 
second preference 
because there are 
five people below 
you in there, 
and having the 
supervisor on duty 
that day run
his mouth, and
basically tell you 
to fuck off.
It's never worth
begging the union
steward to help,
only for
them to say
there's nothing they
can do, since
the people below
you in your
second preference all
have "restrictions."
It's never worth
having to tape
together weak, ripped,
and filthy coffin
boxes for your
twenty-page pick, 
and seeing one
of the shitheads
with a restriction
stroll on by
into your preferred
work area, knowing
they're making $200
extra that day
as well,
but that they'll 
never be held 
to the same
standards as you 
and every other 
schmuck working on
your day off.
It's never worth
sitting on the
toilet in the
middle of a
pick that you
know you'll never
make rate on,
even if you
sincerely tried, hoping
that the time
flies straight to
first break, 
then lunch, 
then second break,
then finally to
the end of
the day, cause 
disassociating the entire
shift is both 
dangerous and doesn't
make time go
by faster.
Still don't believe me?
Then check your
rate the next 
morning, and see
that your 98%
for the week
got knocked down
to 85%, which
means you get 
to spend Thursday
and Friday trying 
to get it 
back up to
at least 95%,
or you'll get
a warning, which
leads to a
write up, which
leads to more
of the same
bullshit until they
shitcan you.
All for just a measily 200 fucking dollars.

Garret Schuelke is a writer, podcaster, and musician that currently resides in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is the author of the GODAN series (Bakunin Incorporated), Anamakee (Riot Forge Studios, 2016), Whup Jamboree: Stories (Elmblad Media Group, 2017), and three ebooks. He is also the host of The Garret Schuelke Podcast, The Cheeseburger Blues: An Exploration into Dad Blues Rock, and A Riot Of My Own. He makes music under the moniker Neobeatglory.