The Rat-Race Demon

Villanelle after Jaden Violet

Image by Newtown Grafitti (Flickr, CC BY 2.0)

Focus, it’s worth the work, it’s worth the strain
It thunders at him, looming, spittle flying
Forget the flow, go against the grain

His demon’s on his back, its chains
Wrapped securely around his body, crying
Focus, it’s worth the work, it’s worth the strain

The only thing you can do is spend your pain
Lavishly scatter your life-blood, working
Forget the flow, go against the grain

Find the undiscovered, find the angle insane
The one that’ll take you to the top of the building
Focus, it’s worth the work, it’s worth the strain

The horror is to be forever plain
One of the multitudes just existing
Forget the flow, go against the grain

Do what you need, keep changing lanes
Until in success, you’re a-drowning.
Focus, it’s worth the work, it’s worth the strain
Forget the flow, go against the grain


This poem is part of the Villanelle Vestiges project on Chalkboard. I borrowed the refrains from this villanelle:

Thank you Violet for the inspiration :-) ❤