Sunday, April 1, 2012

Poetics: Nightmare Verse • the office




the office

I am late

(I always was)

but that is not

the horror. The horror

is the suffocation

of a cubicle

stuck in space,

windowless, dusty,

carpeted in stink

wall-up-wall. Up

yours, backstabbers!

Take your ladders and

climb them, rung by rung;

I was wrung out mid-way-Up

yours (never mine) anyway.

Never mind.

Anyway, sorting out how

I am back while acting

like I never left while

watching my back

sort of makes me wish

I could find reason

in this sordid place,

my pergatory, your hell.

Hell, I am just trying to

get out of here.

(I always was.)

                           MLydiaM ~ April 2012



GIF via tumblr


Written for Poetics-Nightmare Verse at dVerse Poets. Thank you to Stu McPherson for this prompt guiding us through a nightmarish realm. I hope that, by writing about this particular recurring nightmare, it will nevermore return!


Top image by Tim Patterson via Life After the Cubicle

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17 comments:

stu mcp (hate & hope) said...

Now this is a subject very close to my heart! The world of work can indeed be seen as a living nightmare - and often described by poets as such. Mr bukowski always did a very good job of this. The thing I love about your poem is the pure reality of it- I've sat in those cubicles- sill kind of do- the pretence- the meaningless dramas- the sheer ridiculousness of it...so many of us seem to get caught up in this strange reality- I think it's even more difficult when you have that 'creative eye' because you just want to , as your poem loudly shouts, escape.........love the form, the subject, great take on the prompt - I'm going to print this out and pin it to my desk at work!

Lydia said...

Stu~ Thank you! I appreciate your commiserating with me, both with this office nightmare and with my wordpress-comments nightmare over at dVerse.
Your prompt was thoroughly enjoyable, which is something I cannot say for "the sheer ridiculousness" of most days I spent at work!

Brian Miller said...

ugh, i was bound to a stone in cubby land once upon a nightmare and found my glass ceiling as well...i chased it once, but then dug a tunnel out...yeah this def fits my nightmare bill...well writ lydia

Heaven said...

I hear you loud and clear...I work in those cubicles and see dramas unfolding. Its a different reality and if you get suck up, you get lost.

This is one of those poems I wish I have written...its my reality ~

Fireblossom said...

Oh, this is so good. One reason I have stayed at the post office for more than twenty years is because I would go absolutely stone buggy working inside, in an office. You gave voice here to all the restless, don't-wanna-be-here soul killing sterility of it. Yeeks!

Re: the top comment, so many men revere Charles Bukowski, but I've never met a woman who did. I read "Love Is A Dog From Hell" on recommendation of a (male) friend, years ago, and my personal nightmare is ever having to ever read anything by him again! :-P

bfk said...

I can relate to this. Well, at least for a few more months.

Rob-bear said...

This Bear has never been trapped in a cube farm. Fortunately. (And I've reached the stage in life that I doubt I'll ever inhabit one.) Lots of others have been thus trapped, and I don't think many actually thrived in that environment.

Always love the way you put your thoughts together. Thanks.

ds said...

I would die inside a cubicle. I've been lucky to have escaped that kind of office, but not so lucky about office politics (which seem inescapable, like an Escher maze). You capture that stifling quality brilliantly. Thank you.

Dianne said...

this is so much how I felt about my years at what I called the evil empire corporation

Lydia said...

Brian~ Congrats on digging your tunnel and thanks for your comment!

Heaven~ Sorry this is your reality. It is so difficult. Day by day, sometimes minute by minute, and you'll get beyond it.

Fireblossom~ I absolutely understand why you have stayed with the PO. Gets you out and about, and that mobility is good for the health (mental and physical).
Thank you for the warning on Bukowski, as I have never read him!

bfk~ Few more months? I thought you had a bit longer than that...

Rob-bear~ Thank you. And congrats on staying away from this particular kind of grind (although they exist in many forms, I am sure).

ds~ Ah, the office politics...you describe it beautifully. So glad you do not work inside a cubicle!

Dianne~ "Evil empire corporation" gives me a very good idea of what you endured. Congrats on your freedom.

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

although i don't have a cubicle i can definately associate with the constantly having to watch your back

A very intense piece of writing - good stuff

rumoursofrhyme said...

This doesn't just happen to "cubicle cubs." All sorts of people find themselves being forced to run ever harder simply to keep up with the expectations other people push onto them. What a nightmare world we have created.

Lydia said...

Pixies~ I'm sorry you have run into that business about watching your back. It is a stressful way to spend eight hours a day. :(

rumoursofrhyme~ You are right. It happened to me in jobs where I was situated outside the cubicle realm. Work itself is hard enough; the least we should expect is that people are treated with respect and kindness. But we can't expect that.

zongrik said...

i like the climbing the ladder. that's how nightmares are, like layers you have to climb through

semantic feeling

susan said...

I never worked in an office that looked like that but it was easy to relate to the feeling in your poem.

Friko said...

the nightmare of 9-5, admirably expressed.
Nice to be back here!

Lydia said...

zongrik~ Oh, I like your concept of nightmares being like layers we must climb through.

susan~ Thank you (and congratulations!).

Friko~ Thanks much. It was nice being back at your blog this week, too!

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