Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Work Songs (and poems)

I’m not much of a poet, as I will soon prove. But I have been known to write poetry now and then, usually about my place of employment. Usually AT my place of employment. I don’t know why, but I seem to be inspired at work to wax poetic more than anywhere else.

However, the resulting poems end up as thinly-veiled rhyming diatribes against my cubicled fate. My experience writing these poems has led to the following syllogism:
(1) the best poems are funny; (2) complaining is funny; (3) rhyming is funny; (4) the modern American cube farm is funny. Ergo, a rhyming poem that complains about work is bound to be funny.

So here goes. I wrote this years ago when I worked in a tiny cube for a huge on-line company based in Tyson’s Corner, where my job was to cancel user accounts on the night shift. Interesting people worked the night shift. (I’m sure they said the same thing about me.):

Ode to a Lung Fluke

Sometimes I hate to go to work
knowing that is where you lurk
with you horrible disease
that no coughing will appease.
What is it that effects your lung?
What is it that is in there clung?
A fluke, maybe, that makes you gasp?
Or do you just prefer a rasp
to any other horrid sound.
Think you it the most profound?

I hear you cough up god knows what.
It makes me sick right to the gut.
Then see you in the dining hall
spit a large phlegmatic ball
into an unconcealed rag
which you display as if to brag,
“look what I expectorate!
Perhaps I’ll fling it on your plate!”
It fairly makes me want to puke.
Please extricate that god damn fluke!

I wonder at your mental state
when you can’t articulate
even simply to say “hi”
as a coworker walks by.
You scare me, to be plain and clear.
Some day I expect to hear
Your name broadcast to all the land
because you snacked on someone’s hand,
or liked your food prepared the best
when freshly torn from human chest.

Or maybe you will gain your fame
by practicing your rifle’s aim
on old coworkers who may have said
something about your unclear head,
meaning only to sympathize
with your constant running eyes
and a nose that does the same
I did not mean your mind lame!

When you finally do crack
Please don’t lay it on my back
or take out any undo stress
on one who every sneeze did bless.
That constant clearing of you throat,
I know there was an antidote.
Annoying was the only word,
that I ever overheard,
used in reference to you
but never from my lips it flew.
I was always well aware
from the nature of your stare,
that you might pull out a gun
and then kill me just for fun.

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