Another Monday, eh? For some, Mondays equate to “back to the office” day.

For today’s prompt, write an office poem. Maybe this is related to your work, but maybe this is a poem at a dentist’s office, doctor’s office, bank office, office in a car factory, or some other type of office.

An office. Good Lord, I’m trying to escape the fucking office life. This poem, from Cressida, paints my experience:

once again
the extraordinary stupidity
of a work force
all being paid
to create unnecessary problems

Maybe I could write something about office life, but I don’t want to. I think that’s a path to mostly follow: write about what inspires and not about what smothers. Yet, of course there are poems of oppression. Of course we need to write about the smothering of life. Otherwise we’ll never lead into new pastures.

The Principal’s office. Not a place I’ve ever visited much, but I’ve seen enough. Junior high, back when lyricism in a name meant more than meaning or insinuation. I hate saying middle school. Junior high rolls off the tongue so much easier.


My junior high classes were bad, and it was all the boys. And after parenting two kids through their middle years, I am all but convinced we should make radical changes to our middle year education. What we do now is totally useless. What we’ve always done was totally useless. Not totally, but mostly. I did learn algebra and Canadian history. I did learn science. The rabbit-fox simulation still sticks with me. But I was never led towards the creative path I think I should have been led towards. Mr. Ferguson tried, but by then I’d all but shut out poetry and story, except for my private readings. I never read poetry.

This poem is a re-creation of grade 8. God what a bad year that was. Ms. Trask was my grade 4 teacher.

To the office

To the office, reverberates – Intimidation of frustration
Ms. Trask’s lips quiver, the hula-ripples in her tight, green dress

The boys in the back will slap Peter’s, his orchestration
The girls only see silly

The angry bouncing of old breasts, young if you believe big Mike
In the grade nine class, she also teaches, also dances
Who claims to have seen nipple. How many is never revealed.

Peter will be talked to, set on a bench
Made to reflect, disrespect
How his smile will lead to bigger trouble, severe enclosures
A rippling effect

His mother will be called, again
Peter merely smiles