11/14/20: Un-professional #poetry

Modern Times (1936) Directed by Charles Chaplin Shown: Charles Chaplin (as A factory worker)

11/14/20: Un-professional #poetry

Someone else’s

required to listen to

work video

escapes over the partition in the loft

droning on and on

on an endless loop

or so it seems

a woman’s voice



career ascendant

an “expert” in organization and leadership

I chuckle occasionally

in the gaps between my whimpering

Her authoritative voice

Her authoritative sedative voice

Big Nurse passing out the meds

“We can learn much about an organization’s culture by observing how the people dress

If the people dress casually and wear bright colors it is a more liberal culture

If the people dress formally and wear dark colors, the place is more traditional and conservative”

That’s it

I’m out

No more



then my muttering


but out loud

talking to myself

the woman on the video is driving me crazy

Insanity is the only sane response

Her voice is a sci-fi movie worm

that is entering my ear

with the intention to eat my brain

Is anyone behind all of this?

Is there a nefarious mastermind?

Or is this just a cancer that has grown on the Human Soul

Does it come from exposure to power lines?

that inane, stupid bullshit —- how insulting — they waste your time with this stupid shit, they perform a subtle control upon you — the subliminal message is that you must conform — whole lives stolen — or wasted — standing in an eternal elevator listening to Mantovani —- (look it up young people — allow a little strangeness in your life) … the waiting around, the hushed tones, the expected behaviors, the ‘team playing’ subordination to a tyranny enveloped in a lie about cooperation, but worst of all …

the usurpation of the role of art, the explanation for everything …

a world defined by fear …

you aren’t allowed to go into the various cultures and decide for yourself is going on

who and what is liberal

who and what is conservative and traditional

oh no

You are told what you are to pretend to think and feel

You have to become an idiot in order to survive

The world simplified

you simplified

facets and complexity obliterated

the workers may or may not control the means of production

It is the process that is taken away from them

The heart and mind tranquilized

Docile human mules with blinders on

The pandemic was sweet relief

It got me away from these bastard clone army

marching in lock step in gray

gray suits

gray eyes

gray faces

everyone old before their time

a whole race in assisted living

being told what to eat and when

with a whole lot of sitting around

punctuated by making useless, artless trinkets in the craft shop

Being kept busy

making shit

and eating the shit that other people made

A scheme for survival without risk or reward

Everyone busy doing nothing

Phony achievements

a blue ribbon ant farm


I’ve been away so long, I greet 1984 with a gag reflex

Beyond rebellion


I am a refugee from Notre Dame

I matriculated to be a manager at the oatmeal factory

but ran off and joined the circus instead

I shot the albatross

and that has made all the difference

No more charades

Walking around like all the others

Holding the sedatives on the roof of my mouth

and disposing of them when I was alone

Cribbing notes in my mind

and writing them down

when I got away

seated on a toilet

or in a subway car

They give you time for some air

usually in cramped and fetid little spaces

occasionally under big high skies (these moments are called vacations)

The professionals say that they want the human

they use words like “creative” and “art” all the time

But humanity scares the shit out of them

I know

I brought them a big bowlful and they didn’t know what to do with it

It’s too unpredictable

It asks too many questions

It has a mind of its own

They didn’t have the time

Necessity became their luxury

and luxury became their necessity

Humanity is not committed to profit

Boredom and conformity are committed to profit

The true believers in the required for work video

rise to the higher strata on the organizational flow chart

and stupidly believe that they know something

they strut with an absurd and undeserved haughtiness

awarding and punishing

Employees of the month


Administrative leaves

Policing the controlled environments

The morgues

5 – Day of the Living Dead (2 days off for good behavior)

Shaming those who walk away

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner was sold primarily to sailors who mistook it for a collection of sea shanties. The publisher made sure the poet knew that …

What really counts

counts for nothing

Traffic in a congested metropolis

Millions of vectors of purposeful motion

on meaningless trips

to unexpected endings

memorialized with black and white obituaries

with creases of red color bleeding through

blessed weeds of blood

Whole lives almost entirely wasted

just a moment or two of actual existence in eighty years


Thank God that’s over …

But …

Just a step to the left

a thousand wild flowers bloom

slandered as chaos

as they reach out to each other

in natural harmony

splendid in each individual blossom

glorious in their unity


an organism of many organisms

with nary an organizer

or organization

in sight.

Copyright 2020 Richard Thomas

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