A few days ago I heard this piece of philosophy about art and work in which author Alain de Botton states:
"We need an art that can proclaim the intelligence, peculiarity, beauty and horror of the modern workplace and, not least, its extraordinary claim to be able to provide us, along with love, despite current economic mayhem, with the principal source of life's meaning."
I've written a lot about the two years I spent working on organic farms while taking time off from college. Those years were valuable to me personally and also politically in that they made me much more aware of where food comes from and how much effort is needed to produce and consume healthy food.
I've written a lot less about the several years I've spent working in offices. Perhaps the office environment is better suited to satire than lyric? Anyway, here's a white collar poem.
The Secretary (or) A Turn Not Taken
The secretary chooses
her clothes from a palette
of khaki, charcoal, maroon.
Her job is to blend with the walls.
She tips herself forward, a cup and saucer
Purple girl shapes walk into the water.
Girls in purple Spandex form a pyramid
on water skis.
Against the blue-green-yellow day
the cut of the wind
they don their sleek skins.
Their skis swivel—
her chair swivels—
where did she go wrong?
How I wish I were a part
of that pyramid
taking off into the sky.