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Tre' Cravalho Apr 2017
Subconsciously our minds are being taken,
by an aggressive and educational break in.

We’re taught how to use spreadsheets,
when the companies
who stole from us
use the spreadsheets
to calculate their profits.

We’re taught how to find “x”,
When we should be finding
our cultural roots,
that are covered
by the pavement
of industrialization.

We’re taught how to be consumers,
so we consume
our history
becoming the
wolves that tore
us apart.

To control our minds is
to control our land,
which was ripped from the
humility of our own hand.
Tim Knight Nov 2012
Skyward glints,
another hint from another sun,
London runs down,
daily commute over and out.

And how the weekday work is
coming to an end,
but what do they work on whilst 5 in the evening?
Spreadsheets saved in significant folders,
word documents in for a week on Monday,
presentation notes to be written, rehearsed, re-wrote and printed?

‘Beds, beds, beds,
prime town centre property To Let’
Broken brick buildings sit, they belong
to internet auction sites and in estate agent windows.
There’s no flow in this town no more.
Whatever river of commerce that once ran through here
has moved onto, and into, another course,
oxbow lake suburb by Government force.

It rains in the North.
Jewels in the tarmac,
rings in the walls,
stars behind the factory noise,
sound hidden behind an all-car-call.

My broken skin, my broken hide,
months of thought, a hunger for home.
Far flung, further thrown,
back to the up-north-hometown,
hometown of the known.
Visit for more poems, pamphlets and pictures!
eatmorewords  Jan 2013
eatmorewords Jan 2013
The onion doesn't have layers
it has panels
nailed to its skin.

On occasions
he goes back to the warehouse
where he stores broken typewriters,
unfinished narratives of the campaign,
unexploded bombs.
sellotaped wires.

He audits his feelings
keeps them neatly arranged
on shelves and spreadsheets and

he examines them against the light
and is pleased with his investigations.
My technology nightmare
Leaves me euphoric this morning.
Addicted, like drug trials,
I knew the risks going in,
Got hooked in The Cloud &
Now it always seems easier,
With diminished psychic chafing
Whenever I go with the flow, as the
Hipsters are saying again.
Yes, the hipsters:
Finally, some kids I can relate to.
At least on some level, their music e.g.
The first thing I did this morning,
Waiting for my laptop to boot,
Was put a CD on the stereo:
Matrix Reloaded: The Album.
I set the shuffle function,
Looping back between
Linkin Park’s Session &
Team Sleep’s Passportal.
You can tell a lot about
What kind of day it will be
By the soundtrack you choose,
Your infinite play list,
Don’t ever say these kids have no culture,
Or nothing to share with us old farts.
Old Farts: an apt, Baby Boomer term in 2015.
Kids’ music, some of it quite good,
Quite 60s-worthy if you catch my drift,
As we used to say while grazing in the grass with
Hugh Masekela & his Naai Mongoe-Swazi red,
Surfrikan homeboys & band mates, & that
ANC Kwa-Guqa Township posse,
Shadowing him since Sharpeville.
That’s right, Babaloo,
Go with the flow.
Don’t fight it. You’ve been spared the unintended
Consequences of government shenanigans &
Free market meltdowns.
Consider this a CEASE & DESIST NOTICE:
Cease swimming upstream Mr. Phelps.
Desist fighting tide & current, Michael.
A mariner’s distinction, yet serviceable &
Purposed for this narrative.
“And away we go,” croons a Gleason levitation;
Aloft we go into the wild blue yonder.
The Cloud: an exalted playground.
You are atop the slide,
Kindergarten lord of all you survey,
Sultan, Chinese Emperor & Venetian Doge,
A 90-caliber Duke of Earl,
You are euphoric, Mike.

The descent into the humanoid condition
(See Paddy Chayefsky’s Howard Beale),
Is slick and precipitous.
It begins when you first finger ****
A pocket calculator or touchtone phone,
Or use a Xerox machine.
From there it’s a quick slide down
The technology ****-shoot: video games,
Spreadsheets & word processors,
Emails, texts & tweets,
Laser projection keyboards,
Wi-Fi amplifiers,
GPS navigators, &
Apps for No-Strings *** . . .
By “****-shoot” I editorialize, of course,
In a state of future shock,
Resenting planned obsolescence,
Contemptuous of shrewd **** kids,
Wharton School sharpies,
Scoping out price curves & flowcharts,
Colluding at industry trade shows,
Powwows & confabs,
Releasing newer, more versatile
Models & spinoffs, according to a
Scheme planned three years in advance.

I salt the inevitable wounds of technology,
Taking my fight to the streets, realizing too late
My sole means of alerting the flash mob
Is by so-called smart phone,
Even the revolution has gone digital.
Poor Gil Scott Heron, dead last year at 62,
Poor Scott Heron, channeled into the
Harlem Renaissance by that loyal Chicago Defender,
Subscriber & reader, to wit: his Grandma,
A “Rainbow Conspiracy” co-conspirator,
Cooking ham hocks & collard greens for that
Mythical coalition of Young Lords,
Black Panthers & SDS.
Heron’s prognostication was wrong:
“The Revolution Will (In Fact) Be Televised!”
We’ve witnessed quite a bit of it,
Lately, prime time lately,
Live by satellite from once exotic places,
Places like Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria & Ferguson, MO.
I say “once exotic” because it’s hard to be
Visually intoxicated by images of screaming brown men
Sporting New York Yankee ball caps,
“Vote for Pedro” T-shirts and
$200.00 Air Jordan footwear.
Admittedly, the production values of
Revolutionary journalism have improved,
Action reported Hollywood-style,
Narrative arcs, scripted episodes,
Drive-by Potemkin villages & battle scenes,
30 or 60 or 90 day shooting schedules.
Spontaneous proletarian uprisings as Reality TV,
Riveting dramas,
High Nielsen ratings & $500K
Per minute corporate sponsors.
Let’s view the new fall line-up:
(1) “Mustafa Behaving Badly!”
(2) “Tunisian Tear Gas Talent!”
(3) “Gaddafi Gets Sodomized!”
CR Jun 2013
I woke up on Tuesday and I was older by the calendar and the law and I said “hey that’s grand”. When I woke up on Tuesday I was also older by the symbolism and I sat wide-eyed between suitjackets on the 7:45, coffee half-down and a brand new watch on the left-wrist. I made spreadsheets. I shook hands. I was The City when I took my first swallow on the rooftop. I couldn’t see the Empire through the cold-May-fog but I could see it in the mirror and on his knuckles and in his eyes. When I woke up on Wednesday I made more spreadsheets. I made more coffee. Then I was home early and Connecticut again. But Friday was the best ******* day. The sun beat me to good-morning and my favorite gone friend ate a gyro with me and another chugalugged to 42nd street on the bright red leather across the aisle. My favorite hand to touch was there for the second drink too, and I loved my job because I admitted that I hated it, and that’s okay. And he was there again on the cusp of days, and he’s there now still between my ears, and Friday melted to the next good-morning and I’m here now, city-drunk and sky-drunk and *******-I’m-so-lucky- and wine-drunk, and dizzy on the rooftops I’m imagining are better than the ones I rule, and Sunday’s coming and I will sleep for ages and hey that’s grand.
Mary McCray  Apr 2019
True Story
Mary McCray Apr 2019
(NaPoWriMo Challenge: April 3, 2019)

“Not all those who wander are lost.” -- J. R. R. Tolkien

I was an office temp for many years when I was young. All the companies: Kelly girls, Manpower, Adecco. I took innumerable tests in typing, word processing, spreadsheets.

The worst job was at a sales office for home siding. I logged complaints all day on the phone about faulty siding.

I worked at a construction site in Los Angeles, a new middle-class ghetto they were building on the Howard Hughes air strip. I worked in a trailer and had to wait until lunch break to walk a block to the bathroom in the new library.

There was one warehouse I worked in that had mice so employed a full-time cat to work alongside us. The cat left dead mice everywhere. I was always cold there.

A lot of places I was replacing someone on vacation, someone the office assumed was indispensable but there was never anything for me to do there but read. I wrote a lot of letters to pen pals and friends. Email hadn’t been invented yet. Sometimes I’d walk memos around the office. Nobody ever invited me to meetings. Be careful what you wish for. Sometimes it comes true and you end up sitting in endless meetings.

In one swanky office I prepared orders in triplicate on a typewriter. I kept messing up and having to start over. Eventually I started to enjoy this. It was a medical lab and was convinced they were doing animal testing so I left after a week.

One of my early jobs was as a receptionist in a war machine company. My contact there asked me to do “computer work” (as it was called then) but I didn’t know how to use a mac or a mouse. My contact called my agency to complain about sending out “girls without basic skills.” My agency told me not to worry about it, the war company was just trying to scam us all by paying for a receptionist to do “computer work.” So they stuck me at the switchboard up front where I found bomb-threat instructions taped under the desk.

I worked at a design store and learned a program called Word Perfect. I started typing and printing the letters to my friends. The St. Louis owner was trying to sell the company to a rich Los Angeles couple. Once, a young gay designer I admired called and referred to me as “the girl up front with the glasses.” I immediately went out and got contact lenses. Before I left, I bought a desk and a chair they were selling. Years later, I sold the desk to an Amish couple in Lititz, PA, but I still have the chair.

I once worked for a cheap couple running a plastic mold factory. The man was paranoid, cheap and houvering and I said I wouldn’t stay past two weeks. They asked me to train a new temp and I said okay. The new temp also found the owner to be paranoid, cheap and houvering and so declared to me she wouldn’t stay past the week either. She confided in me she had gotten drunk and slept with someone and was worried she was pregnant. She was freaking out because she was going through a divorce and already had two kids. I told her about the day-after-pill which she had never heard of. I don’t know if it worked because I never used it myself and I never saw her again after that to follow up.

At another office I did nothing at the front desk for three weeks, bored and reading all the Thomas Covenant novels. I would take my lunch break under a big tree to continue reading the Thomas Covenant novels.

I worked for months at a credit card company reading books and letting in visitors through the locked glass door. Week after week, the receptionist would call in sick. One young blonde woman would give me filing work. She was telling me all about her wedding she was planning which sounded pretty fun and it made me want to plan a wedding too. After a few weeks she asked me what my father did. I said he was a computer programmer. She replied that my dad sounded like somebody her dad would beat up. I was too shocked by the rudeness to say dismissively, “I seriously doubt that.” (For one, my dad wasn’t always a computer programmer.) When it became clear the woman I was replacing had abandoned her job, they asked me if I wanted to stay on. I said no, that I was moving to New York City. I wasn’t  (but I did eventually).

Some places “kept me on” like the mortgage underwriters in St. Louis. That office had permanent wood partitions between the desks, waist-high and a pretty, slight woman training to join the FBI. She fainted one day by the copier. It was there that I told my first successful joke ever. Our boss was a part-time Baptist minister and we loved him because he was able to inspire us during times of low morale. One day we saw a bug buzzing above us in a light fixture.  Before I even thought about it I said, “I guess you could say he finally saw the light.” Everybody laughed a lot and I turned bright red. I wrote my essay to Sarah Lawrence College there after hours at the one desk with a typewriter. My boss and I got laid off the same day. He helped me carry my things out to my car.

I worked at a large food company in White Plains, NY. I often came home with boxes of giveaway Capri Sun in damaged boxes. I helped a blind woman fill out her checks. She was really grouchy and I wasn’t allowed to pet her service dog. She had dusty junk all over her desk but she couldn’t see it to make it tidy. I realized then that she would never be able to use a stack of desk junk as a to-do list...because she couldn’t see it. You can’t to-do what you can’t see and how we all probably take this fact for granted with our piles of desk junk. Years later I had the same thought about to-do lists burned in phones or computer files.

They also “kept me on” at the Yonkers construction company. I was there for years. The British woman next to me was not my boss but she ordered me around a lot. She told me I looked like an old 1940s actress I had never heard of who always wore her hair in her face. I was annoyed by this compliment because when I looked the actress up on the Internet I could see it wasn’t true. At the time, everyone was just getting on the Internet and I was already addicted to eBay. I would leave meetings in the middle for three minute at a time to ****** items with my competitive late-second bids. It was my first job with email too, and I emailed many letters to all my friends all day long. One elderly man there thought it was funny to give me cigars (which I smoked socially at the time) and told me unsavory ****** facts to shock me. I thought he was harmless and funny and his attempts to unsettle me misguided because I had already grown up with two older brothers who were smelly and hellbent on unsettling me. Later the man started dating and seemed happier and I met his very nice older girlfriend at one of the laborious, day-long Christmas parties our Italian owners threw every year. Months later his girlfriend was murdered in her garage by her estranged husband. Most of the office left to go to her funeral and I felt very bad for him.

And they kept me on at the Indian arts school in Santa Fe. I loved every day I spent there, walking the halls looking at student art. I had never seen so many beautiful faces in one place. One teacher there confided in me about her troubles and I tried to be Oprah. She ended up having to take out a restraining order against a man she met online. At the trial, the man tried to attack the female judge and she awarded the teacher the longest restraining order ever awarded in Santa Fe: 100 years. He broke the restraining order one day on campus and we were all scared about where he was and if he had a gun. All around the school were rolling hills and yellow blooming chamisa and we found tarantulas in the parking lot. I was there almost a full school year until I moved away.

I was once a temp in a nursing temp office that had large oak desks and big leather chairs. The office was empty except for one other woman. The boss was on vacation and she spent all our time complaining about what an *** he was and how mistreated the nurses were. I remember feeling uncomfortable in the leather chair. The boss, who I never met, called me one day to tell me he had fired her and that I should know she was threatening to come back with a gun. When I called the agency they laughed it off. I told them I wouldn’t go back.

My favorite temp job was at a firefighting academy in rural Massachusetts. I edited training manuals along with two other temps. It was very interesting work. The academy was in the middle of the woods, down beautiful winding roads with old rock walls. Driving to work I would listen to TLC and Luther Vandross. And whenever I hear Vandross sing I still think of the Massachusetts woods. When I left, they let me have a t-shirt and I wore it for years. One of the trainers had a son who was a firefighter who asked me out on a date. I said I was moving to New York City (this time it was true) and not interested in a relationship. He insisted the date would be just as friends. He took me to Boston’s North End and we ate gnocchi while he told me how he didn’t believe it was right to hit women. This comment alarmed me. He then took me to a highrise, skyview bar downtown where he proceeded to **** my fingers. I thought about Gregg Allman and Cher’s first date where Gregg Allman ****** Cher’s fingers and how now Cher and I had something in common: the disappointment of having one’s fingers ******. My scary date didn’t want to take me home and I was living with my brother at the time, so I told him my brother was crazy and if I didn’t get back by ten o’clock my brother would freak out like a motherf&#$er. That part wasn’t true...but it worked. I made it home.

I used to be deathly afraid of talking to strangers on the phone. I used to be bored out of my mind watching the clock. I used to wish I were friends with many of the interesting people walking past my desk.

When I look back on all this and where I’ve been, it seems so random, meandering through offices in so many different cities. But it wasn’t entropy or arbitrary. I was always working on the same thing.

I was a writer.
Prompt:Write a meandering poem that takes its time to get to its point.
Write lyrics like spreadsheets with number crunching
Calculate the isotopes
numerical accuracy in the vein of vain attempts to overcome
the show off tendencies of artist who exhibit flow to illicit
concern about existence beyond what they can see of pedagogical poetry
more concerned with numbers and patterns
who gives a **** what the stress is on the vowel in the third stanza  
lyrically despondent personal correspondents for a publication that says
more about what you know than what you feel
and who you are
computer says no, statistically impossible, synaptic haiku
five seven five
musical ronin
go go gadget of talent
extend-o-pole and flying nimbus as you train like son-goku
hyperbolic chamber where time is an illusion only to collapse
true Saiyans are warriors from the womb until death and after
over nine thousand and the scanner short circuits
write on the clouds with light so hot that it burns on thought
not contact
no constants, just variables, electron microscopes to try and hear the angels sing.
Large Hadrons small dreams, no love, just roman numerals
XIV, ***, Blood transfusions in the realm of “O Positive” and you're just a pessimist, negative Nancy at the end of evolution
Flesh and bone as a tent in your double helix of a genome,
flesh like clay in the hands of some master
but you know no master
no nations, under no gods but Darwin
all 23 chromosome pairs making 46 parts of your brain
screaming neurons fire
If you should so choose as to end not with a bang but a whimper
then your memory is forfeit
contribute in some meaningful semblance of sarcasm and sinsethesia with anesthetic medications of pop remedies and voided memories
of sinthesisia
Smell the colours and taste the sounds of pen on paper
when you never own a pen or a pad
just a bright white rectangle you stare at for hours on end
No thoughts just Digg and Reddit
your only contributions a thumbs up or a red thumbs down
like buttons
but no dislike, because if you've got nothing nice to say
then say nothing
unless you're outrage and full of spite
and morose
at the state of human nature
beauty and song thrown out in an effort to leave nobody behind
and so we have a generation coming in
at the age of 5, who are told new math
new science
wrote memorization of equations
no thought process, no argument about relation
theory of relativity, the genious mind just numbers and letters on a page with squiggles and lines that don't have to mean anything more than they mean on the book
we have a generation with no lust, no hope
Do they dream in black and white?
do they dream at all?
is the consequence of IQ tests and graded paper intelligence
the thirst for knowledge and creativity?
at the injustice
Burn it to the bricks and ashes
we hurl through the windows
in the streets and in the parks
car radios and clock towers sold
for cheap homemade *****
dance around the fire like the wild things are
but then we're still hollow
no happy medium, just excess
in the pursuit of Dionysus, trepination,
demon possession is illegal in the eyes of the police and federal law
spread your legs and lean against the car
as they frisk you and plant the seed
of doubt
in the cuffs of your jeans
You have the right to remain silent
but I hope you don't
work in progress.
Sara L Russell Dec 2012
7/12/12   16:25pm

At what price does man find favour with God?
Down through the roiling clouds, from heavenly heights to earthly clay,
where scribes had written scrolls of doctrines;
down through old crumbling architraves, temples of cold ideals,
 man spawned the Vengeful Word.
With rage of angels,
like effigies of gods, there sprang forth lords and hypocrites;
all claimed to speak for God. 
Then, in the maelstrom,
came genocide of innocents, and hellfire fell like rain.

When does a tower become too tall for God?
Out of a clear blue sky came silver harbingers of doom,
where men were writing drafts and spreadsheets;
now crumbling down around them, swathed in hate-begotten fire;
spawned from a vengeful god.
No mortal angels
could save the ones who perished, caught above the line of flame;
while some below survived.
Yet, in the chaos,
sworn enemies in faith came out to save each other's fall.

At what price can man enter Paradise?
High above the minarets, the veiled dome of the sky
students look up with wistful longing;
yearning to be good radicals and cross the lines of fire
to reap heaven's reward.
Hate's vengeful angels
pretenders to the throne of God take many shapes and forms,
while moderates stay quiet;
and with their silence
give passive leave for lunatics to prate at heaven's door.
Matthew Sokolov Mar 2019
We wish you good macro results,
We wish you good macro results,
We wish you good macro results…
And lots of them too.

To count them we’ll use spreadsheets,
To count them we’ll use spreadsheets,
To count them we’ll use spreadsheets...
For every season.

Good macros we count,
Stoneflies and mites
Good snails and mayfies
We all have to count.

We counted a lot of macros,
We counted a lot of macros,
We counted a lot of macros...
And have lots more to go!

Our minds can’t simply take it,
Our minds can’t simply take it,
Our minds can’t simply take it…
There’s just too much to count!
In science, we learn about nothing but macroinvertebrates.  We actually went, collected and counted them and I and my classmates are going crazy.
Mateuš Conrad Mar 2016
i still think the oceans are insulators of tectonic plate movements, constant and endless vibrations represented by waves, these vibrations, when translated on dry land, movements of crumbling buildings, rigidity as testimony to the insulating fluidity of water; it's like those nuclear power plants, you use water to cool things down, or as in the case of oceans and tectonic plates, insulate volatility... well, radioactivity in the opposite scenario of nuclear power plants... oh look, a rhyming couplet - now that's how you understand things, if not reveal them, find complimentary rhymes on a grander scale than the casual technique in poetry, so over-used and overrated.*

i guess so, monsters bedded, big and small,
an old granny without a family member
to accompany her, harrowed by
charity groups who ask for money
more for the bureaucracy of its workers than
aiding actual victims - someone has to
look pretty, writing solemn letters and
filing in the spreadsheets -
by the way, how's that advent of the grand
timings working, find the hyphen,
the comma, the colon and semi-colon on the clock?
well, there ain't a full stop on there, i'm sure,
hard to decide on encoding time of a 100m
sprint, or a formula 1 thousandth of a second.
so this angel of euthanasia comes along,
a cruel case they say, while years later
a man suffering motor neurone disease
pleads for a change of law, according to switzerland,
he wants it bad, real real bad, he's no longer
even stoic about death, the disease didn't
rob him of expressing tears, and he's pleading
for it, a death sequence, he too knows
a drop in an ocean has no ripple effect,
humanity is the ocean, waves and waves of it,
always dynamic, never still like a lake or mirror,
either the ocean, or the river;
so this angel of euthanasia is there, kills
about 100 grannies, and guess what,
he hangs himself in prison, so that his widow
can receive his pension salary of £100,000,
odd, isn't it? i mean, why would a supposed
"serial killer" wait in prison, hang himself
just after he was eligible for a general practitioner's
pension, just so his wife could have it?
all those old grannies probably lived
on the state pension of one hundred
and twenty quid, not one hundred thousand, i'm sure.
well the guy suffering from motor neuron disease,
oh crap, i wish i could remember that philosopher's
name, parmenides? zeno? can't remember,
yeah, forced himself to suffocate,
without water and without a pillow; yep,
just sat there and held his breath.
scully  Jul 2015
scully Jul 2015
I've tried to record
The way your name falls out of my mouth
When I drop glass onto the floor
Like my mothers list of forbidden words
In spreadsheets
Counting with fingers and letters
Every time I pass a red pushpin in a map
Of where you told me
"You're so young and immature"
Like a compliment traced with
Sobriety and melatonin
I've picked up pencils
That end up in pieces
After scrawling your dialogues
Onto "it's your own fault" paper
I've scrubbed myself raw
With people who wont
Look me in the eyes anymore
With your goodbye words
With the flashbacks of
Your hands manifesting
The uncharted areas
Of my brittle hips
How my ****** syllables were
Dinner party jokes
There's nothing that can hurt
A god of power
And business suits
Someone who's never told no
Holds a child
In a way that erases the thought of comfort
And now
I lack the maturity to refuse requests
And you tell me
I'd make a good corpse
At a funeral catered towards
Twenty-nine year old men
Who never learned the difference
Between property and personality
And my promises
Tighten around my throat
Like your hands
Fostering the
Aurora Borealis of love
In a way that
Makes me choke on
The things you've shown me
The things you've ruined for me
The words I will never get back
And I sit
With you surrounding me
In and out of every crevice of my body
You've claimed for yourself
And defeated
Like a child
Just how you like me
im very sorry

— The End —