if you ever ask– i haven’t seen them

“look at him” i say
(to my colleague),
pssshhrrrr— Krshskkkz– tshrrrrk

“he never cares”,
sheet by sheet, mechanically
sucked under his tongue
spit & stapled in artistic heaps
at slow vibrating feet (unmanicured,
whiTe plastic) no ONe

cares nor picks ’em up,
i’m here for twenty hours now,
pale sheets sucKed between
a triple synchron roll,
spat with trembling breath,
mulitcolor most, some black
&white, economic,

we wait,
my cheeks pressed on his glassy face,
run over by another pile of
meeting minutes, specs, inspection rEports,
next week’s sales team barbecue,
sunburnt chicken on a swing, (not
in company colors though),

//caliBRation proCess//

he BliNks
grEEn on grEy– counting down,
my ear against smirched toner cartridges,

“heartBeat irRegular” i say

“nah” my colleague shakes his head
“he’s balanced” &
we pull the plug, cover him up,
& sing a calming lullaby before switching off
the lights, collect a hundred million
tightly printed sheets,
origami them with fluttering hands
into small cranes,

& then ajar the window,

just a bit—.

.

Anna wrote a wonderful article on Keats’ negative capability and asks us to experience what Coleridge called, ‘a sort of transfusion and transmission of the consciousness to identify with the object’. Along these lines we may write a persona poem, an ode to an object, about the concept of negative capability or demonstrate it in other ways. Really, you should read her excellent article when the post goes up at 3pm EST at dVerse. I tried to identify with the printer and all the sheets that end up in the boxes of his belly, forever unclaimed..

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37 responses to “if you ever ask– i haven’t seen them

  1. smiles. you dont want to know about my interaction with our copier….it breaks down 3-4 times a week…its a love hate kinda thing…smiles…cool interaction you caught though, interesting hints at the intimacy of an inanimate object…love the details you work in…the end is my fav though…the origami/open window…cool write claudia…

  2. That friggin postage machine here i hate, want to bash it to pieces at my gate, hunk of junk. But it is no longer winter, supposedly, so I will have to wait to smash a printer haha sure brought it to life too at your zoo!

  3. Claudia, when I read what goes in in your head and comes out in veritable delight, whatever the form, I feel like throwing in the sponge.
    This is the best yet. Ever thought of writing a comic play?

    Sssshh, I’ve come snooping.
    Just as well, judging from the complicated task ahead of us.

  4. Claudia, you (always?) tempt (OMG!) me to write–not in your indomitable style, but do it in “my way” (Quiet, Frankie!). I love your twists/turns/ and how you can make my DESK talk. (Well, right now it’s saying “CLEAN ME!”) A list of (some of) your posts might be titled “Conversations Intimate with the Inanimate”…
    Hey even *I* like that–grin!

  5. I used to have an intimate, loving relationship with a sports car. However, with office equipment – it’s shear hate. Love how you connected to the printer here. And the origami – well that’s the kind of playful, creative thought that I love about you.

  6. You have once again taken something that we all see or have to work with and turned into a fine poem…I’m afraid what I used to say to the copy machine could not be printed…but if I could have I would have opened the window wide and gave it a ride. 🙂 Thanks for the morning smiles.

  7. there is a onomatopoeia-esque quality to your entire poem. active and vibrant. these machines do seem to take on personality. especially where you cover him up and sing a lullaby. : )

  8. A very clever way of writing. You take us by the hand around and still come back to where we are expected and to what is required. Great take Claudia!

    Hank

  9. You are so bang on choosing a copier as your inanimate object; loved the way you fused personality and life to its clanking components. On second read I even got more out of it. Copiers are usually not our friends. They are like mechanical cats, unpredictable, barely tolerating our presence; ready to rebel at any moment.

  10. It is compelling, especially the calibration and the transformative cranes with their hope of liberation. The flotsam and jetsam of corporate life usually only witnessed by the machines themselves. I love where you went with the prompt.

  11. Haha! The narrator in this poem became the machine for me by the third reading, and then stayed that way only after the first and before the last verse. I have the thought in my head now about the copier at school and what it ever thought of all it read or ate or played with after dark . . . Wonderful poem.

  12. I never thought I would live to read a poem about a photocopier 😉 I have no idea how you came up with that one and I dont think I want to know either 🙂
    Excellent effort!!

  13. I like office and city poems, and this is one is right up my reality ~ Like the sucking of sheets, green on grey, calibration process on the roll, folding into origami cranes ~ Wishing you a happy day ~

  14. Perfect… printers and copiers…the waiting and sometimes what for…I love making of origami cranes.. and leaving the window ajar just a little bit. A little bit of fantasy. 🙂

  15. Ha! I LOVED this! I’m not superstitious but I do think that, out of all the electronics available today, printers are somehow the most idiosyncratic and alive. At random moments they whirr and kirstle. When you turn them on in the morning, they take awhile to wake up, sighing and grumbling the whole time. Sometimes they print fast like it’s no sweat, and other times they belabor the simplest document. They snag, jam, and tear unpredictably.

    I could go on, but yeah. This poem spoke to one of my nerd-obsessions. lol

    Plus, I usually hate random caps but here they were perfect.

  16. I find copiers wonderful things – but remain confused by added extras – fax- never can quite figure this out – thickness comes with increasing years…

    Love your words!

    Anna :o]

    • “heartBeat irRegular” i say

      “nah” my colleague shakes his head
      “he’s balanced” &
      we pull the plug, cover him up,
      & sing a calming lullaby before switching off
      the lights, collect a hundred million
      tightly printed sheets,
      origami them with fluttering hands
      into small cranes,

      & then ajar the window,

      just a bit—.

      All I Can Say Is That You Have Captured:

      ‘a sort of transfusion and transmission of the consciousness to identify with the object’. Along these lines we may write a persona poem, an ode to an object, about the concept of negative capability or demonstrate it in other ways…’

      In Your Poetic Words…Thank-You, For Sharing!

      [postscript: I will check out Anna’s article too!]
      deedee 🙂

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