book of hours

this is the poem from my dream I say / office hours are a myth / publishing poems is money for nothing / the supermarket is both under and over policed / today the first thing I said was ‘shut up’ (cat) / possible upsides to a pandemic include the death of musicals / possible downsides include the personal essay / publishing poems is printing money but the money is bad / I’ve found this year that I’m a betting man / you could chase me down the street but where would I go / I’d like to write a poem in the style of ‘Scott 4’ / but how can you / maybe only via legacy / don’t trust the morning to do the evening’s work / I am absolved by my position at the desk / I am freed by my duty of care / publishing poems is money in the bank / reading poems is time off the clock / my afternoon is my employer’s / my fingers are my own / who dictates the roll economy / 2 kids = time off in lieu / turn poetry into stocks / by sitting here I am winning / I am luckier than most / there are no doubt those who would kill for this mousepad / but does the reverse apply / two factor authentication is a misnomer / there are three factors and the third is yourself / your desire to log in / possible upsides to working from home include increased productivity / possible downsides include lockable doors / work in its purest form is art / labour in essence is love / I am forgiven by my reputation as an entrepreneurial spirit / of what I’m still unsure / today outside is ferocious / ulcers are mysterious with none of mystery’s romance / no-one ‘gets’ the shop anymore / are personal printers ‘back’ or ‘out’ / the only conscionable thing is to have nothing to show for a week’s work & a blank cv / in what way are we trending / could we get a report on that / I am still a young man / I am making a difference / up the garden path is still a viable pathway / being here negates the possibility of being there / publishing poems looks good on a resume / can we push our 2 to 4 / our 4 to tomorrow / ergonomics can be a spiritual practice if you let it / plants are an acceptable worry / there is nothing more interesting than weather / to buy a scanner is to understand Marx’s theory of the commodity / to send a fax is to understand purity / possible upsides to a volatile market include a sense of adventure / possible downsides include losing everything / by taking up this space I am useful / my presence is internally monetized / what appears to be a choice is often no choice at all / for example: ink / by writing this poem I am ‘taking back’ / but the poem is only anti-capital when secret / this is good for employers / a clean desk is a happy desk / I am driven by my tendency to help / a problem shared is the terrain of the consultant / a problem halved is one of countless outcomes / would it be more tedious to stop or continue / do you archive or remember / how to measure ethics on a matrix / the modern office is post-cubicle / friday is losing its cultural relevance / if you’re never really ‘on’ you can never really be ‘off’ / I am on track to meet my goals / this provides some comfort / the colour of a lanyard can tell you everything / this office block is over 100 years old / but what of the soil beneath that / or beneath that again / a good worker has a clear trajectory / often this requires obstacles to be cleared / I am embarking on a new chapter / I am realigning my values / Heraclitus’ theory of the break room / HR’s theory of culture / publishing poems is an act of inflation / a sunny day has economic implications / a clear commute is a glimpse at divinity / morale is a budgetable cost / possible upsides to a restructure include increased efficiency / possible downsides include clearing your desk / this is the poem from my dream I say / a good worker is like a tree / inherently removable



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Harry Reid

Harry Reid is a poet based in Melbourne. They are a co-director of Sick Leave, and the author of the best way to destroy an enemy is to make him a friend (Puncher & Wattmann, 2021).

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