On Office Furniture

It generally folds flat for mobility purposes and is durable, but only in the sense that it lasts a long time. It cannot avoid the ennui that attaches like the world’s bacteria to a newborn.


Arc tables. Hardwearing laminate. Robustly built. Tall tip tables. The suggested world is clean as the new plastic water pipes they are inserting into the roads, to last two hundred years. Bright blue. Futuristically blue.

An upholstered meeting chair pimps itself at an affordable cost. The 3-way tamperproof signage system is expertly pointed towards by an attractive woman who seems to have been scrubbed clean of any suggestion of a life. Replica plants.

good for nothing until it comes apart and then its lesson becomes apparent to younger colleagues

good for nothing until it comes apart and then its lesson becomes apparent to younger colleagues

Replica plants? Of course: replica plants. With ultra-realistic leaves. I feel ultra-realistic in my work suit. It feels like not-me. I am Magritte in his suit. I get the language of office furniture: cleansed like medical furniture, to allow for condensed, rinsed communication.


Only the brave or stupid will allow their own selves to surface when sat on an armless, leather-effect conference chair, or leant against a side-opening tambour as the colleague they want to share their dreams with extracts an office furniture catalogue from their shelf in the large pigeon hole unit. Maple-effect.

Smug. Lessons unlearnt.

Smug. Lessons unlearnt.

(b. 1924)

Change Your Job

You can’t change your life, so why not change firms?
The work place (don’t try to shirk it)
amounts to more than half your soul. And consider
how many changes you’d have in return!

Other faces, other roads on route to work
– which is almost as good as having changed towns,
as having a life before you. Then you’ll learn
a whole new jargon among your fellow slaves:

it’ll take two months to see how pointless that is.
And then the new bosses, new bunches of frayed nerves
duly noted by your supervisors.
You’ll come across new products and a brand new scale

to measure good and bad by – and lastly you
yourself: they’ll all refer to you as new.
To far-off friends you can announce your news:
“I’m writing this to let you know I’m now…”

©Jamie McKendrick


About grahamcliffordpoet

Graham is an award winning poet, based in London. He graduated from the University of East Anglia with an MA in Creative Writing, and has since published nationally and internationally, winning many awards and performing at some of the most prestigious and well known Literary Festivals. His debut collection, The Hitting Game, is published by Seren.
This entry was posted in business plan, commentary, creative writing, Machiavelli, masks, Modern living, office funiture, philosophy, poetry, time, Writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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