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dcmarti1

[R - adult, politics] Day Shift Blues: When the Pleasure Factory Broke Down

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"The Complete Idiot's Guide to Poetry" has exercises in the chapter on writer's block. One was to even combine two of them into one poem. I did. One was to write a soliloquy from a WORKER, and one was to title a poem "The Day the Pleasure Factory Broke Down" that must mention some specific things. Here is my combo. It's isosyllabic - 10 per line. I probably can't do too much with this; it was actually some immediate self-therapy to get out anger/angst. ALL comments/suggestions and rants will be read and even appreciated...but I might not get to incorporate.

 

I put empty lines so it could be read easier.

 

Day Shift Blues: When the Pleasure Factory Broke Down

 

To be truthful, I'm not Wallace Stevens.

 

No, I never had a corner office.

 

I did, sometimes, have my very own cube,

 

But sometimes projects sentenced you to share.

 

Nothing actuarial ever crossed

 

My desk; no concerns about Book Value

 

Nor P to E ratios kept me late.

 

No, more mundane and robotic issues

 

Held my gaze: test cases, problem reports,

 

And the ever important agenda.

 

After twenty years I still never learned

 

To touch type, but I can do forty words

 

Per min with four fingers when on a roll.

 

I would eat my lunch with that dour Racine,

 

Perhaps gay Marlowe: they did not take up

 

That much room, surprisingly, in the cube.

 

The one time I went surfing for that dick

 

(Not someone's name) was the time I got caught;

 

Since I did not deny it I could stay.

 

Day shift was 6 AM to 3 PM.

 

Everyone knew the same mumbo jumbo,

 

Everyone had almost the same PC,

 

Everyone was certainly as downcast

 

As everyone else, but I had no kids

 

So I had the luxury of quitting.

 

Yes, the pleasure factory database

 

Ceased to be when I had my fifth -final!-

 

Security Review. When a Black male

 

Is concerned that I, a White male, sponsor

 

Poor Brown kids overseas to go to school,

 

It's time to get out of the Kool-Aid queue.

 

What would they have done if they heard me sing

 

Out in Estonian "Keelatud Maa"?

 

I can now watch Czech porn without filing

 

A report about me and foreigners.

 

I can could even begin to talk with the | (word edit on 2/11/2013)

 

Long haired Salvadoran girl on the bus

 

Who might, if I'm lucky, just be a guy.

 

I'm no Rosalba from "Bread and Tulips":

 

She had no job, persevered to get one;

 

I had a job, persevered to leave it,

 

======================================

 

(Edits between 2/5 and 2/10 2013)

 

My pleasure factory broke down when drones

 

Started killing children with our data.

 

My pleasure factory broke down because

 

I would rather have been be like Wallace Stevens.

 

=======================================

 

(Final ending 2/11/2013)

 

Since I'd rather be a Wallace Stevens.

 

My pleasure factory broke down when drones

 

Started killing children with our data.

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Hi Marti, Being in the workshop a full critique is appropriate but at first glance I will say it looks like a finished product to me. I enjoyed the almost flippant tone, thumbing your nose at convention, questioning motives, challenging authority and your honesty that kept me reading and smiling until the very end when I was brought up short with the last line.

 

L14 typo I think you meant "eat".

 

~~Tink

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Hi Marti, Being in the workshop a full critique is appropriate but at first glance I will say it looks like a finished product to me. I enjoyed the almost flippant tone, thumbing your nose at convention, questioning motives, challenging authority and your honesty that kept me reading and smiling until the very end when I was brought up short with the last line.

 

L14 typo I think you meant "eat".

 

~~Tink

 

Done. And yes I did mean "eat". :)

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which aspects of the poem do you have concerns with?

 

badge

 

Nothing with the politics; I am fine with what I believe.

 

My concern is with posting ON THE SITE. Line 17, the frank reference to what I was surfing on one day when 3/4 of the office was gone, the library was closed, no agendas nor results had to be written, etc: I was there "just in case someone called". It could be TOO frank/open for this general site. And I did put it there to show that I am NOT perfect.

 

The ref to "drinking the kool-aid" might only be apparent to Americans and the Jonestown Incident.

 

Czech porn was mentioned to be scandalous; in your face; saying to the security clearance world, "Who can blackmail me if I am OUT as gay?"

 

Only other concern is the RATHER oblique refs to the Estonian pop song and the Italian movie. Song and movie were requirements in the exercise. Both ARE Nato countries, but I wanted to show the extreme xenophobia of the environment I was in.

 

The ending, for me, is DEFINITIVE. Tink has said it left her "short". I am at a blank as to how it could end otherwise.....

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Hi Marti, Being in the workshop a full critique is appropriate but at first glance I will say it looks like a finished product to me. I enjoyed the almost flippant tone, thumbing your nose at convention, questioning motives, challenging authority and your honesty that kept me reading and smiling until the very end when I was brought up short with the last line.

 

L14 typo I think you meant "eat".

 

~~Tink

 

How about this 2 line ending?

 

My pleasure factory broke down because

I'd really rather be Wallace Stevens.

 

Not AS jarring (dead children) but specific enough to not want to stay in that current life. Plus, it wraps back to the first line.

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Hi Marti, I wasn't complaining about the last line. I like it. It just shocked me. I had read the entire poem with a smile.... It read in a light hearted vein, you mocked yourself as well as your surroundings. (who would admit to surfing porn on the job if they weren't laughing at themself?) Then the last line, "drones killing children" and I was jarred.... it was no longer light hearted, it became deadly serious. That in my opinion is good writing. There is nothing predictable about this piece.

 

Changing the ending? I don't know, I like coming full circle with the reference to Wallace Stevens but I like the free fall of the drones killing children even better. It is your poem. maybe you could encorporate both but you will soften the impact of poem.. Is that what you want?

 

As for the appropriateness of the content for this site, Tony has made it clear, give a warning that it includes "adult content" and members can choose to read or not. I chose to read it and found nothing offensive in this poem (other than drones killing children) . . And although I had never heard of Czech porn or the reference to an Estonian song, I still understood the inference. No need to google them.

 

~~Tink

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Tink wrote:

 

I chose to read it and found nothing offensive in this poem (other than drones killing children).

 

Some time ago I read that W. Somerset Maugham said, "The only thing that offends me is cruelty." How apt.

 

I will mull over keeping the original ending, or somehow incorporating the two. But I do suggest that anyone who can see that movie "Bread and Tulips". No aliens, no shoot-outs, no Earth ending asteroids nor cataclysms.....just PEOPLE!!

 

It can be seen at a free site called popcornflix. Right in the browser.....

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I can even begin to talk with the

 

Long haired Salvadoran girl on the bus

 

maybe

 

I can even begin to talk

 

with the Salvadoran girl on the bus

 

I prefer the original ending, had more bite since not centred on self.

 

badge

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.....

I had a job, persevered to leave it,

Since I'd rather be a Wallace Stevens.

My pleasure factory broke down when drones

Started killing children with our data.

 

I included both near the end, but ended on the original, more horrific two lines.

 

Your suggestion IS very valid and probably more standard, but I am, well, neurotic, and I need 10 syllables per line. And I need to express the fact I like long hair, which could make a person more androgynous. (Another clue.....)

 

Thanks for the suggestions.

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I begin to talk with the beautiful

 

Long haired Salvadoran girl on the bus

 

Another suggestion to introduce some sensuality into the line.

 

Would it be possible to set out a before/after of the poem to more easily follow the edit changes you may choose to make?

 

badge

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Badge, I do not see any date feature in the Edit function. Looks like I would have to do that by hand. I am away from home right now, but I will think about your suggestions.

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badger11,

 

I sectioned off the older end piece with equal signs and a date, badger11. The final, new ending is in italics. I have both the Wallace Stevens AND the more dramatic one about innocent deaths.

 

I am going to keep the original about the androgynous girl on the bus; the word beautiful is too subjective, although your suggestion does meet my self-imposed 10 syllables per line. And the change from can to could further indicates my trepidation to initiate conversation.

 

Thanks!!

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As for the appropriateness of the content for this site, Tony has made it clear, give a warning that it includes "adult content" and members can choose to read or not.

yes, for sure... If this site had restrictions I'd have been kicked off as of my first post and if not then -- then 80% of them. This was actually light reading and PG for me. Don't have much else to say as it looks good to me.

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Thanks, a-c. Mentioning the male appendage, porno, and transgeneder issues made me think R was safe enough.

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