My Paperweight Destiny
Call it a requirement of the job -
a reverse Stockholm Syndrome,
a mechanism for keeping apart
the day-to-day and the inevitable;
call it the choice between flippancy
and despair, a raised middle finger
to the angel of death. That moment
of inappropriate laughter. Today,
just one hyperlink askance
from actual work, it's a website
selling remembrance products
that tips the office into hysterics:
the oversize font and colour scheme
that couldn't be more unsuited
to purpose; product descriptions
in prose so purple it probably merits
a Pantone number all of its own.
And the products themselves:
sun-catchers, phoenix stones,
jewellery infused with cremation ashes.
There's a glowing endorsement
from the family of an American
whose ashes were packed in a bullet
and fired - at what or whom
remains unreferenced. Someone
mentions Hunter S. Thompson,
his remains shot from a cannon.
Gram Parsons' coffin was hijacked
and driven hellbent to the desert,
a fireball at the Joshua Tree.
That's when we realise being British
is boring. Our respective urns
blasted across Nottingham?
A Viking ship in flames on the Trent?
- Yeah, like that's going to happen!
Laughter fades as we accept it:
death will come as a paperweight,
holding in place what we didn't finish.
Hail to the Chief
Hail to the team leader
Hail to the supervisor
Hail to the manager
Hail to the boss
Hail to the scourge
Of bad timekeeping
Hail the god emperor
Of the early swerve
Hail to the clamourer
Hail to the dodger
Of escalated problems
Hail to the judgementalist
Who conducts appraisals
All hail the office’s
Hail to the cynic
Who questions sick leave
Hail the opportunist
Working from home
Hail to the networker
Hail to the bully
Hail to the backstabber
Hail to the profile-shower
Hail the boardroom sycophant
Hail, O hail to the chief