Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Architecture of a Meeting



The screen glows blue on the wall,
slides flickering like a firefly at dusk
as words wash up and down the table.

The long rectangular piece of polished
wood is holding up stalagmites of glasses,
Mountain Dew, Dr. Pepper, Diet Coke,

half-eaten cookies on black plastic plates,
a bowl of peppermints, some opened
with empty wrappers scattered

around the speaker phone, offerings
at the altar of communication, random
power strips and extension cords

the detritus of lengthening hours,
with cell phones placed strategically
for easy reach: we are all packing heat.

The words swirl around this architecture,
dancing lightly on each prop and artifact
lingering on the remains of a formal agenda.

A wall of windows frames miniature trees
in the garden outside, the panes of separation.
Sculpted pines stand guardian in the wind,

casting growing shadows on the easel filled
with bullet points and brainstormed words.
A squirrel pauses, then darts into a bush.

This poem is submitted for Open Link Night at dVerse Poets. To see more poems, please visit the site. The links will be live at 2 p.m. Central time today.

19 comments:

Karen Kyle Ericson said...

Ok Glynn- I read the word "Meeting" and my mind filled with those green fluorescent bulbs. The rest is so familiar- but then the squirrel... awesome! I'm not the only who daydreamed during those overly long meetings! : ) Great work Glynn!

Patricia said...

Good to know that all the synapses on each side were firing during this meeting... =)

packing heat and panes of separation... good ones.

Maureen said...

Your poem reflects the universal remains of meetings everywhere, though perhaps in the city it's a pigeon instead of a squirrel.

I like the lead-up to "we are all packing heat" and the bit of alliteration in "bullet points and brainstormed words".

Heaven said...

Made me remember why I hate meetings.. like these lines:

The words swirl around this architecture,
dancing lightly on each prop and artifact
lingering on the remains of a formal agenda.

Pat Hatt said...

You trying to rub it in? I just had one of those this morning, wanted to beat my head against the desk..hahaha. You sure captured every little bit of it. Hate meetings, if you couldn't tell..haha

Megan Willome said...

"We are all packing heat"--love that!

This poem is why I work from home!

joel w. clackum said...

"the detritus of lengthening hours... the remains of a formal agenda." These two lines really create the image of decay for me. Love the poem and your assault on the mundane.

Brian Miller said...

haha i am totally distracted by the squirrel...so what is this meeting about? smiles.

Ann Grenier said...

Wonderful, Glynn. Right on the mark. Loved "we're all packing heat" as well.

Crystal said...

So many have said it but I do just love the visual - we're all packing heat. That is so how it feels. I'll think of this in my next meeting and smile.

ayala said...

I will repeat what so many have said..we're all packing heat...great line.

blueoran said...

In his late 1990's book of essays, "Can Poetry Matter?", Dana Gioia wrote that there are too few poems of work in the contemporary literature, as if that banal field of endeavor by which we pay for mortgages and marriages and such were unworthy of the imaginative word. He lamented there was too little Whitman in our petit epiphanies of verse. But you get to business here, and I could so relate to the moment, having a semi-corporate-communicator's career taking up the greater part of every weekday. (I get up at 3 a.m. so I have time to write.) There's a bit of Roethke's "Dolor" in this to, the moment nailed to the observational wall with notes of bittersweetness. Great work. -Brendan

Steve King said...

Egad! What memories of yellow stickies and psychobabble!!! Thanks for the reminder. You WILL survive. I really enjoyed the following:

"A wall of windows frames miniature trees
in the garden outside, the panes of separation.
Sculpted pines stand guardian in the wind,"

I used to choose a seat based on the quality of the outside distraction. Very good job.

wolfsrosebud said...

I'm with Brian on the squirrel situation... looking out the window wondering when it'll end.

Ann LeFlore said...

meeting can accomplish some good and then leave with wasted time that is why I am not so great at meetings
http://gatelesspassage.com/2011/09/13/a-new-life-begins/

waysidewordgarden said...

You've captured well the essence of the typical meeting. Love the play on words "panes of separation". How many have sat and wished to be free, dashing about like that squirrel...

johnallenrichter said...

I love it! And you know something, that squirrel is sometimes the best part of my day! Very efficient use of words, very aesthetic..... Love your poem...

Geoff M. Pope said...

Enjoyed this! -- notably “words wash up and down the table,” “black plastic plates,”
“we are all packing heat,” and especially “the panes of separation.” I also really like your swift finish.

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

You put me right there at the table — which is quite a feat, as this scenario has not been a big part of my life!