This poem appeared in print in Straight Forward, Issue Nine, in June 2015.
In The Corporate Conference Room
Philip Levine knows how to describe a man
standing in line, ready to work, and by work
I mean doing what’s necessary to make his way
in the world. The language poets haven’t cracked
that nut. But plain spoken lines don’t carry
weight in the corporate conference room.
That’s low hanging fruit. Let me run this up the flag pole:
I’m not trying to boil the ocean here.
I can disrupt the entire poetry
industry by shifting resources from the tangible
to the metaphor without telegraphing
my business plan or any intention whatsoever.
How’s that for a core capability?
All the while expanding mindshare through careful
thought leadership, multitasking a top-down
personal brand, value-add designed to build
customer centric user experiences.
That’s passion. Try taking that offline.
I’ve been known to streamline, let go, restructure
and create operational efficiencies, just because
I can’t be with you anymore. If you are
uncomfortable when we interface, we can
sync up, drill down to the root cause and build
contingencies at the proper cadence.
This corporate culture doesn’t have the bandwidth
for common sense solutions. Peter Senge might
not know the common man but he sure does know
his customers and customers want my unique
differentiator. These concepts cascade.
So here’s an action item: address the pain point.
I touch base, quality face time. Let’s make sure
your development goals align with overall
strategy. We can lunch and learn. That’s proactive
leadership for you. Inclusive, and checks all
the boxes. At the end of the day, all our ducks
are in a row, and that’s a net net win.
The 80/20 rule tells me that the heavy lifting
of this poem begins now. Time to shift my paradigm,
engage in ideation, communicate my vision
from the bottom-up. Circle back because soup to nuts
The bleeding edge is not a place to describe
an honest day’s work, a fair wage for fair labor,
a man’s need to put something of himself
into the world that makes his children proud
when they sit together at six p.m.
and pass the ketchup around the table.
Copyright © 2015 Jeff Nesheim | All Rights Reserved
First appeared in Straight Forward.