thinking inside the box

It’s when these spreadsheets
make my eyes cross
that my thoughts start journeying
and I wonder
what am I doing anyway
and what other thing would I do
if I weren’t doing this
and then the screen
seems to bloom and undulate
until the sides peel off
and wrap around my head
like a turban made of columns
squeezing ever tighter
cutting off circulation to my words
and then, presto! Back to status quo ante.

Exactly 75 words for Mama Zen's Words Count over at Real Toads, on the subject of the stuff that makes writing poetry difficult.


  1. You can make spreadsheets poetic, Marian. No mean feat.

  2. I love spreadsheets, but even I feel your pain

  3. Exactly 75 words. So precise! The day jobs do get in the way, don't they?

  4. Your blogtitle always makes me think of the old typewriters when the carriage suddenly thunders to the right at great speed and falls off. Maybe you never saw one in use:-) Your lines seem to have that urgency and concentration.

  5. Yes, work truly gets in the way of a poet's Muse.......but you do well, kiddo, even so.

  6. What's a spreadsheet? Is it anything like long division? Your last two lines show that form cannot contain you for long!

  7. Work makes everything fun hard. Not that poetry isn't work, but it's work that grows not kills the soul. This is very sweetly put together, the tension and the frayed edges and the pressure--plus, bonus points for one of my all time favorite words-undulate. Bloom is really good the way you've used it there too.

  8. I know the feeling... sometimes staring at the computer for too long turns my brain to mush.

  9. I was thinking about this today...about how jobs can be such a hindrance to the creative flow. You made this one cool and trippy though...love that undulating and blooming like a flower!

  10. Wow, you so made this visually unique! I love how you took the ordinary day and shared your thoughts!
    Well done and I love the word undulate, too!

  11. I too wonder what I would be doing if I wasn't doing what I was doing....this would make for quite a trip...where is the black lights and strobes?

  12. Yes - you've managed to make all those numbers very sensual in an odd way and vivid - they are doing a dance! K.

  13. As someone whose 9-5 life is filled with various spreadsheets, I thoroughly grooved to your swirling the columns--MERGE CELLS!--some day I will tell you the very funny story about that. What I like most in the little sojourn of the mind which you have captured, how a software program with it's order can invoke chaos--perhaps a natural knee jerk Dionysian reaction for me!

    Lately for my job, I have been making a lot of process flows in Visio. I had the idea of making a process flow to determine if you are punk rock...it would just be one box which reads: If you opened this process flow you are not punk rock.

    Viva la

  14. a friend said about this poem: "The term "spreadsheets" always sounds more frisky than what it actually means." to which i say, exactly the point! :)

  15. I like the image of wrapping it like turban made of columns ~

  16. You, Ms. Spreadsheet, would be the poet to get to 75 without going over or under ... I 'get' the fact that numbers and cells and formula totally mess one up in terms of writing poetry .. I gave up on EXCEL when I realized one of my staff was a genius with spreadsheets ... not that my writing improved.

    1. i wish you could hear the inane cackling that followed my reading of "You, Ms. Spreadsheet." cackle! nah, GUFFAW!

  17. What a fantastic image! This is excellent.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts!