Poetry, Poetics, Po-business, Stuff Like That

Jaquie the Ripper

Something on one of the kiosks

upset a Regent.  The Provost told

the Dean, and the Dean told Ramona

his Administrative Assistant,

and Ramona told Jacquie the Work Study

to remove all offensive materials

from bulletin boards, walls, trees

and light poles on campus.


Jacquie was too scared of Ramona

(Who wouldn’t be?)

to ask what offensive meant.

She thought the Dean was pretty offensive,

the way he talked golf all the time,

but since he never got his picture

on any posters, she couldn’t take him down,

and nothing else bothered her —

not with the family she came from —

so she really didn’t do anything

till Ramona handed her

a copy of the University Speech Code

written by a bunch of PhDs,

and which Jacquie,

with only a high school diploma (Secretarial Track)

couldn’t decipher any more

than the blackboard after a Calculus class.


Look, said Ramona, I don’t understand it either.

Just get rid of anything

that might bother a rich Republican woman

over sixty.


So Jacquie tore down

any piece of paper with

a cute girl on it, figuring

they’d make an old lady jealous,

and she tore down anything

that made fun of President Bush

(Wasn’t he a Republican?)

and she tore down all

lesbi-gay stuff, anything

pagan or Catholic, Native American,

African American or Hispanic,

ads to sell musical instruments

(Old ladies like that

would probably hate garage bands)

and requests for rides

(Get your own car! she’d probably say).


So Jacquie was standing in Bluersch Hall,

trying to decide whether

a Green Party ice cream social

would bother the Regent when

a bunch of students surrounded her

and started yelling, which made her cry.


Then a bunch of suit people

marched into the Dean’s office,

and Ramona sat biting her thumb

while Jacquie tried to figure out

what she’d do for a job.


Finally they all went away

and Jacquie was transferred to Physical Education,

which was fine with her,

‘cause she could swim on her breaks.


Probably other stuff happened about the posters,

but over in PE they didn’t

talk about it, and Jacquie soon forgot–

except to remind herself never

to work that close to the bigshots again.




One response

  1. Well that’s pretty much how the system functions sometimes…nicely captured.

    January 28, 2012 at 7:50 pm

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