Worse Than Fiction: Word Reprocessor

We sit at our desks for a long time
working at EEOB. In Word.
You know what Word is—if you’ve
heard of Times New Roman you
know what Word is, although you
may not use it. Forget style.
This is about working, switching
from one doc to another.
Slouching into the glowing screen
unblinking, tracking changes
until you start to reuse colors
for comments, maybe ten editors.
You check your email out of habit,
and of course more comments,
harder to incorporate than before
but with the same vain critique,
the question that indicates
they didn’t really read it,
the vain need to provide input,
to waste your time revising,
with the knowledge that sometime
next week they may stop by and
say, “No, we’re not sending this one
out,” for any reason they want.
How long has it been since you
wrote something new,
used your master’s,
opened a blank document
and clicked save as,
and maybe didn’t use bullet points?
You’ve never done something so
bold, so italic, not because you’re
too young or too process-oriented,
not because you’re jaded or even
bitter or incapable of writing except
in the formula of agency style, no,
just because you know too well
what Word is.

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