Three Poems and A Drawing – Sam Strathman

Pipe Dream

I have pipe dreams
where enemas can be sold
with a side of face lift.

I wish patients could drink
from the fountain of youth
while enlarging their elbows.

But these desires
are too farfetched…
I sink slowly into a madness
that only a crazy MD can feel.



Welcome to another bloodsucker,
brain burning with activity
(not the good kind).

Another zit fucks with your chi
as you try and practice
morning mirror affirmations.

Stay calm.
Eat a dry bagel
before heading to the office
for more punishment.

Coworkers address you
by staff number
instead of first name,
a tight-knit group.

Whatever happened to cartoons
and sugar cereal?

Brace for a panic attack.
Paper bags are stage left
beside the half-eaten doughnuts
of self-loathing.


Call the scab a scapegoat.

A walking target
takes the bullet,
cricket ovation.

Top brass states
that when one finger points
a thousand fingers point back.

In real life,
the entire cubicle city
points with you,
carte blanche.

(Insert rejoinders here).

“He’ll be thinking
of us while summering
in Buffalo.
Never going back
to that monstrosity.”

Sandwiches are brought
for the crew,
disappear in minutes.

Outliers bites thin air,
eats boiled eggs for dinner.

Contest rules are as stands:
Patsies never get
their ticket drawn.

Beanbag chair goes
to Svetlana
and the office gerbil
for their irrefutable
prom couple status.

Secret Memo reads:

(Spoilers ahead!)

Fall Guy Rod replaces
Mailroom Jeanette,
who gets replaced
by Newbie Ben,
who will be replaced
by an intern.

Samuel Strathman (he/him) is a poet, visual artist, author, and custodian. Some of his poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Bullshit Lit Mag, Prole, Pinhole Poetry and other publications.  He is the author of four chapbooks. His most recent chapbook, “Holy Static,” was published by Frog Hollow Press (2022).  “Omnishambles”, his first full-length collection, is forthcoming from Ice Floe Press. Twitter: @_strathman_

Page design/layout – R. Frede Kenter Twitter: @frede_kenter.

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