The Trap

Feed me the machine
and what do I yield?
An orderly sort of civilian clerks
and privates, corporals, sargeants
captains, majors
and colonels too with
a brigadier at the top
Layer upon layer
come low grade, middle grade,
quality grade, top grade and brand new
Bank, bond, manila, cardboard,
cartridge, paste board, pine
jarrah and veneer too.
The five hundred dollar drum
has got to be replaced
Itís been printing too much.
The machine is bursting at its seams!
Open the doors
thereís levers to pull, buttons to push
and parts that slide out to be cleaned
thereís screws to unscrew, parts
that shift, and doors and walls to bang
and darkness too
Donít forget the black toner!
The black is paint, and youíre the painter
But donít worry, the paint comes off
so you polish the machine with a rag.
The noise, as it works, machine gun fire
drowns your silent shouts of
wanting to get out.
Quality control is in your hands
as you silence the machine, pull it apart
carefully prise out burnt sheets
Youíve done your job, called the technician.
Ozone in a poorly circulated room
makes you sick and
you flinch as a metal part burns
your hand, but donít object.
What - thereís no colour ink cartridges!
Itís a fancy, expensive machine anyway
Itís got twenty five sorting bins
and a duplexing tray too.
In a double sided copy test run
you feed in the paper
it drops neatly into the
duplexing tray, comes out other side up
over the top tray, like a shot
as you and the technician watch.
And with the doors open,
you conspire the trap
and the paper, grades and people feed back
into the machine.
(c) Lai Chew Yarn
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