Public Thought

Trouble, that's all!

A poetic reflection on how people, based on felt or exercised power and prejudice, turn suspiciously around each other; depicted here in the socially coded proportions of an office situation.

Directed by : Jan Baeke & Alfred Marseille
Screenplay by: Jan Baeke & Alfred Marseille
Text by: Jan Baeke
Editing and Sound design by: Alfred Marseille

Trouble, that's all!

Blending gestures at the office is terrible
whether there are good mornings
or sarcasm or funny intended ape shit
and men in need.
You did the sister act, spilling noises
like words without meaning.

Being coffee or cloud at the office is terrible is
words, papers, meetings and sales
and in the end rotten faces or sediment
of some sort.

Hairbrushed compliments, so you may think
here’s one who sees you, being at the office
is terribly lonely, being at the office is
objection your honor – overruled

We are one and the same, she said
I don’t like myself either
Call it morning, no, call it something else.
Being at the office is the kingdom of skin
the paper world of masculine outlines,

Being a man in the office
in love with that sophisticated rhumba
speak like kisses or trouble
all lies wide open

Being at the office like trouble and kisses
saying let’s get it
let us prove to be the white girl

I liked her
she had that expression I know so well—
that she is suffering, as she should
and for a better reason than I ever do.

I've teared shit up.
My whole body shreds shit and always.
Look at that
Mirror, mirror, hit me again.

Like a promise, like a human failing
to avoid the question:

but what about me

There’s an answer to all that is not.

© original poem and translation: Jan Baeke, 2023.

© 2023 Public Thought, Jan Baeke & Alfred Marseille