National Poetry Month: EXO-SECRETARAIT by Blake Lee Pate

Apr 26, 2014Archive, Feature


by Blake Lee Pate


Exo-girl convinced the boss

her girls are hot, have skirts, nice

handwriting. 8:00 a.m. We’re period

plagued and auto-receiving at our desks

splitting our hair ends & running our stock-

ings up & down the halls. WE DO FEEL

LIKE THIS, the receptionists note

on their message pads. IS THIS

EXCEPTIONAL? (the receptionists

note it internally). Exo-girl tweets. The girls

slump at their desks. The boss

is exasperated. Exo sends

a memo: perk up!

At my own desk I am frumpy

in my showing skin.

Exo came along to blush me up

I guess. She’s got a cig in my fingers

when she tells me my period is not important.

Next month, she says, we will menstruate

via the network. I write the memo

on a napkin in the bathroom.

WE DO FEEL the receptionists type

while the boss watches LIKE THIS

(they note internally) IS A REAL


Exo-girl has my cig

between her red lips & flicks it

with a skinny wrist. The girls, I,

type faster. Note! Exo protests.

No pads next month. Bleed only

remotely. None of us are familiar

with the network. We are currently

menstruating actually, that is,

via the bathroom.

Exo punched a receptionist last week

(nothing thigh-high about her)

so for now when she tweets

I re-tweet.

This poem is from issue 40.1You may purchase a copy here.