Some of you may remember the Bored Baker, a haiku enthusiast who exited his job at a Sainsbury’s bakery in a flurry of three-line, 17 syllable poems surreptitiously inserted into packets of Taste the Difference biscuits.
More memorable lines bemoaning his job included “Enjoy your cookies/ Every bite is a minute/ I’ll never get back”.
Now, the enigmatic poet is back with a 117-page collection of poems entitled Unexpected Poem in Bagging Area, a compilation he dedicates to “the fading memory of my manager".
The Bored Baker opens his collection with a rallying call for “patronised retail workers of the world to unite” - written in haiku, of course.
His short collection is funny and playful, yet all the while underlain with stinging, more politicised observations about what it actually means to work a low-paid wage job within today’s capitalist society.
Each satirical poem takes aim directly at companies employing overworked and underpaid members of staff, lampooning mass production methods and corporate work-place methods.
Verses such as ‘Be Yourself, You’re Great!’/Bleats The Plastic Staffroom Walls/ A Void Echoes’ echo hollow, insincere messages of encouragement sent from corporations to those on the bottom rung of the ladder.
The Bored Baker only breaks form once to deliver a “stupid” limerick providing some rare insight into his background before returning to haiku, a structure he is clearly the most comfortable with.
After staunchly defending his identify, our Baker finally reveals himself in an interview dripping with sarcasm at the back of the collection.
While providing some welcome information on who he is, the many pages dedicated to the writer’s thoughts and opinions feel somewhat self-involved and seem to let the collection down – the lengthly Q&A largely serves to pull the reader away from the haiku and place too much attention on views of the author himself, instead of his content.
All in all, an amusing, subversive and occasionally poignant take on modern day life in the retail industry.
Unexpected Poem in Bagging Area is published by erbacce-press.Reuse content