Words Burn

VLADIMIR: You should have been a poet.
ESTRAGON: I was. [Gesture towards his rags.]
Isn’t that obvious. [Silence.] 
Waiting for Godot. Samuel Beckett

A whole ninety-eight cents
have recently been credited
to my low-tide bank account
from Yanks’ penny clicks

on my must-do-better lines
in newly-hewn sob stories
without no strummed blues
which now appear to appeal

to a slew of red neck readers
who enjoy my so inconstant
complaints – in blank verse –
about my current former wife

A true trailer park tale – he typed
We are all trash novel writers
Burkowski still raises a drink
to the 3-year-old’s who’ll never meet

because his words burn
like my continued condition
and we shall meet – Charles and me
downstage without direction

The Reading Room

We are looking about
at a screen-stuck-to
silvered generation
of eye-glued viewers
in trawl-warmed hands

Those old phone huggers
sit logged in to online’s
click-bait refuge
of tittle-tattle and gossip
and foreign muckiness

under scrolled fingering
for rolled eyes of delight
and instant connectedness
to others’ risen anger

Those mobile surfers ride
on a curl of upper lips
and toothless sneers –
set high by published lies

Lossy

So this internet thing –
it is not perpetual –
those coded points
are subjected to atrophy
by compression –
of post-reposts –
a shrinking by interactions –
a constant thinning –

as offline moments thicken
with time’s hand-hefted
brushwork —
see – original composition
is super-fogged
by varnished layers
of obfuscations —

My dark-slapped lacquers –
upon my rubbed recalls –
are words-on-words –
becoming dried-hard glazes —
Even instant-spun thoughts –
such attempts – gloss over

finding not enough
clarity to remain –
all will fade under the loss
of servers and by untruthful views
of clicks-by-bots —
These words will not last long enough
to work for us


 

Old Devices

We’d race to get the telephone –
stating our number as rote taught –
our mother in her poshest voice
but rough for sister talk

Relative news transmissions –
but not intended to be heard –
I knew nothing of kindred facts
’til I stole truth from her words

We were ignorant between acts –
maybe flattening an irksome book –
we’d stare through the yellowed nets
whilst half-tuned to loosened talk

We tugged at the reluctant drawers
where our history was lost and found –
there tucked between old table mats –
sepia smiles were loosely bound

News bulletins marked the hours
or were shoved through the letterbox –
that narrow window on the world –
ink fears of the Eastern bloc

Ignorance was a short-lived bliss
in those disconnected times –
no algorithms on our wrists
to redress the truths and lies

Browsing

The room service maid knocks
but I am flat out
heat beaten
and living under AC rules
as my wife tours islands

and our family is spread
wider than ever by time
and all forms of travel

but connected instantly
by wires and algorithms

because we all lie
with noxious devices
which cheat distance
and sleep

Rising

Google is Evil,
along with Facebook,
Instagram will f*ck you,
and Twitter will look:
The next revolution
will burn in the States,
where the off-lines will rise
against those engaged:
Removed from utility,
sidelined, betrayed,
armed against violence,
their violence they’ll raise.

The Surveyor, Online

Her screen offerings, in selfless forms,
adorned or bared, her shared allure:

Of course he prefers her nakedness,
which so shames his own rucked flesh:

There is a distance he has yet to guess,
her stretched out form on his bed, undressed:

Would she lie for him, tongue and back,
to provide his review an easy abstract?

No longer there, mere pleasant thoughts,
to move from such, no more besought.

F5

‘The years teach much which the days never know.’
Ralph Emerson

Half a century has passed,
of my oblivious education:

Valves glowed behind Bakelite,
those wireless invocations,

mail was flap-rattled –
some bore oddity stamps,

wearing cent-priced strangers,
sent from inky confidantes.

My search was inherited,
in spine-bust encyclopaedias:

I learnt the word ‘concentric’,
and skipped the Roman Empire.

Turn Off


turn-off-the-news

Turn off the news,
shut down the feeds,
silence the radio,
unplug your TV,
look beyond bylines,
avoid the shouts,
blank out the posts,
turn from the crowd,
reduce all exposure,
pull down the blinds,
this day is yours,
remain safe in your mind.


 

OK Google

“OK Google,”
please turn off,
you know too much
’bout my choices in life;
what I looked at,
for how long,
it’s a dead-end relationship,
your snooping is done.

If I need a map,
I’ll A to Z,
navigate my life
with no traces left;
I’ll use a brick phone,
and Duck Duck Go,
then avoid Facebook,
or just stay at home.