Before Digital

Revox B77 – high or low speed –
from my easier analogue ways
before everything got too fast

DN300 and DN360 graphic EQs
in 19″ racks – screwed and mounted
Even electric drills were rare

I could load a truck – but only after
being shown how to lift and turn
a case in the air
so that rubbed case knuckles fitted –

Tighter than Jan’s crotchless knickers
Sex wasn’t online or easy to understand
when fellow loaders joked – analogue days

Labouring Under

There are no greater spurs to human indecency
than cheap shortcuts to wealth

be they lotteries or lies – they are muted calls
to hard work – to tilth

Plough blades rub to blunt – our ground is dry –
our blacksmith has gone

No more steady blows – that loss of his honest hammer
has left his anvil to ring with rust

Old fixed courses of love are smudged in your soft hands
on your quick-to-hold screen

where you advertise yourself to an online world of touches –
you’d resist them if in public

As if everything is circumvented by launches and innovations
as if every previous minute

of humanity is evenly compressed – every way is left to be forgotten
Everyone just wants to be rich

Bālal

Feel a shrivelling suck below –
succumb to being blown-off by intimacies
on an ever-connected held screen

So that is us – We divine our way as we
confound the language of all the earth
with our found blindness before Devices

Chaos undermines old understandings –
it births bastard-moulded disbelief
in shareable clickbait and God’s own tweets

Our too-honest quickened responses
are bilious posts in public places –
there will be no one left to mop them up

We suckle and bite on offered up teats –
on Californians’ buckshee silos –
Son – nothing in this world is for free

We feed as we climb their Tower
Let us scan in wonder its endless steps –
clockwise for right-handed familiarity

We rest in offset echo chambers
and there invite like-minded others
into high rooms with our views of everything

And as we stop between each met level –
without our ground-fill of oxygen –
our fingers are not as effective as before

so we’ll no longer grip our contracted  ‘phones –
they will drop and smash on cobblestones
and from their Tower – we will be thrown


 

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

The Surveyor, Online

Her screen offerings in selfless forms
adorned or bare – she shared her allure

Of course – he preferred her nakedness
which so shamed his own rucked flesh

There is a distance he has yet to guess –
she stretched out on his bed – undressed

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

No longer there – mere pleasant thoughts –
to move from such – no more he sought


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