July 1, 2012

The Thing About Computers, A Poem

This poem is a work in progress that came to me rather fluidly, stream-of-consciousness style. It sounds very "rantish," but still very artistic and eloquent. It might make a nice spoken word poem.

The Thing About Computers

The thing about computers
Is that they make it too easy
It being art, of course, and art being life
The miscommunication occurred between cursors and paintbrushes,
Servers and stereos, search engines and hard-bound books
Someone decided that internet access equals ingenuity
And you and I genuinely believe
Because we want to be that genius

The thing about computers
Is that clattering sonatas and lexical symphonies
Can spill from sadly unskilled fingertips
Onto unsuspecting keyboards kissed by amateur prints
Pinkies and thumbs transformed into instruments fine-tuned for use
On the most unwieldy of weapons
Perhaps it’s this knowledge that without our touch
Not a character dares shows its face on the digital page
That makes us feel like typing virtuosos in spite of our
Oafish hen-pecking at x, c, and the left-pointing caret keys
But in the deluge of tap-dancing digits
Pit-patting on the space bar and tabbing to a five-point indent
We lose the intent to type something worth saying at all
Will they "follow?" Will they "like" it?
Will you lead them into battle with your lion's heart
So strong they know they'll never be the same?
Skip that last part
At least they know your name

The thing about computers
Is that this information superhighway
Moves faster than a galactic hitchhiker
Reaching for the stars like you are every time
You sit across the table from Google and YouTube
Grasping at their plates with grubby fingers
For scraps of facts you never even knew you needed to know
But too fast to smell the fresh-cut grass of that pasture you passed
On the left a while back
Too fast to keep your eye on the horizon
Knowing that every mile on the speedometer
Brings you one step closer to capturing that distant sun
With your camera phone and abruptly Instagramming it
Into a dingy existence in the presence of a vintage photo filter
Forget about the comforting crackle that keeps you company
On the acre-long hunts for FM radio stations between gas stations

The thing about computers
Is that they can do more than we ever could
But the basic good which we assume
Perfumes the perceptions of engineers and authors
Who father the codes and man the programs
Is missing from the motherboards 
Populating worlds of data
With method instead of morality
Efficiency, not faith
Not heart enough to stave off hate

The thing about computers
Is they are only as good as the hand that guides them
And the hand guiding them
Is mine


  1. this was beautifully written and i certainly agree. all the more reason to delete facebook, huh? ;) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=frd6hXF6Idc


Thanks for your thoughts!