Our prompt for the day (optional, as always), asks you to move backwards in time away from such modern contrivances as podcasts. Today, I challenge you to write a poem that features forgotten technology. Maybe it’s a VCR, or a rotary phone. A cassette player or even a radio. If you’re looking for a potential example, check out this poem by Adam Clay, which takes its central metaphor from something that used to stoke fear in the hearts of kids typing term papers, or just trying to play a game of Oregon Trail.
Place the paper in the paper rest
Be seated upright – that’s the best
position if you wish to type. Now place each palm around the knob
on the left and the right, be careful not to bob
your head. You don’t want to tilt the paper
And let it go hither – tither
the knobs and watch the paten
roll. See the paper appear
in the front. Stop turning when there’s only a sliver
Check the ribbon and the carriage location pointer
Now press the lever
Set the margin
‘When you learn to read, you begin with A, B, C’
When you learn to type, you begin with A,C,D
F semi-colon L,K,J
“Who are you?What joke is this?” I hear you say
I’m shocked that you should speak to me this way
It’s time I remind you who I am
So listen up kid. I can’t believe this is happening- Damn!
I am the forgotten ancestor-
The Father of your modern-day computer!
What’s that you say? The Father is Charles Babbage!
I’ve never heard such atrocious garbage
Don’t be silly
Do you not see the similarity?
That on which you strum your dainty fingers
Is a part of me that still lingers
Have you forgotten Darwin’s theory?
The monkey is to you as is me
to the keyboard on your lap
Did I hear you say ‘Crap!’?
No? That’s better
For I’m the not-so-humble typewriter
The father of the computer!
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P.C. From the Net
Our resource for the day is the Poetry Foundation’s VS podcast, hosted by poets Franny Choi and Danez Smith. Every two weeks, they release a new episode in which they interview contemporary poets, and otherwise talk about what is going on in the world of poetry and beyond.