Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Businessman Speaks Yet Again

The technology is
smart enough and
fast enough

to envision that
perfect product:

a sleek, sexy pad
with infinitely expandable memory
and perpetually updating software

designed to give us
more
faster
everything,

compressed
in a handheld destiny.

Imagine
every song
every book
every film
every painting
every sculpture
and all poetry
formatted for
mobile devices.

Everyone will know
that intoxicating feeling
of owing every work
of the Beatles
Michelangelo
Dorothy Parker
Aeschylus
Gustav Klimt
Mozart
Charlie Chaplin
William Shakespeare
Aesop
Beyonce
Salvador Dali
The Dalai Lama.

No longer
will we seek out
these rare artifacts
these books
those dusty albums,
or travel to lonely museums
to experience this world,

we’ll bring it to you
wherever you are.

All the centuries
of civilizing innovation,
those lines that separated
artist from patron
rich from poor
ignorant from wise
and sacred from profane

forever blurred
and portable.

And, if the device dies
(or if it accidentally
goes through the wash),

we’ve partnered with
Best Buy
Amazon.com
and participating Wal-Mart Superstores

to be the exclusive providers
of replacement
“MyCulture 2.0” modules.

Yes, I agree,
we’ll have marketing
come up with a better name.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Early Education


In Mrs. Brown’s
first grade class
we had to learn
two-place addition.

Adding one-place numbers
vertically
like

3
+
5
_
8

was easy enough
but

11 +
22
__

well, that was
from another
planet.

I didn’t understand
and I was kept
after school
struggling with this puzzle

until
the light finally




came on.

I arrived home
late,
scared as hell
because I knew
the fate
awaiting me,

because
according to my father

only bums and
miscreants
stayed after school.

I was summarily
beat
with the thick leather belt

and, in time,

I became an
overachiever,
an anxious, nervous-stomached
overachiever.

Today I am
a dean
at a college
my father could only
dream of attending,

and
as my 14 year old daughter
struggles to complete
her homework

saddled with
cerebellar dysfunction
dysarthria
dysgraphethesia
dysstereognosis
dyspraxia
obsessive compulsive disorder
general anxiety disorder
and sensory integration dysfunction

I remind her
that while I like that she’s smart,

I love her
when she’s kind.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Autodidact

Just show me the basics
-where my fingers go
-when to wait for the laugh
and I’ll tinker away
fashioning my own
version of it.

No technique
but to listen
for my own voice.

I’ll hack my way
through the jungle
of formal training

and come out
with some weird
twisted mutant,

one with a reassuring
resemblance

to myself

and whatever it is
you call
this.


Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Making

My normal state is
making:

making myself get up
making all the green lights
making small talk
making quotas
making deadlines
making compromises
making a reputation
making a scene
making documents
making mistakes
making a name
making arguments
making dinner
making grownups out of children
making an ass of myself
making masks
making chocolate chip cookies with M&Ms
making memories
making poems
making a good argument for invisibility.