A very old poem: 1984+3

I’m currently working on a short story- and by short I mean something akin to my multi-part-tales which I haven’t done one of in awhile.

So for now, here is the first poem I ever wrote; I dredged it up to read at an open poetry, open mic event I go to.

I wrote it when I was…14-16 I think…hence the adolescent title (get it?).

I honestly think me and mine were probably quite lucky, to grow up with the internet in all it’s dial-up glory. I remember being taught by my crush how to ICQ and having my first creepy convo with a stranger. Fist pumping when my download speed hit 30kbps on napster. How carefully I chose one of the precious, twelve songs for my first mp3 player. (I think I picked the real slim shady…).

I believe there is a deeply gauged out line of demarcation (and getting deeper), between a pre-internet and post-internet society planet, and it’s pretty close to those that were born near 1987. Everything since, and everything after, will, has, and is changing so much. Maybe in hindsight we will really appreciate how far we’ve come and where we’re going. We’re still caught in it though, part of a tidal wave moving so fast that the act of stopping to define it can cause you to be left behind, and already wrong, and irrelevant.

Perhaps every generation says that (though not quite like that). However in this case, if you can read my words, you are a part of the change right now.

A couple of years ago a friend told me that he thought the world was going to hell. Proxy wars between super powers flaring up over energy, dictators continuing the steady march of atrocities, financial institutions and political institutions corrupt, morally bankrupt, and subverted, climate change and all those other horsemen all on his side.

He asked me for one thing that shows things might get better- what could possibly be arrayed against all that?

I said “the internet”.

He said I had a point.

Someone promptly messaged me on Xanga.com after I put up this old poem (OH Xanga…and geocities…and 56k modems…and altavista…and nostalgia…) the next week telling me the challenger exploded in 1986 instead. Shows what I knew.


I was born the year the Challenger exploded-
Child of the green Internet: I
Battle demons and the
Blue screen of death.

I am a partz of the Internet generation(s);
Many bits and bytes and all these conversations
Between Ones and Zeroes I don’t have to
I know
a billion bytes is still too little data.

We are the blessed 1s. (BO’s!)
No command-line-interface
for us! Operating System-
Windows to our Souls.

Our hands don’t make food anymore!
I knead words with my whitened knuckles,
And the worldz knowledge
At the tip
Of my fingers.

I can see anything with these fingers:
Its a simple search, and then I can hack
My path into even the places
That children aren’t allowed to be.

Because you see,
we were born the year the Challenger exploded,
And we had to ask
Why would anyone need stars?
When you can see them on a screen.



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