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Here\'s the poem. I believe it\'s already been published on this site. It\'s appearing again so that it can be referred to while reading the justification. This article is an appendix of my \"Poetry Journal\" article.

\"HTTP\"
October 28th, 2008

You are
Not
Your avatar
Yet

Coming to and fro
In electronic symmetry

You’re not
800 X 600
1024 X 768
1080i
Movies online
Porn in HD
Asymmetrical synchrony
Controlling your destiny

You’re not
Blocking a pop-up
Blocking a pop-up
Blocking a pop-up
Blocking a pop-up
Blocking a pop-up
Blocking a pop-up
Blocking a pop-up
Blocking a pop-up
Blocking a pop-up
Blocking a pop-up
Blocking a pop-up
Blocking a pop-up
Blocking a pop-up
Blocking a pop-up
Blocking a pop-up
Blocking a pop-up
Blocking a pop-up
Blocking a pop-up
Blocking a pop-up
Blocking a pop-up
Blocking a pop-up
Blocking a pop-up
Blocking a pop-up
Blocking a pop-up

At 12:45
You’re not wankin’ it
To the digital mega-clit
Where if you can imagine it
You can see it
In minutes

You’re not on a small quest for a quiet place
Where you can be you

You’re not playing white noise
To phase out distraction
As you connect fully
With distraction

You don’t micromanage
To your advantage
A thousand photos of you
A hundred photos of me and you
Together
Drinking
A profile photo of me and you
My hands on your ankles
You\'re sucking a tap
And we look so surprised
With ourselves

You’re not listening to white noise so you can’t hear
You never put on those head-phones and blocked out the world

You can’t get a date
Make a name, enlarge your eyes, and half your weight
Be gay or straight as 420state1982
@gmail.com

You’re not not a woman
Or not a man
You’re not cutting your dick off

You’re not stealing songs by the album
Logging chats with pretty girls
1200 lines long
Or saving chat logs with your ex-girlfriend
Where she says she’s missing you
Your sex is better
And she’ll love you forever

They aren’t pretty girls
You’re not a pretty boy

You’re not the avatar
You’re made to create
When you sign up to shop,
Socialize, and masturbate

You’re not your avatar
But maybe you are

Maybe you do pride yourself
In what you type in forums
Maybe read them and feel real rage
And sadness
At the state of a world you’re destined to change

With mouse-clicks and key-strokes
From your office chair

Maybe you’re stoked when you read
In some conversation out of south bend
That you’ve started a trend
About Wal-Mart’s appropriation
Of a homeless shelter
On 5th and Main

Maybe you log into that site
That with Google’s permission
Monitors the searches of all the users in the world
That’s a fifth of the world
The entire world
And you see
The most common today were:
Jaibait
Jailbait nude
Jessica Alba
…Nude
…Pussy
Barack Obama

Nip-Slips and celebrity tits
There’s a site
That has them all mapped out
100,000,000 hits
And counting

I’ll tell you what you do all day
You bid on shit that you don’t need
Because you typify a common American greed
That’s spread its seed
‘Round the world at large
On a vast party barge
Laden with trailers
Of uniform size
So that they can be stacked, shipped, unstacked, and tracked
All the way to your door

Where you wait with bated breath
And scared to death
Of the light
Rushing in
And the voice of the mail-man

Go ahead and make your landscapes on mindscapes
And populate what propagates your submission to the
Coalition of words and pictures that
Get you off

Go to Erowid and get your po-dunk recipe
For meth
With typos
And phrases like, “works fine too…”

Find out what pharmaceuticals you never thought would get you high
Will get you high

You fill, too tall
And you’ll never have time to do
All of that for which you’ve prepared

Because now you must research your cancer as it grows
And your fungus as it shows
And it’s 4:00am
And you’re being told
The way to your smoky room
And cum-stained bed
Where you’ll fall asleep
And dream of numbers.

--

HTTP:
Analysis and Justification



The day I wrote HTTP, October 28th, I found myself running around the library with a notebook and tiny golf pencil stolen from the front desk, trying to find a quiet place where I could concentrate. I ended up sitting in five different places, writing a part of a verse in each place and then becoming frustrated with the library’s pervasive, irregular, ambient chatter. I finally ended up in the conference room, with its semi-sound-proof glass walls, and endlessly comfortable chairs, my feet up, writing a stanza a minute.



The last poem I wrote near the length and span of HTTP is called Coffee Black, and appeared in the Spring 2008 issue of The Pen literary magazine. That poem, like HTTP, was a frenzied act of frustration, abstraction, and self-indulgence. Coffee Black deals with several dimensions of peaking exasperation I was feeling at the time, on personal, and heavily metaphorical terms. Unlike HTTP it contains long, irregular, stream of consciousness stanzas which I arbitrarily separated into chapters to make the poem easier to digest. HTTP is less personal, a commentary on society, conveniently broken into standalone stanzas of similar length and cadence, although I exercised some poetic dissolution in form near the end of the poem. What makes the poems similar is the circumstances under which both were written, that is, uncontrollable neuroses.



The neuroses I feel is what allowed HTTP to march along. Typically, I do not write lines of poetry until they appear to me, desperate to get out. The internet is an enormous part of my life, a part I feel has invaded my methods of thinking as well as what I think about. I feel that it has affected the whole of society in a similar way, a revolutionary opiate that is inescapable to those who become predisposed to it in their formative years and readily consumed by those of the generation that brought it to life. It will change the way we do all things, and the way we regard doing them. It already has. To those who were not reared on the net, it’s a difficult adaptation to make, but the incentive is plenty. The development of cyberspace moves along at an unimaginable clip, spreads like a virus exponentially compounding on itself, and replicating itself throughout the world.



Part of what lends the internet its undeniable power is that it offers us something we’ve never had, or rather an improvement on something most have aspired to create – a second life. There’s a growing schism in our society, brought on by the dissemination of mass consumer culture and the plutocratic capitalism of deception. The schism is the cavernous cognitive rift between that which we are told we should have, and that which we do have. Consumerism prays on our impulses toward instant gratification. It’s as simple as zapping a lab rat’s pleasure center to make it think it’s eaten. Scientists have done this, and can cause a rat to starve to death and die happy. We have an apt metaphor here for where we’re going, which brings me to my reasoning for peppering the majority of my editorial poetry with the language and anecdotes of depravity.



The internet, I say, is like a virus, and has grown as one, because a virus has a visceral, negative connotation as being thoughtless, voracious, and blindly evil. The appeal of cyberspace, at hyper-speed to many is that of pornography, of indebted consumption, essentially a basic masturbatory greed – self- indulgence. Self-indulgence was the thrust and the driving force behind HTTP, and I believe that a substantive poem should have a strong emotional foundation, and in the interest of broader appeal, a foundation of some base instinct. We can ladder-down from descriptive verse and political subtlety, to essential love and hate, to jealousy, to greed, to hunger, amorousness, and finally to our base need for satisfaction. There are of course higher ideals that would prove a strong center for any poem, but none that I feel better serve commentary on the internet, and its trappings.



So with this on tap, I felt that I could build a strong, scathing commentary that made full use of its content, form, and function. The quick punctuated rhythm, which appeared less often in the poem than I would have liked, demonstrates moments when I can say I was jacked into the idea, rather than its creation. The length of HTTP seems daunting, but my understanding of the internet is as something hulking, complicated, and replete with potent capsules of opportunity, for us to tend to our burgeoning thought lives.



What will the products of our obsessions become? What will become of our avatars, our blogs, our dutifully maintained profiles? Do we have any concept of the time we dedicate to these things, the time we spend “surfing” the net? The terminology we use, viral video, cyber space, domain name, etc. belies the danger we face of losing our lives to a world of transistors, wires, plastic, and electricity. In the final portion of my poem, I provide the image of a man wandering off to sleep, zombified by his daily commitment to cyberspace, laying down in a warm womb like bed covered in the product of his masturbation. This bed represents a regression, aging backwards, to infancy, where all that matters is pleasure, and the masturbation, which is highlighted throughout the poem, is physical, mental, and most profoundly, the scattered release of the soul.



------
039298f3@opayq.com


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