Nobody said it was easy (copperbadge ) wrote,
This morning I was asked to change my password on my work computer, as I must do every four months. And I sat there waiting for it to authorise my new password, and I thought, I have measured out my life in login codes.

And, as it so often does, then my brain screwed me out of several hours of productivity.

Edit to add: Why hello there, entire internet! If you'd like to know who I am or what I think of this poem, I made a separate post that you can check out. Hope you enjoy your stay here at chez Copperbadge.

THE .DOC FILE OF J ALFRED PRUFROCK
with deepest apologies to T.S. Eliot

Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a laptop, put in sleep mode on a table
Let us go through certain half-deserted streets
The blinking-light retreats
Of restless nights in free-wifi cafes
And public libraries with internet
Streets that follow like messageboard argument
of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming blog post
Oh, do not ask, "What, yaoi?"
Let us go and post an entry.

In the room the players come and go
Talking of their scores on Halo.

The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the Windows PC
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the Macintosh
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening
Lingered upon the trackpads in their case
Let fall upon its back the crumbs that fall to keyboards,
Slipped by the flashdrive, made a sudden leap
and seeing that it was a soft October night
Curled once about the mouse, and fell asleep.

And indeed there will be time
For the yellow smoke that slides along the desk,
Rubbing its back upon the Windows PC;
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the icons that you meet;
There will be time to murder and respawn
And time for all the Chrome and Firefox
That drag and drop a website on your plate;
Time for .doc and time for .ppt
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred fanfics and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.

In the room the players come and go
Talking of their scores on Halo.

And indeed there will be time
To wonder, "Is this wanky?" "Is this fair?"
Time to turn back and descend the stair
With a comment on the level of your player
[They will say: "How his server's lagging slow!"]
My morning cosplay, collar mounting firmly to the chin
My website rich and modest, but accessed by a simple login
[They will say: "But how his content's growing thin!"]
Do I dare
Disturb the interwebs?
In a minute there is time
For fanfictions and revisions which Google Docs may reverse.

For I have known them all already, known them all:—
Have known the RPs, archives, messageboards
I have measured out my life with usernames.
I know the voices dying with a 404
Beneath the music from a farther room.
So how should I presume?

And I have known the mods already, known them all --
The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase
And when I am banhammered, sprawling on a pin,
When I am banned and wriggling on the wall,
Then how should I begin
To spit out all the fragments of my browser cache?
And how should I presume?

And I have known the sites already, known them all —-
Sites that are Web two-oh, white and bare
[But on my cellphone, still given to fail!]
It is the javascript impress
That makes them so digress?
Sites that stretch out like a table, or word-wrap like a shawl
And should I then presume?
And how should I log in?

Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through archived files
And watched the dialup sequences that blink
No more from AOL in lonely Windows?

I should have been a line of ragged code,
Scuttling through the compiler, breaking apps.

And the messageboard, the website, sleeps so peacefully!
Smoothed by long fingers,
Asleep...tired...or it malingers
Returning 404, here in front of me.
Should I, after iPhone apps and prices,
Have the strength to force AT&T to crisis?
But though I have wept and emailed, wept and played,
Though I have seen my avatar brought in upon a platter,
I am no hacker -- and here's no great matter;
I have seen the screen of my laptop flicker,
And I have seen the eternal bluescreen hold my eye, and snicker,
And in short, I was afraid.

And would it have been worth it, after all,
After the games, social media, the blogs,
Among the twitters, among some talk of IRC logs,
Would it have been worth while
To have bitten off the fandom with a smile,
To have squeezed the internet into a ball
To roll it toward some ass on Yahoo Questions
To say, "I am Babbage, come from the dead,
Come back to ban you all, I shall ban you all" --
If one, sending a textmessage, autocorrected
Should say: "That is not what I typed at all.
That is not it. LOL."

And would it have been worth it, after all,
Would have been worth while
After the LOLcats and the macros and the youtube clips,
After the spambots, after the blog space, after LiveJournal trailing on the floor --
And Digg, and so much more? --
It is impossible to type just what I mean!
But as if a new .avi threw the nerves in patterns on the screen:
Would it have been worth while
If one, texting or throwing back Red Bull,
And turning towards the PC, should say,
"That is not what I typed at all.
That is not it. OH LOL."

No! I am not Lovelace,
nor was meant to be,
Am on some messageboard, one that will do
To send things viral, start a meme or two,
Edit the wiki, no doubt an easy tool,
Deferential, glad to be of use,
Pwning, sometimes, but anonymous,
Filled with citations, all a bit obtuse;
These edits, indeed, almost ridiculous --
Can you not work Google?

I grow old... I grow old...
I shall add some links to my blog roll.

Shall I change my default pic? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall play some World of Warcraft, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the servers singing, each to each.

I do not think that they will sing to me.

I have seen cats talking in capslock on the web,
All up in ur fridge, eatin' ur food
When my laptop lights the darkness white and black.

We have lingered in the tubes of internet,
By URLS wreathed with info, loaded-down
Till cellphones ringing wake us, and we drown.
Tags: i might be crazy, poetry.sam
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