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The Privacy of Typewriters

I am an old book troglodyte
one who composes on paper
and types up the result
as many times as need be.
Kris Martin: Apocalypse.jpg

Photograph by Achim Kukulies, courtesy of Sies + Höke

Kris Martin: Apocalypse, 2013

I am an old book troglodyte
one who composes on paper
and types up the result
as many times as need be.

The computer scares me,
its crashes and codes,
its links with spies and gunshot,
its text that looks pre-published

and perhaps has been.
I don’t know who is reading
what I write on a carriage
that doesn’t move or ding.

I trust the spoor of botch,
whiteouts where thought deepened,
wise freedom from Spell Check,
sheets to sell the National Library.

I fear the lore
of that baleful misstruck key
that fills a whiskered screen
with a writhe of child pornography

and the doors smashing in
and the cops handcuffing me
to a gristlier video culture
coralline in an ever colder sea.


This poem first appeared in Little Star #5, 2014

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