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On a broken printer

Your carriage is at fault, or a cable,
or a blue or black jet jammed, obstructed,
a fatal flaw, damning you, noble deskjet,
child of Hewlett and Packard, who provided
my past printer, and will provide my next,
and my child's printer, until print itself is dead.
Damning you, and damning my document,
dyed with the blood of your cracked cartridge,
ink-stained, illegible, unsaved.
Trusted scribe, sure to sketch
my words on parchment, plain white bond
branded black, touched with ink,
fixing thoughts in text, brief words
in rows of red, and blue, and cyan.
A year of triumphant carriage returns,
of lines dutifully arranged,
true type, bold, justified,
drawn from ancient Roman fonts,
crafted of Copperplate and Courier.

Dusk draws near, dark and cold night
descends like lost ink, a cartridge spilling
its life's toner in black, eternal trails,
blotting your final words, wrapped in ink,
shrouded forever by your fatal, final error.
Now, we gather your grave goods,
and coil your cables, long cobwebbed copper,
bundled and bagged, in arm-thick rolls,
wrap them for return to the womb of earth,
bagged and boxed, packaged, in peace and pieces,
to be buried in the back, beside the tall trees,
and the drive that leads to the road
that leads ever onward.



( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 9th, 2003 12:29 am (UTC)
Hilarious! Love it! And, okay, I don't know what risks I take by saying this, but I think this one seems to come so close to that Billy Collins "feel." The only critical comment I can think to make off the top of my head: the comma-lists (which I love) are a little more messy (?) than I think they would be in a more final version. (I never know whether to say these things.)
Oct. 9th, 2003 01:08 pm (UTC)
Whelll...I can't really help sounding a bit like Billy Collins, but I sounded like that before I read him. I started this off trying to do the alliterative-heavy two-part line of Beowulfy kenning-type poetry, maybe if I revise I can actually make that more apparent, but that's the reason for all the commas. This was a well-thought-out error.

Oct. 9th, 2003 01:08 pm (UTC)

Did the printer really die at the end, mommy?

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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