Guest poem sent in by Leslie Turek
(Poem #1418) Electronically Yours
Baud: the rate of speed at which information is sent between two computer devices, for example, modems. From 1200 plus, our baud declined. At under 300, a blank. EXIT. Or so I thought. But bits of you <alluring syllables, the burnt-in codes of half-unearned caresses "lost" when power died> were saved, it seems, to memory's soft disk. I found a file called HIDDEN FILES. Delete <Y/N>?
Today I ran across this poem, which I had cut out of a magazine years ago (I don't remember which magazine, possibly The New Yorker)). I liked the way the poet used modern (at least at that date) computer terminology and images to describe the fragmentary memories that remain after a relationship has died. I Googled for Gerald Jonas, and found references to a few science fiction stories and one other poem (Imaginary Numbers in a Real Garden), but no reference to this particular one. http://isfdb.tamu.edu/cgi-bin/ea.cgi?Gerald_Jonas I also found reference to a poetry reading in 2001 which gave this mini-bio: Gerald Jonas is a regular reviewer of science fiction for the New York Times, the author of six nonfiction books and a screenwriter of nationally televised documentaries. He worked at The New Yorker from 1963-1993. [broken link] http://www.mediarelations.ksu.edu/WEB/News/InView/100401writer.html Leslie Turek [Martin adds] While this is an interesting poem, it hasn't dated too well - the combination of the modern theme and the fast-obsolete and already-forgotten jargon sets up a dissonance that detracts from the imagery of the poem - particularly jarring was the reference to "soft disks". It still fascinates me, though, to see the way in which poets (and alongside them, writers of science fiction, particularly cyberpunk) have evoked poetry from the rising tide of new phenomena, idioms and metaphors that accompany the information revolution. This week, I'll be running a series of such poems - as usual, feel free to chime in on the theme. martin