Guest poem sent in by John K. Taber , who writes:
(Poem #1420) Hemingway Never Did This
I read that he lost a suitcase full of manuscripts on a train and that they never were recovered. I can't match the agony of this but the other night I wrote a 3-page poem upon this computer and through my lack of diligence and practice and by playing around with commands on the menu I somehow managed to erase the poem forever. believe me, such a thing is difficult to do even for a novice but I somehow managed to do it. now I don't think this 3-pager was immortal but there were some crazy wild lines, now gone forever. it bothers more than a touch, it's some- thing like knocking over a good bottle of wine. and writing about it hardly makes a good poem. still, I thought somehow you'd like to know? if not, at least you've read this far and there could be better work down the line. let's hope so, for your sake and mine.
Let's not quibble with Buk, and tell him about unerase commands, ok? The point is, the matter of fact use of the computer in a poem. I've been interested for years now in poems that incorporate the computer. Contemporary poets don't usually condemn the machine, as liberal arts people did when I was a student. Machines have stopped being Blake's "dark, Satanic mills" and are accepted as part of the landscape. Once in a while, even, machines are accepted too enthusiastically. There was another I recall, can't remember the poet, but it went something like "Green be thy screen!" It was the poet's gratitude for the convenience of the computer for her in writing poems. Again, as Martin observed, some of these poems quickly date. I'm old enough that green screens are strongly in my memory, but I daresay many readers today have never seen a monochrome monitor. There is Brautigan's "Machines of Amazing Grace." I didn't cotton to his poem because for me there is something chilling about benevolent machines watching over me. [I didn't cotton to it either, mostly because it did nothing for me, and because I can only take Brautigan in very short poems - martin] Still, there is a bunch of poems, enough I think to make an anthology. John K. Taber [Martin adds] The thing I noticed about today's poem is that it is, in a sense, the mirror image of the Jonas piece [Poem #1418] that introduced the theme. Whereas Jonas treated computers as a metaphor, using them as a poetic device to illumine the age-old themes of love and loss, in Bukowski's poem the computer is the *subject* of the work, a mundane fact of life that is in turn illumined by the poem's metaphors. And, of course, an occurrence that most readers can empathise with :) Incidentally, while I was googling Bukowski (with whom I was unfamiliar), I came across the following gem: some people never go crazy. what truly horrible lives they must lead. -- Charles Bukowski Apropos of nothing - I just wanted to share it. martin [Links] Biography (a trifle clumsily written, but detailed, and with several links after it): http://www.popsubculture.com/pop/bio_project/charles_bukowski.html A nice Bukowski site: http://home.swipnet.se/~w-15266/cultur/bukowski/