Dongles, Dangles and Beeps*

Tantalus stretches his arm from antiquity
Dangles a dongle of USB secrets
Mangles a moment of tête-à-tête
Instead we have SMS, latter-day S & M.

Young couples avert eyes from each other, gaze lovingly
At iOS vistas whose screens they now diddle
Coo and giggle over vapid missives transmitted cross-table
Is this romance conceived by a cyborg Clark Gable?

“I am not a Luddite!” cries the man behind the curtain
Accompanied by a whir of clicks, flashes and beeps
“I’m an artist, a lover and scientist dazu!”
Yet hidden from all in a sea of bleeps.

Vapid sighs issue as each message is read.
If medium is message, this message is dead.
With a beep and a whoosh, response message is sent,
in fourth wall of persona there is scarcely a dent.

Our devices our vices that ice and divide us
Yet the scientist, artist and lover dazu
Need not hide behind curtains as he’s wont to do
His vices, devices and crisis not worth the fuss.

Liberate the device from the inspired creator,
Wayward dongle from the port that it dangles!
And will we find that device is a tool that extends us,
Not rule of law from a fool whose bluster suspends us?

—Robert Hieger
 January 14, 2015


* Originally published in Maintenant: A Journal of Contemporary Dada Writing & Art, Issue 9, Editors Peter Carlaftes & Kat Georges, 2015

About the author: Robert Hieger

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