2015

Dongles, Dangles and Beeps

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

Bowery Night

Sirens blare,
Horns honk,
Drunkards shout,
Lights glare.

From a club entranceway issues a strong female voice
Shouting to guests: “Moth balls only, moth balls only!”

Heat sears,
Haze obscures,
Darkness descends,
Sleep eludes.

Dollar bills in skirts and suits march down
The proverbial avenue of poverty,
The age-old din of Bowery reduced to moth balls,
Mildewed flesh, stupefied hunger.

Oblivious to the stench,
Human currency competes for entrance,
Entranced by the sameness, the staid suspense of reality,
The sweet oblivion of moth ball-induced hypoxia.

“What a beautiful night!” coos an oblivous bling-ridden $100 bill,
Languishing in the 75-degree dead of night.
“It's December!” wheezes the mildewed flesh over whom she steps.
“It's December! Doesn't that mean anything to you?”

—Robert Hieger
 December 31, 2015