The Computer's Adolescence

If you decide one day to kayak,

having never kayaked previously

in the history of your adventures,

you may forget sunscreen

or head-cover.  You may bring

your wallet along, thinking you'd like

to make a purchase at the end

of this water adventure because

nothing says Kayaking like participating

in the free market economy.

You may go downstream because

it's easy but don't think about

needing to come back the way you came.

Now it's tomorrow.  Now it's

the next day & you have sore shoulders,

you're hunched over like the 80-year-old

typing instructor you had in the 6th grade.

You were strained then as well,

because it was in that awkward period

in the life of computers—

the computers' adolescence

when they weren't quite accepted

by institutions yet, so you learned to type

on a Remington & it hurt

because it was designed for macho journalists

& dodgy novelists, men with huge,

hairy forearms & stories of politically incorrect

colonialism & insipid voyeurism.

& also you were confused about several things—

things other than your own pre-pubescence,

like how was this frail old lady so mean, & why

was your typewriter named after a rifle,

the kind that cowboys pulled from their saddle

holsters & shot with one hand at the black-hatted

bad dude.  You envy him, the bad guy,

not for his bullet holes, but for his foresight

in covering his head.

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