Lamentations 2.1, by David Poston

Lamentations 2.1
by David Poston

Though Word saves carefully one by one,
dialogues opened won’t bring us images shown.
Actions we’ve taken cannot be undone.

We can’t save anything when the crash comes.
One broken connection brings the network down,
though Word saves patiently, one by one.

Blame errant cursors for what’s aborted or gone;
the invisible worm works without a sound,
but actions we’ve taken cannot be undone.

The icons we’ve trusted were pirated ones,
and our virtual memory has exceeded its bounds,
though Word keeps on saving one by one.

Commands have been executed; processes run
baud by baud toward a final meltdown.
Actions we’ve taken cannot be undone.

Fatal errors were made, the damage is done,
the site we keep searching for cannot be found.
Though Word goes on saving, one by one,
actions we’ve taken cannot be undone.

Author’s Comment: I like to call myself the unacknowledged chief Luddite at the Highland School of Technology. Being of southern rural Protestant upbringing, I heard in the language of Microsoft Word some echoes of familiar phrases, some Holy Ghost in the machine. My poetry is sometimes what Flannery O’Connor called “Christ-haunted,” but the villanelle is not really a religious or technological lamentation. I just took a phrase from the Word and started playing around with those echoes.

Bio: David Poston lives in Gastonia, North Carolina, where his wife Patty and he both teach at the Highland School of Technology. His chapbook, Postmodern Bourgeois Poetaster Blues, won the 2007 Randall Jarrell/Harperprints Poetry Chapbook Competition of the N.C. Writers’ Network. Work of his has appeared in English Journal, The Main Street Rag, Iodine Poetry Journal, and Asheville Poetry Review, among others.

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