8-4 poem2

The Center for Literate Values ~ Defending the Western tradition of responsible individualism, disciplined freedom, tasteful creativity, common sense, and faith in a supreme moral being.


A Common-Sense Journal of Literary and Cultural Analysis

8.4 (Fall 2008)




Virus Scan

scanning Program Files

0 suspects found

scanning Directories

0 suspects found

scanning Windows Registry

0 suspects found

scanning Internet URL Shortcuts

3 suspects found

scanning Internet Cookie Files

8 suspects found

11 suspects quarantined

quarantined files checked

checked files deleted

disk cleaned

0 suspects remaining

signing off

going to bed

good night till it be morrow


shutting down brain on pillow

shut-down failure: infected files

scanning Memory Files

suspects, suspects, suspects

scanning childhood files

12 years of suspects

(why did we move? why

pull me from school? what

happened to our vacations?)

scanning adolescent files

6 years of suspects

(why didn’t i join the

debate club/stick up for my

brother/ask her out and

tell her how i felt?)

scanning adult files

scanning… scanning


Friend Files: 0

(recently updated))

Wife Files: 29,073 gray hairs

(updated from first

date 25 years ago)

Child Files: scanning…

data inaccessible

(cannot read encryption)

Career Files

4 suspects clapped in irons

(infected cookies

in every byte)

God Files

data inaccessible

data inaccessible

shortcut not found

(incompatible programs

desperately needing update:

three hours dying crucified

seems not much suffering now,

one sleepless night in jail

not much sleeplessness now,

a lake to fish quietly

not much career worry now,

a desert to walk and talk to…

silent sand underfoot

not even a bird to sing…

no cables, no circuits, no adaptors…

not much existential angst

by contemporary standards of

getting highly pissed off)

scanning for Windows

scanning for mainframe

scanning… scanning…

why didn’t dad talk to me why

did i choose interdisciplinary studies why

’d she marry me why ’d i

refuse to transfer did i

punish him too much do

you pray for suffering to

stop to one who can’t know the

suffering of not admitting suffering

in post-suffering times

of push-button-get-now

delight delight delight

think it, have it

don’t have to think it

click here for recommended thinking

grope the linked boob

fast quick easy

amp ram megabyte

scanning… scanning…


scan incomplete

infections unquarantined

disc uncleaned

dawn at window

turn on

boot up

welcome, you have

spam and cookies…

a Nigerian widow begs a favor

and there are hot singles in

your area…

graze and browse

sleep is but a dream


                Alan McGinnis