I can’t write with no hands —
and since the power went down,
I can’t seem to recall
the names of emperors.
I can’t plead with no cords,

and can’t fight with no fists,
and I’m scared of the Chinese:
of history retracting;
of power routing progress.
I can’t chew with no teeth —

and I’m staring, dismayed,
at the mould-flecked bread;
at the air-tight cans;
at the turned off taps.
I can’t breathe with no lungs,
and can’t dream with no mind —

but I used to wake sweating
from scenes of libraries burning;
yet here they stand, preserved,
fortresses of knowledge,
a curious waste of kindling.


~ by David Heslin on 11/09/2011.

One Response to “476”

  1. It’s a fairly mundane science fiction narrative: humanity becomes so dependent on machines that a disaster renders us completely vulnerable.

    The question was probably first raised at the dawn of agriculture: is technology making us impotent? The speed of electronic progress in the 20th and 21st centuries has made that question considerably more pressing. Computers of all kinds are supplanting many physical and mental skills; our (Westerners’) survival is already pretty much dependent on electricity. What happens if the plug gets pulled?

    Sent from my iPhone.

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