Saturday, March 05, 2011

Requiem For The Digital Children

by James Jarvis

When I sat down at my laptop
to do my first tax preparation of the year
for one of my crack motel neighbors,
I found out my external hard drive has died.

I had to send him away
while I dealt with my loss.
I tried in vain for the next 8 hours
to salvage my dead hard drive,
salvage all the stuff I had on it,
all my applications programs,
new and antique,
all my scanned pictures
and Photoshop 'art',
all my essays and poems and writer's notes,
but alas,
the Western Digital 1394 Firewire 30 gigabyte hard drive
is dead
and all my techno voodoo,
incantations, pleadings with God
and hard drive utility software couldn't resurrect it.

Most of the stuff,
some of it my heart and soul
on the spinning magnetic disc
was backed up on Jazz cartridges,
but some was not,
so I lost THAT stuff forever,
lost like children who have moved away,
changed their names
and won't write home.

A Bear In The Woods Singing Dirty Ditties
is still with me,
as is An After School Vacancy In 206.
Blue Balloon, Bone Breakers and Dead-Eyed Social Worker
are still here, along with 40 or so others,
but I will always mourn
the poems that got away
and feel guilt
for not having backed them up.

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