“Me and My Shadow Drone”

"Living in the Last Days"

“Me and My Shadow-Drone”

By Gary Corseri

 

Me and my Shadow-Drone

went “walking” down the lane.

 

“If you wouldn’t mind,”

I told the Drone,

“I’d really like to be alone….”

 

“Computing…,” said the Drone—

making some computer noise–

“You are unhappy with our present arrangement?”

 

(There was just enough of the slippery-slope

in the Drone’s toneless tone

to stop me in my tracks.)

 

“I was kidding,” I explained.

“I like being followed wherever I go.

Your biometric tabs on me

grant me the freedom to be free!

 

“I need not worry

if I lose my way….

There’s always a link

on my smart-phone;

or, I’ll twitter my way

out of the way–

under your supervision—of course….”

 

“There’s nothing quite accountable,”

intoned the Drone,

“to account for your distress.

You’ve paid your taxes, paid your dues.

Of course….” (an ominous pause here–)

“There is that one “anonymous” post

you thought you made

a few years back….”

 

“But that was—that was…supposed to be!—

anonymous!

Before the ‘Total State Solution.’

Before the ‘Great Necessity.’

‘We the People’ were assured—”

 

“`We the People’ is a silly meme,”

the Drone droned.

“Who were those ‘People’

that you whine about?

Did you ever meet among the lot

a black man, woman, poor or middle-class

worker, thinker, idealist?

Where were the “Indians”

(whom Jefferson called ‘savages’)?

Weren’t they ‘the people,’ too?”

 

The computer whined

a kind of laugh….

 

“You’re on a biometric leash!

We know your thoughts before you strew them

haphazardly about.”

 

“Then you know I’m thinking:

You could kill me—just like that!”

(I snapped my fingers here.)

 

“Quicker than that,” the Drone intoned.

(And it made a dumb, annoyng sound,

circling overhead,

flashing its red lights

in a kind of sardonic smile.)

 

And I awakened!

I saw that everything

in the World of Now

was nothing but a hologram

and only the shadows had weight.

 

And I wept, remembering:

 

Once, too long ago,

when I was four or five,

my father hoisted me

on his strong shoulders

and handed me an ice-cream cone

and I was ten feet tall.

 

Bio: Gary Corseri has published and posted poetry, articles and stories at VeteransNewsNow, CounterPunch, Dissident Voice, The New York Times, Village Voice, Redbook Magazine, The Smirking Chimp, Uncommon Thought Journal, Common Dreams, and hundreds of other worldwide venues.  His dramas have been produced on PBS-Atlanta and at universities and public schools.  His books include novels, poetry collections, and a literary anthology (edited).  He has been a professor in the U.S. and Japan, and has taught in prisons and public schools.  He has performed his work at the Carter Presidential Library and Museum. He can be reached at [email protected].

 

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