(A modern reinterpretation of Carl Sandburg’s “I Am The People, The Mob”)
I am Social Media—the Mob—the tweet—the trend.
Do you know that all the distractions of the world are done through
I am the idle man, the instigator, the selfie-taker of the world’s food
I am the audience that hashtags #mystory. The Kardashians come from me and the Trumps. They die. And then I trend other Kardashians and Trumps.
I am the feed going round. I am a blog diary that will gain a following. Terrible shitstorms
pass over me. I never forget. The best of me is plucked out and trashbinned. I never forget. Everything but Nuance comes from me and makes me twerk and give Likes for all I hashtag—and I never forget.
Sometimes I OMG, filter myself and trigger a few million hypocrites to remember. Then— I never forget.
When I, Social Media, yearn to remember, when I, Social Media, abuse the mistakes of yesterday and begrudge whom I mobbed last year, who played the scapegoat for me—then there will be none not offended in all the world say the name “Social Media” with any click of a post on their phone or any facebook status omission.
The mob—the tweet—will trend again.
There are songbirds tweeting loudly
and waking each other in the trees,
each bird taking up the song proudly,
but it never stops logging companies.
Chasing Will O’ the Wisps
would be more productive
than these dead, self-saturated
swamps of thought,
ideology being the stagnation of
and so there stretch billions of
digital miles of
as people plant the same seeds of
tribal belief, partisan posts
that have corrupted Eden
with web-arrayed weeds
just to add another layer
to the wasteland.
Even as they dig up
and let it air,
it still catches fire
as the stale, decaying
mouthfuls of morass
into one another;
meanwhile minds everywhere vegetate
into poisonous plants
which likewise never grow.
So much time and energy
tending rotten roots,
so much life
devoted to a barren horizon of
inert, suffocating compost.
It makes bogmen
of us all.
What flower did not wither, too,
when under the magnifying glass,
the focused, scrutinizing rays
burning petals, stems, and the grass
surrounding it, hitherto
shriveling in that relentless gaze?
Nor can little army men
endure such a spotlight for long,
melting down as plastic sludge
despite however well-made and strong
while the lens focuses when
we critical children glare and judge.
And even an armored ant pawn
doing as its hivemind intends
cannot withstand that laser ray
while we, jaded, follow trends,
never reflecting on
how we may find ourselves burnt someday.