Virtual Advice

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If you’re dating a dud of a download

And it’s occurring during an internet outing

Find a different server……

Don’t let a rude browser screw up your day

We can talk Facebook to Facebook,

Instant message me

No need to Skype, post, tweet, or offer me

A Goodread and get all Kindle

I will text you the same thing I’ve always texted you

It’s good to keep a few tabs open

Weed out crappy apps

Don’t let them waste space on your hard drive

Find the perfect operating system

Don’t share your network with any old device
You can’t afford to load pages slowly

Sometimes, it’s good to clear your history

Stay positive and keep updating on a regular basis

It keeps you safe from viruses

And eating too many tracking cookies

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About The Bird

Cindy Schnackel

I was invited to one of those huggy, huggy group meetings. You know, the type where everyone reveals inner lies about themselves, others, and the world around them. Well, we soon started picking out animal personalities for each other, which sucked, because someone else chose what animal you were. So, right off the perch, things weren’t going to be honest, just brutal like a writers’ workshop. There were cougars, bears, eagles, dolphins—lions, owls, deer, and yadda, yadda. Me? I was a bird. Not a specific bird, just a generic, B-I-R-D, bird. That’s the word. Not an avian personality like a bluebird or gold finch, but a plain old bird. What were they trying to tell me?  All I could do was pretend it was a compliment. My feathers weren’t ruffled and I didn’t chirp up. I wouldn’t dare peep in public.

If I was to be a bird, then I must be a flightless bird. After all, I drove ten miles to attend the meeting.  Somewhere, back in my sordid evolution, I had the ability to fly. Now, for reasons of survival, that ability was lost, because I wanted to drive a Prius, Passat, or Volvo and feel good about it. I developed a quick, efficient waddle that could outrun stupidity. Unfortunately, stupidity is stubborn and I have had to keep running, continuously. My beak became sharper. I needed the perk to peck the shit out of anyone who was particularly problematic. My eyes moved to the front of my head from the sides, so I could see who was insulting me and who I insulted back. I went for easy prey, foraging in schools of overpriced degrees, chewing on grants, choking on loans, leading to a career inside an aviary called community college. This led to teaching kids who don’t read, who prefer spark notes instead of critical thinking. Thinking is for the birds. Go America. I watched out for (not always successfully) bigger hunters who would kill my personality. They fed voraciously upon individuality like it was Tweety’s feed, spewing out rotten eggs of ego during union meetings. I would mate with those of my kind, but since none of us could fly we kept to ourselves. Occasionally a kindly scientist patted me on the head and gave me a treat, but they always wanted something in return.

So, the meeting was a success, yes I’m a bird. I’ve now been caged.  But, I’m going home proud. You’ve heard about migration, so I’m going to get seasonal. By the time you hear my birdsong. I’ll be long gone. I just need to find my keys.

A Score To Settle

John Cage's 4'33"
John Cage’s 4’33”

We share the intros

Melodies, harmony and noise

Along the loud life…enough

To vibrate the moon

Shake a star loose

While all our faults

And splits of passion

Deepen beneath our feet

Buzzing between brackets

Of time signatures, rattling keys

Propping up our city by the meter

In preparation of the worst

We sing our bridges into soundness

Reinforcing our staved streets to

Protect us from dissonant gravel

Engaged with our theme and variations

Through further development

Counter melodies, extended harmonics humming

Then unexpectedly, the earthshaking shimmy arrives

we enjoy its counterpoint

Addicted to our contrapuntal connection

To the falling structure of song

Frightened and exhilarated by the penultimate beat

Coda

Debacle

aword

Volumes of discussions done

Words have been ditched

Along the convenient shore

By the images we abhor 

Who Dig out words at low tide

Constantly consonant, foul on the vowel

Slipping through the hippest lips

Without a stutter, lisp,……….creating hits,

Files full of future teleprompt air

With the utmost care, fonts as thin as hair

Free verse, sometimes perverse

Or preoccupied by its own purse

Taxations on the bipolar rich and poor,

We listen to the giddy whore…. Of our own

Goofiness, measuring watchers, polling who’s there

Just when you think someone cares

We turn back to Bumblr, Facecrook

And Goofy Plus, our stick-made nook

To utter and give forth, to fish

In the stream of eternal bitching

Seems like witches burning

On the electric rotisserie, then

You try to turn it off and be free

At least given the words to disagree

But, we are in the desolate lands of the unlistenable

Discourse has been hijacked into the subliminal

Turning In

 

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I tell the child to simmer down, relax

Hoping the child is not me, so

The kid keeps me cooped up longer…..

Minutes confused in conundrum

Periods of time, bent, sealed, released

Sounds of breathing, sounds of morning

Birds, bottle collectors bent on deconstruction

Deposits of thought, dependent on clocks

I fight the surly rise and shine baby,

Held between brackets of sleep’s

Birth and a very, very, very long jog

Along outside sunrise and inside sunset

 

Inside, I see the child’s face, dark,

I’m arguing now. I’m an arguer..yes, yes

For night never smiles ….Or if it is smiling

No one would recognize its embouchure

And that’s hard to argue with

For the child’s smile is not one

That appears on lips, or gives the joke away

It’s a thought that fires in a daze

Held by my skull hiding between pillows

Keeping my brain in heat

Away from expressionless states

That forget limbs, love, and sometimes sadness

Pawless

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I place insoles and inserts

Inside my boots

To dampen effects of sidewalks,

The hard boiled surfaces

In which I watch for cracks

Who stub and trip my stride,

Enough to throw me onto

Wobbly ankles and tender tendon seas

………………………….You see

My body is a micro ocean  

Without a Moses ……..and

The city is so red, red, red, red

With its pyramid condominiums

And no matter how hard I stomp down

Upon the wimpiest concrete

My boots scuff and scratch

 

 

In my garden, I pry my boots off

My toes have been taught

To cluster towards the center.

Nails curl down, out, and away

Like claws who have forgotten

How to scratch, dig, take hold.

Feet so thin, soft, and pinkish brown

Still, I pretend I can run barefoot

Until my hooves must be restored.