Me and My Shadow-Drone

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 intoned.
“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.)

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.

Gary Corseri has published/posted poems, articles and stories at Dissident Voice, The Greanville Post, Uncommon Thought Journal, CounterPunch, Countercurrents, Transcend Media Service, Veterans News Now, The New York Times, Village Voice, Redbook Magazine, Common Dreams, and hundreds of other worldwide venues. His dramas have been produced on PBS-Atlanta and elsewhere, and he published novels, poetry collections, and a literary anthology (edited), Manifestations. He has taught in US and Japanese universities and in US prisons and public schools. He has performed his work at the Carter Presidential Library and Museum. Gary can be reached at gary_corseri@comcast.net. Read other articles by Gary.