Literary Yard

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‘Now Online’ and other poems

By: J.K. Durick

Now Online

Everything, everyone in line is online
dealt with in a click.
PIN numbers, usernames remembered,
filled in or forgotten,
account numbers, then totals.
It’s a matter of the numbers
we translate ourselves into.
It’s the easy to recall password.
A shorthand shortcut that sorts and labels
reminds us, saves us
gives us the social life we never had
perhaps never wanted.
Our laptops sitting in our laps granting wishes
a reverse Santa story of sorts –
all those pictures and definitions waiting,
all the answers to the questions we face,
the meaning of this versus
the meaning of that.
We get in line online, get ahead of ourselves,
save time and energy
time and energy we can spend
trying to figure out what to do with it all.

Dating Ourselves

Sometimes it’s hard to keep
The date straight.
When is this, when is that?
We leave on, return on.
In between stretches dates
That beg to be filled.
The laptop has a calendar
For us, so does the phone.
There’s paper one on my desk
And one on the kitchen counter.
All of them want to pitch in
To remind us, prod us along as
We go from day to day
Trying to remember which day
Is which day – birthdays, holidays
Appointments we made long ago
May be coming up
And we try to remember.
Did we mark the calendar
Or didn’t we.


What if we don’t hear back? What if the words
We commit to paper or screen, the words that
We thought would set things in motion, get no
Response? We send things like that off, off into
The silence of the day and hope we’ll be hearing
Back some reply. Sometimes even a negative
Reply is reassuring, reassuring that at least we
Were heard and someone responded, felt some
Kind of obligation to say whatever they have to say.
But don’t we all think that the very things we said
The phrasing, the wording, even that occasional
Witty turn of phrase will move things in a positive
Direction. How could they not respond the way we
imagined they would? How could they let it all go
by without something we could prize or even rip
into thousand pieces?

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