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Page 192

False nostalgia. I would not trade my umpty-ump-jillion-
mega-or-giga-or-mega-giggle-or-tera Herz or byte computing monster
("monster" is what "tera" means) for 50,000 Royal typewriters
with the monkeys thrown in at no extra charge. (Though in time
of power failure, we may type again -- by candlelight.)

But even now, I first fill up notebooks with ink
before "entering" my poems to hard disk. (Odd that we
"delete" things. Shouldn't what is entered be exited?)
(Entered, entranced, excitedly exited, re-entered....)
Crystal diodes, magnetic ons and offs – too ghostly! I must again
run my fingers over this page, roaming, rampaging
(ram those pages through, like a typewriter);
ROMless and RAMless -- the two founders
of Roam, suckled by a warped woof (for this paper
has a weave, tangled to deceive).

I suppose I could create my poems entirely
on the computer, but I'm old and have a BIOS
in favor of blank page over blank screen.

Besides, I can write (as now) sprawled naked
on the couch, not so easy on, even, a laptop.
And no printer required: My notebook is both
screen and hard copy. And it never jams, unless
someone leaves chewed gum between the pages
or a smear of honey. And the pages
don't irradiate my eyes.

I'm tired of stroking this page to keep it solid
amid all the significance I'm churning up.
I'll stroke the couch cushion, my naked body
lying here. Odd, I can tell you to stroke this page,
and you can do it (given a loose interpretation
of "this" -- depending on is this THIS or is THIS this?).
But most of you can't stroke my body.
You'll have to stroke your own. (Hey!
Get your mind out of my gutter! I stroked
my WRIST!)

(No, I stroked my penis, but my penis and I
are just good friends.)

Note: ROMless and RAMless (refering to an old typewriter, that lacks the computer's Read Only Memory and Random Access Memory) suggests the legendary founders of Rome (not Roam – like fingers over a keyboard), Romulus and Remus, who were suckled by a wolf (not a woof, as in "warp and woof" on a loom or in the grain of paper, hence a "warped woof"). The idea that the grain of paper is like a weave suggests the tangling to deceive (perhaps the deceit of art or the deceit of words pretending to be a voice, but also the way my over-elaborate metaphor grew tangled. "BIOS" (Basic Input/Output System) puns "bias".

In stanza five, the stuff about interpreting "this" refers to telling you, the reader, to stroke THIS page. Am I, for example, referring to the actual page I'm stroking (with pen or finger) as I write the poem or the same text on a printed page in your hands or...?

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