Sunday, April 15, 2012


It’s twenty-twelve, we have no icebergs here—
well, maybe a few puny ones, but we’ve
got cruise missiles, sonar and radar, lasers in space,
F-104s rigged with Sidewinder missiles,
Robotic dolphins, submersibles seven miles deep.
We’ll belch greenhouse gases to par-broil the atmosphere
thaw all those little bergs out.

It’s twenty-twelve, there be no dragons here.
No more gray edges on maps (Street View, instead),
no frontiers except the doorway to the dream—
Only the husk of bravado remains.

It’s the freaking third millennium, folks!
We’ll fluff you with Plasma TV.
We’ve got Gigabit Ethernet, nanotechnology,
iPhones with light-saber apps. Our hadron colliders
make mincemeat of particles, our neutrinos zip
faster than light.

We’ve shorn up our methods of dealing with danger,
with shoe searches, patdowns the rules of the day.
The hearts of our downtowns all bristle
with videocams. Geiger detectors at all ports of call.
Thanks to the latest in cyber-security,
you’re protected from 12 million dangers online.
Heck, you can even buy insurance from asteroids.

Yeah, but try and find someone to pay it out—
or, for that matter, to collect.


  1. I read hadron colliders as hardon colliders - Freudian slip or a bit of truth? I like the swaggering tone of this. The no icebergs - that are getting melted, anyway. The dragons that continue to be slayed. For some reason, shoe searches and patdowns, in this context, just cracks me up. This is the theater of the absurd. But then it always was, wasn't it?

  2. Thanks, Laurie--the hadron/hardon connection hadn't occurred to me; I'll leave it to the Freudians to hash that out. I tried to paint a rollicking yet disturbing portrait of life in 2012, particularly as it relates to fear.