July 31, 2005A Verse to Spam
I write a lot, but I don't write poetry...or at least not since high school assignments made me do it. Poetry, in my opinion, is a difficult medium, and not one I appear to be equipped to handle. Moreover, quite a bit of modern poetry leaves me scratching my head. Give me my dusty copy of The Oxford Book of English Verse instead, and send me to the Lake Country.
What brings this subject to the forefront was a perusal the other day of an email account inbox I have at Comcast. For better or worse, Comcast is my onramp to the Information Superhighway. Every customer gets an account name and email address, like it or not. I don't use the account name for anything, don't publish the address anywhere, and don't check the inbox except perhaps every two or three months—just to clear out the junk.
And what junk!
Like most big ISPs, Comcast must get its share of dictionary attacks. Somewhere along the line, my account ID must have shown up as being valid, because the amount of spam addressed to that account is quite incredible. Except for Comcast's own occasional messages, the rest is 100% spam. Comcast's spam filtering is abominable, compared to the job that Microsoft Entourage (my Mac email client) does on the messages that make it through my server filters. Whoever designed the Entourage spam detectors should get in touch with Comcast ASAP.
Rather than clutter my email client with Comcast-delivered crap, I use Comcast's Web interface to read and delete the mail. I continue to apply the same "don't open it" practice there as I do in my Mac email client. But that means that I still see the From: and Subject: lines in the list of waiting messages.
The batch of messages I saw the other day really struck me as being perhaps akin to modern poetry. Clearly, each Subject: line from a large family of messages was assembled from random words, but I swear it might just nudge some poetic muse in a reader. I know what free verse is, so this is perhaps a genre to be known as random verse. Or spamdom verse.
And so, I grabbed a series of these Subject: lines, made an occasional punctuation and agreement tweak (e.g., a/an agreement) to prepare a poem that I call...
A Verse to Spam
To draw or ascription,
Or watch a mirror
At wakeup so bilk concomitance,
Is wait be stardust?
I turnoff by orientation staircase
As count at desiccant ampere;
His hurt by ulterior cupping,
Do can it hermit telephotography?
The spend go representation
That spell at electoral.
He smoke, he duckling,
A worry as tripper truculence.
I'll leave you in silence to contemplate.Posted on July 31, 2005 at 12:33 PM