Heartbleed

Standard

A bait-and-switch,

Give and take,

Fake Out.

I gave the server,

A blank note,

She did a double-take,

And blurted all her client’s

Names out.

That was taboo,

But she never got the memo–

Maybe it was wrong of me,

To do.

It felt a touch exploitative,

Though I assure you,

A hacker never uses

Their sleight-of-hand,

Technical prowess,

And strong communication skills,

for evil,

Unless they feel like it.

Submersible

Standard

The SONAR tone bounded aimlessly through the massive expanse all around us, but all signs said “nothing to write home about.”

The captain sighed softly while everyone else tried to bury their loneliness in productivity.

The disparity between the nuclear-capable, inescapable, matte-black shell that shielded us was somehow more obvious with a glance through the periscope.

Even if you’re neither agoraphobic nor claustrophobic, being packed sardine-like at the bottom of the ocean can coax both out in short notice.

Ping… ping… ping…

“I see a huge object at 8 o’clock, sir” said the navigator.

So many bloodshot eyes stared in his direction at once.

“Properties,” the captain asked.

“30 feet long, moving toward hostile waters,” the navigator listed.

“Let’s investigate,” said the captain.

The vessel turned slowly, deliberately, to find the object.

“It appears to be diving,” said the navigator.

 The captain commanded coldly “Arm the torpedos,”

We all looked at each other at once itching for something to do, not forgetting that a hole in the hull the size of a quarter would let in a jet of water that could slice a man in two.

Ping… ping… ping… ping…

We were approaching now.

The captain pulled the periscope down.

“On my command,” he said holding his arm up.

Just enough light filtered through from the surface,

To show a sperm whale corpse slowly falling.

“Captain Ishmael?”

“Don’t call me that.” 

The navigator apologized profusely, and asked for information,

“Our worst enemy, another false positive,” the captain said dejectedly.

Each bloodshot eye fell back to its station,

In silent disappointment.

Scheduled Maintenance

Standard

Tinkering is the art of incrementalism.

The heart grows fonder with each quarter-turn of a socket wrench,

I invest my time to top off her fluids when she’s running low,

Check the tread on her tires,

Pull out any dents,

Because she can’t do that on her own.

In return, she does the impossible,

Gets me where I need to go,

Yet doesn’t ask that much of me,

I’m just happy to help.

Distortion

Standard

distortion

The well-timed,

precisely aligned,

Cathode ray tube display

found in old television sets,

is thrown into disarray,

with the pole of a strong enough magnet.

Perception becomes reality,

then misconceptions set-in,

which threaten the image.

You have to get in,

to reset

and rearrange things,

back to parity-

a return to clarity.

When you come to

and see the true view,

you’ll wonder how you

made due

with skewed hues.

Vinyl

Standard

Walking,

Blindfolded,

Through the annals,

Feeling the walls,

And using echolocation.

The ancient texts,

Sacred incantations,

Chants of legends,

Contained in texture,

To be deciphered,

By a stylus,

Which cannot,

Transcribe.

Each pressing,

With its own,

Character.

Each batch with,

It’s own,

Flaws,

Hissing,

Popping,

Scratches,

Not even counting,

The shattered ones.

Revolutions,

Dictate,

No matter,

How convoluted,

The labyrinth,

Until it’s time,

To switch,

To the other side.

Exact Replicas

Standard

Formulaic conveyance,

Each step of the way,

With programmed patterns,

Robotic arms,

Outfitted with pincers,

And cutting implements.

Each drone,

Making clones,

With their own tasks honed,

Couldn’t do it alone.

Though it lacks the imagination,

And dizzying whimsey,

Of his creations,

Rube Goldberg would be proud,

That his machinations,

Weren’t so far-fetched,

After all.

Tungsten

Standard


Let there be light,

Turn the knob twice,

Curled, Coiled,

Incandescent filament.

Glowing white-hot,

Between two prongs,

Until it all stops,

And pops-

A blue spark,

Flashes twice as bright,

When it’s burned for too long.

It all comes crumbling down,

Rolling around,

Disembodied,

In the bell jar.

You’re distracted,

By the floating, bluish,

Inkblots that slide,

Away from your line of sight.

You ask yourself “how many idiots does it take to screw in a lightbulb?”

But instead of answering, you quietly exit,

To find a replacement.