This monster, this orphan, of Frankensteins,
he’s taken up residence at my place.
He’s reconfigured networks and crossed lines;
broken the system that delivers bass.
Of his exploits I keep an inventory:
it includes the toaster, the frying pan,
the x-box, the iron, the old TV,
the electric drill and the ceiling fan.
For the most part he lurks in the shadows,
turning knobs and flicking the two-way switch.
Lately, he’s run the pump dry, and who knows
what’s next – a major blow, a minor glitch!?
. Might be easier to live in a cave.
. Think of the tension and money I’d save.
© Tim Grace, 10 November 2011
To the reader: Sometimes the frustration of technology dampens all enthusiasm for progress. I’ve always had a bent for tinkering with household gadgets that have achieved their point of built-in obsolescence. Why I haven’t learnt the futility of this pursuit I really don’t know… optimism; that’s too easy. Obligation has something to do with it. My household status rises and falls with the current reliability of switches and circuits.
To the poet: Around this time, in 2011, with my reputation in shatters I collected together a long list of non-functional household conveniences. Mary Shelley’s portrayal of technology’s fragile relationship with humanity expresses the marriage of wondrous expectation with forlorn disappointment. In this context, poetry can be a useful therapy. With the writing of this sonnet I purged the curse… out went hopeless misery; its replacement: a simple but satisfying final couplet.