Maryann Corbett


Virtual Blues

following certain unfortunate experiences, with apologies to W.H. Auden

Trash all the apps. Cut FaceTime off, and Zoom.
Stop messaging your love from across the room.
Unplug, unplug. Curse at the porno-trolls.
Delete the lobbyists’ frantic email polls.

Silence the phone scams; let the robo-voice
fade in the great infernal round of noise
within the Malebolge of scams and swindles
where innocent books are vacuumed back from Kindles,

and float each streaming service down the stream
of the blue screen where no one hears you scream.
Leave me my books, my specs. Let me inhale,
trembling, at the arrival of the mail.

Teach me again to walk around the block,
pet dogs, and make ridiculous tiny talk.
Restore, before I climb these wired-up walls,
old-fashioned Human-To-Human Protocols.

Maryann Corbett spent thirty-five years working for the Minnesota Legislature but is now in recovery. She is the author of five books of poetry, most recently In Code, from Able Muse Press.