"Ode to Browsing the Web" - Marcus Wicker
Two spiky-haired Russian cats hit kick flips
on a vert ramp. The camera pans to another
pocket of the room where six kids rocking holey
T-shirts etch aerosol lines on warehouse walls
in words I cannot comprehend. All of this
happening in a time no older than your last
heartbeat. I’ve been told the internet is
an unholy place — an endless intangible
stumbling ground of false deities
dogma and loneliness, sad as a pile of shit
in a world without flies. My loneliness exists
in every afterthought. Yesterday, I watched
a neighbor braid intricate waves of cornrows
into her son’s tiny head and could have lived
in her focus-wrinkled brow for a living. Today
I think I practice the religion of blinking too much.
Today, I know no neighbor’s name and won’t
know if I like it or not. O holy streaming screen
of counterculture punks, linger my lit mind
on landing strips — through fog, rain, hail —
without care for time or density. O world
wide web, o viral video, o god of excrement
thought. Befriend me. Be fucking infectious.
Move my eyes from one sight to the next.
Marcus Wicker was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He is the author of Silencer (2017) and Maybe the Saddest Thing (2012) and is the poetry editor of Southern Indiana Review. He is assistant professor of English at University of Southern Indiana. "Ode to Browsing the Web" originally appeared in Poetry.