Then, as I’m supposed to be writing this word poem (as mentioned in previous post), this idea pops out of nowhere and I’m going with it, and out pops this commentary on the digital age through my typewriters! And I really want to submit this for workshop, but it doesn’t use any of the words. Darn. So I don’t know what I’m going to do. Sigh. Here’s…
Curled up in my armchair, I try
to find words. Instead, endless
distractions parade across
the muted screen of my laptop
Music, news articles, chatting
with friends, a million and one ways
to put off shaping the words
that are truly important.
I want a working typewriter,
a straight up, no-nonsense word processor
that won’t play bootlegged reruns
of Friends. There’d be no options for
size or font, and no distractions
save the clickety-clack of inked
keys on the ribbon and the zing
as the lever’s pushed back.
A great, cast iron behemoth
lives in my room, found in the barn
behind an old antique store. It
no longer moves the way it ought, keys
sticking, no ink to be had. But
something in the aged, black Royal
reaches out at me. It will run
someday, soon, when I find the skills
or the parts to fix this ancient
hunk of metal. It lasted through
the roaring twenties and the Great
Depression that followed: I doubt
it minds a few more broken months.
There is another, a later
version unearthed from a yard sale,
made of the same awkward, taupe plastic
of the earliest computers.
Also a Royal, this one produced
Half a century after
my lovely black goliath. This
one is clearly a machine, while
the coal black metal giant
recalls a less mechanical age,
that forgotten era that lacked
cellular phones and touch screens.
The days of my old Royal were
more genuine, less synthetic
and fabricated than this digital
age of a thousand diversions.
I’d like to go back to writing
on a simple typewriter, one
that processes words and nothing else.
I could just type. I think I’d like that.