“Santa Clara Server Room” by Henry Crawford

September 25, 2017

it’s already [tomorrow] in Shanghai [midnight]
in [Palo Alto] and I’m working with Kumar
“Leisure Suit Larry” using [SQL commands]
on big iron [Oracle] with [SELECT statements]
and [WHERE clauses] searching [container] ships
for a [box] gone missing in the South China Sea
[an odd lot] of Jimmy Buffet [bobble heads]
200 cases of Blue Ray [DVDs] and five dozen
cartons of Popeye the Sailor [punching bags]
turned out by 14-year-old Kim working
the long shift in an [orange smog] Guangdong
[sweatshop] filling orders for a dollar store
In [Des Moines] as our deft fingers scour
the [shipping lanes] querying transactions
[sorting] [filtering] broadband waves
of [structured] [information] in climate
controlled [darkness] and I’m thinking
about the [punching bag] children
winding up their short sleeved arms
to bash their plastic foes [and the planet
we’re burning] to make such happiness
[and how that’s all we ever wanted]
when out of the din of [spinning discs]
Larry says he’s found the [box] at the bottom
of a million record database [grinning]
as he explains that it was just a case
of a mistaken [space] between the “Pop”
and the “eye” in the word “Popeye” and
out in the valley the virtual night breathes
deep as the world again makes sense


Henry CrawfordHenry Crawford is a poet living and writing in the Washington, DC area. His work has appeared in several journals and online publications including Boulevard, Copper Nickel, Folio, Borderline Press and The Offbeat. He was a 2016 nominee for a Pushcart Prize for his poem “The City of Washington” appearing in District Lit. His first collection of poetry, American Software, was published in 2017 by WordTech Communications through its imprint, CW Books. His website is HenryCrawfordPoetry.Com.

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