Is poetry a search engine


[The 3rd stanza is referencing Matthew Arnold’s famous late 19th century poem ‘Dover Beach’ about the loss of faith and certainty. ‘Masterchef’ is a reality-TV cooking show. ‘dunny’ is Australian slang for toilet. The photo was taken behind the University of Technology in Sydney.]

Is poetry a search engine

inside the mind of the benevolent god:
when you type in yourself, press enter,

whole anti-worlds cascade down
your limbic neurons, you’re sitting

on Dover Beach with Whitman
reading Milton as the receding tide

makes the pebbles hum, & another
civilization bites the dust of ages

asking where’s the saviour
who’ll save us from ourselves

where’s the precarian spanner
in the works of the mind machine

grinding our filigree world
into a boiling, roiling mess

of cyberspace & cant? Pass
the remote, Masterchef, we’re done

we’ve had our chance, written
a few lines people graced with Like

failed the exam despite extra time
& a smartphone on the dunny

yet each byte of cell & smell,
each ear-taste of poetic line

& beat reconciles me, kicking,
to the way things are, inside

evil’s global roar abyssal silence
hyper-linked to poetry’s palimpsests

a living muse museum inside
the mind of the absent god

unfathomable trickster dancing
the fires of fecklessness & fate


~ by Peter Lach-Newinsky on May 6, 2015.

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