Future World Problems

My self-driving car is too slow;

it takes forever to get anywhere.

I would teleport instead

but it gives me a headache.


Actually, I wanted to go to Mars

for a quick weekend overnight,

but tickets were sold out. Oh well,

it’s cold there this time of year anyway.


I could stay at home but lately my

holograms have been buffering

all the time.  All I want to do is

watch the game in 3D!


I’m also trying to stay away from

my fridge.  It auto-fills with what I eat—

which is mostly junk—and I hate taking

diet pills.  I lose weight too fast.


At least I’m not at work—TGIF, right?

The robots I manage are

always breaking down.  Sometimes,

I have to do the work for them.


And my boss is always wanting to do

weekly video chats—he’s old fashioned

that way.  That means I need to shower

and look presentable at home—oy!


Instead of going out, I guess I’ll

hook up my VR and go to a virtual club.

I met a really cute girl last week,

but it turns out she was actually a dude.


One day, technology will catch up

to where I’m at.  One day, I’ll

wake up and everything will just work.

Then, I can stop complaining.



There’s an App for That

Tell my buddy “yo”

Switch my face with coworker’s

A vanishing note


Fling birds into pigs

Catch a digital creature

Play slots on my phone


Read signs in Spanish

Send cash instantly to friend

Map house with camera


Talk with monster mouth

Play obnoxious sound effects

Track places I’ve pooped


Keep log of passwords

Scan and fax a document

Count my steps each day


That fleeting moment

Me and a forgotten friend

Now saved forever


Hearing mother’s voice

Calm, familiar, and soothing

Half a world away.




Pounding down energy drinks, booting up my PC;

got my


back-lit keyboard

4k monitor

high speed bandwidth

razer gaming mouse.


***You ready, son?  Let’s go.***


Civ 4, DOTA

Total War, X Com.

Counterstrike, Starcraft,

League of legends.


Minecraft, Skyrim,

Portal, Assassins creed.

Hearthstone, Guild Wars

Metal Gear, and WOW.


Ima be a general

Ima be a knight

Ima do a zergling rush

Ima gonna fight.


Head shot, kill streak,

match five, free coins.

Easter eggs, secret level,

point-and-click, rampage!


Melee, hand-to-hand,

tech tree, new quest.

Birds eye, god mode

mad skillz, high score.


Good luck, have fun…

nice try n000000b.

Level up, new skins,

map cleared, for the win!




In the realm I’m known as

“Theal’crast Wickendel”

(but you can call me “Wick”)

you’ll recognize me if you see me:

there’s not too many other seven foot tall,

blue skinned guys with large hooked teeth.


I used to be a level one Paladin;

I used to grind away experience points

fighting wild boars in the woods.

I graduated to a raiding party—

we’d crawl thru dungeons, kill demons,

hoard jewels, divvy up rare items.

Then I started going solo

and that’s when things got went south.


Swinging a borad sword is super tiring,

especially when you’re fighting off a

half dozen flying lizard men.  So…

I bought a magic potion from a gypsie,

went on to pwn like I never have before,

got a little more, overdosed, and transformed

into one of the very monsters I had often fought.


Turns out in the world of MMOGs

they have a zero gypsie-juice policy.

I got booted offline and now live in a

one bedroom by the freeway—which is ok I guess.

My attorney, who is also a level 30 mage,

is fighting the ruling, and says I have a

good chance.  But in the meantime…


I would like to work customer service.

I’m good with people, good with technology,

am a team player (most of the time),

and excel in challenging situations.



Me Talk Techie One Day


really freaks me out,

worse than public wifi networks,

worse than public bathrooms without toilet paper;

I heard it gives you brain cancer,

and on it the government



My email

got hacked because

my forwards have a whole bunch

of foreign letters and symbols and sometimes

my mouse moves when I

didn’t even touch



and this one time my sister had her computer stolen from her car and then someone got into her contacts and changed all the names to Ted Mosby and I don’t even know who Ted Mosby is and when I tried to Google it to help her out instead of Ted Mosby it brought up porn and so I shut down my computer right away and unplugged it because I hear they can turn it on remotely after all that’s what that Snowden guy did and that’s why the government hates him but then all of a sudden my phone rang and it was some guy in India and he said that he wanted to offer me life insurance but I already have life insurance



I’m pretty sure

I need a new computer,

one that doesn’t get emails from Nigerian princes,

one with lots of firewalls

but no wifi and no




That Robotic Itch

Sometimes I feel mechanical:

like one day scratch my arm,

look beneath the skin, and realize…

I’ve gone Terminator.


Try as I might to be human,

some things are machine coded,

some things are written in binary.


I am happy to eat a sandwich for lunch

every day for the rest of my life.

I could love one woman and

never pursue the other fish in the sea.

I like to work for one company and

could be with them until I retire.

I want to hang out with the same friends

I’ve known for ten years.


Other people around me change:

new dreams, new challenges, new loves.

They are alive—constantly sprouting

new limbs, always climbing towards

the sun, sometimes faltering, breaking off—

leaving twisted green limbs on the ground.


(I know I change too, but how

much of that is a learned adaptation?)


I wonder how well I would do at the Turing Test:

How much of a human am I really?

I go from sad to indifferent…cold;

I go from animated to calculating;

and when I do change, it’s a sudden transformation,

slipping out of one skin and into another.


I imagine scientists coming in with clipboards

as I sit in a small white box.  They wear lab coats,

have thick glasses, and ask the tough questions.


“Tell me, how are you feeling?”

“What do you think is the meaning of life?”

“Where do you see yourself in ten years?”




I once got zapped by lightning at the computer

while playing Call of Duty. I felt it thru the

mouse, a small jolt. The computer restarted

and we were both fine, but ever since then…

***I’ve got super powers.***


Technology sales by day, crime fighting by night…

my signal on the night sky: a green,

fully charged battery. It brings hope to the hopeless

and is the scourge of technophobes everywhere.


They call me, “Direct Current.”


What’s that?  A cry for help?

A laser is shooting down all our satellites?


It’s obviously the dastardly devious deeds of

Doctor Disconnect, my arch nemesis!

I swoop in and overload his circuits.


Did someone say the Chinese are plotting to

sabotage American infrastructure?


Soon, I’m fighting ninja hackers in the reactor

of a nuclear power plant.  Armed with

nunchucks and malware, they throw

high kicks, and I throw EMPs—from my mind!


No trouble is too small.  Where there’s

techno woes there’s Direct Current!


I see an overwhelmed mother of three stepping

from her minivan while juggling groceries.

She’s about to drop her new phone on the driveway!

Swoosh—caught an inch before the ground!


I could do without the spandex

but grateful citizens and a key to the city—

these make my brushes with death, my sleep

deprivation, and the occasional static shock

totally worth it.



Greater Than, Not Equal To

I don’t mind being monitored:


the tracker in my car that reports to my insurance,

the security cameras at work that never blink,

the watch I wear measuring my heart and steps.


If you had access to all this data, then

you might know of me:


You would know what songs I listen to,

websites I visit, where I drive…

How often I pretend to text on my phone

to avoid social awkwardness.

You would know the hours I am awake,

those sleepless nights watching TV, and

(if I had a sleep tracker)

you would know when and how often

I dream.


So take these steps, this heartbeat,

these playlists, and read all the emails.

Take these texts, this Netflix queue,

and the documents on my computer

no one will ever see.

Take my bank balance, my transactions,

my location data, my Facebook statuses,

and even my energy consumption…


It’s said that when boiled down,

a human body can be accounted for

99.99% of the time—the rest is soul.


With all this data, you get a composite sketch;

good enough for a police lineup, but not DNA good.

The real me lives between the lines,

the real me is greater than the sum of all data.



Never Lost

Our family’s first GPS, we named “Gertrude.”

It was Dad’s idea—she had a slight

British accent, and it just seemed to fit.


“In half a mile, turn right.”

“In 500 feet, the destination is on you left.”


Even seven years ago, computer voices

seemed sassy, a little indignant.


“Really?  You had to invent me just so

you could figure out where to go?”

“Myles, would you like me to read

the instructions a little…slower?”


Of course, when I make a wrong turn—

going right instead of left—it is really

Gertrude’s fault.  And I hate it when she says:




I wonder if Lewis and Clark, Columbus, Magellan—

I wonder if the explorers had a good sense  of direction.


“Definitely seen this Ocean before.”

“Hey, I recognize that rock from two months back!”


I imagine them swearing at their compasses,

throwing maps, cursing the stars—“How the hell

do you tell which one’s north anyway?”

And at night, while tucked into hammocks,

they dream of a mysterious voice from the future:


“Proceed along the route…in two centuries

you’ll arrive at your destination.”



This Curious Machine

I dream in unsolved puzzles,

trying every angle, every twist and turn,

returning again and again like a computer:

attempting to brute force my way thru.


Sometimes I feel like a mouse

scampering thru twisted alleyways,

a dead end around every corner;

seeking cheese, receiving electricity.


My mind is a ball of Christmas lights

twisted wires and tangled currents

I plug in one end to see what will happen:

lights, a most splendid glow.