Monday, October 20, 2014

My Back Pages - Visual Basic

[FROM 2006] - I'd been in the hardware trade press for 10 years when my boss assigned me to cover a Microsoft product rollout in Atlanta. Call it a simple twist of fate. It was 1991. Of course I'd heard of Bill Gates, but he was in the software business, and of just about no interest to us.

If he'd been doing assembler, of course, that would have been of a whole lot of interest, but he was doing Basic, which "real men" didn't do, back in those hardware circles. But the company was on the rise, and the boss sent me. The product rolling out, in fact, was Visual Basic, which has just lately turned 15..... {There follow some botched predictions.}

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Poe's Heartfelt Lunge

They have a new Poe statue in Boston.
He is not up on a pedestal. We'll it's modern times isn't it?
He looks like a muppet. It's come to this. Welcome back to frog ponderous.
At street level he can fulfill final purpose.
To have his picture taken with people just off a tourist trolley people who have heard of him.
And Edward Everett Hale, in peace, on his pedestal, in the Public Garden, chuckles to Poe's everlasting dread.

No magical For the Union Dead quality.  Not yet.
But another poet may pass this way
with an exploding cigar of verse.
Poe's statue is in front of Leavitt's Tobacco Shop - where Pierre Salinger scarfed up the last Cubans for Kennedy - and what once was Jack's Joke Shop.

Edgar, remember our intellectual commerce? When I used to ride the train on business between Boston and New York, sometimes further to Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington and further
And there was a certain patch around Rhode Island where you would speak to me. There before Connecticut that early in the foggy morning had a Moorish Hound of the Eulale quality. A set piece.

Reading biography, Dreadful Remembrance unto Death? – no, “Mournful and Never-ending Remembrance,” I learned that Poe’s trajectory mapped with the railroads of the day.
Down from Boston, up from Virginia. To New York, Again to Boston, Down to Baltimore. There still in the right fog his heartfelt lunge toward Ulame speaks.
It happened in the age of steam. And the maker has you to trudge through the sphere of jets, sweatshirts and selfies. Ah but somewhere your sad mystic eye still conjures wonder.
                                                                      -Jack Vaughan, 2014

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Prince Valiant

Thinking all week of lithe Aleta in the deep
A bit like Jennifer Lawrence in toga
Salvaging the wreck
Holding her breath
Holding the line and
Heading up in the dark green current
Just a butt nip ahead of
Scylla the giant eel
With flashing sharp teeth, whoa!
Going down to Felix's bodega
To get this week's Herald
With Prince Valiant on the cliff above.
                                            -Jack Vaughan, 2014

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