We are trying to bring down Seed, the AOL News Borg created to destroy editorial on the internet, one poem at a time. Today the machine asks, "What Does It Mean to Square Something?" We try to answer.

Seed uses it's mad robot brain to generate story ideas based on what you, yes you, have been searching for on the internet, and then it asks you, yes you, to write articles based on these "assignments" and then pays money for them, but maybe not to you. It's really an evil plot to get cheap content to amuse the proletariat by both keeping them busy writing pap for a pittance while simultaneously reading all the dispatches from frustrated writers around the country.

It all sounds like a plot to crush the human spirit and drain the internet of what little beauty remains. We will resist: Here is our response to one of their tasks.

What Does It Mean to Square Something?*

She draws a perforated line in the air
with her index finger—four right angles
connected at the top, and then she gets out
of the old car, which would be vintage
with a little care.

Inside Jack Rabbit Slim's she finds the
recreated simulacra, camp sweating in nostalgia,
a pungent aroma for the love-lorn and irony-loving.
Dance, cat, dance. His fingers draw
invisible outlines of his eyes.

But triangles. Join them together,
like two shoes in their box, top to tail,
soles pressing against the confines. Rectangles
are close, but inherently deficient. A rhombus
is a ruse, slanted like the mind

On smack. There is no construction sounder:
four perfect lines like matches from the same book.
Light it on fire, it burns like anything else, its ashes
a powerful drug. Too much and you lie flat
and twitching.

The floor beckons for smooth congruity.
Wake it up. The needle is the fifth side, deep into her heart
as she lurches forward, fingers clutching
for the corner, your corner—finally:

Original, actual assignment: Describe what it means for something to be square when it comes to building. What elements must be square when it comes to construction? How can one measure if something is square? What are the consequences of an element not being square during [sic] constrcution. TARGET KEYWORDS TO USE: construction. OTHER: Use embedded links where appropriate, with preference for links to relevant AOL properties. TONE: Friendly, informative, authoritative but not intimidating. SUGGESTED LENGTH: 350 words. PAYS: $30 USD

This time we submitted this for publication. We think we fulfilled all the requirements. We'll let you know if it gets accepted.

[Image via Dan Coulter's Flickr]