We are trying to take down Seed, the AOL Media Borg created to destroy media. Our weapon of choice: poetry. Today the robot brain asks about "Identity Info Sharing" and the great muse of verse responds.
That's right, Seed was built by a group of mad corporate scientists to create headlines based on popular terms entered into internet search engines. Rather than saying "Who is Tiger Woods mistress?" and "Free porn now," we choose much more random assignments like this one about identity theft. You could make $30 if you wrote an earnest article on the subject. We're eschewing payment in order to inject some creativity into this evil enterprise, hoping it will rot the gears from the inside out. Here is what we came up with today.
He spins his menu like a lazy
Susan, a vortex of blurring text.
What to say? What do you do
for a living? Where did you
grow up? Did you love living in L.A.?
My brother lives there and I hate
cars. I respond politey,
like leaping hurdles—I'm a writer,
my parents are still together,
I really like comic book movies
but I'm not looking forward to
Iron Man 2—
sometimes dipping my foot into sullied
waters like in a steeple chase.
This should be a relay, passing on
the baton from grasping fist
to outstretched palm, back and forth.
Instead, it's a sprint. Running in tandem
glancing over our shoulders, eyes
locked in check as we hope to collide
into the finish line.
I want to tell him everything—name, date
of birth, social security number, mother's
maiden name, address, telephone number,
work email, personal email, email
I only use when looking for tricks
on Craigslist, IM, Facebook, PIN numbers
(redundant I know), that three-number
code on the back of my Visa
with the signature blurred out from
too many shoves in the wallet,
household income, my third grade
teacher, the time I had a rash on my face
and refused to leave the house
for weeks or when I got locked out
and slept at the bathhouse—
so much easier to have him swallow
me whole right now, digest me
like energy until his skin is laced
with scarlet glowing, like the evil
menace in Tron filling up on ones
and zeros my life reduced to binary
and him ballooning up until we
joined in elemental dust that
settles into a new form.
But then our food comes, and
the pad thai here is
always lacking salt.
Original, actual assignment: Keep track over a week/month how many times you share information about yourself electronically - passively and actively (online, supermarket scan, credit card, surveillance cameras that you know of, etc.) Target Keyphrase: identity information sharing. SUGGESTED LENGTH: 500 words. PAYS: $30 USD.