Academic journal article Parnassus : Poetry in Review

"And His Trails Do Not Fade"

Academic journal article Parnassus : Poetry in Review

"And His Trails Do Not Fade"

Article excerpt

"A memex is a device in which an individual stores all his books, records, and communications. . ..It is an enlarged intimate supplement to his memory."

- Vannevar Bush, inventor, 1 945

Unsmiling Venus, queen and captive

of die imperial hallway, overlooks

the shifting, multi-lingual noisy crowd

saluting with upraised camera phones.

No photo shows the paint once bright on her lips and eyes,

die heavy gold chains she wore, the golden apple

held in her gaze and her lost left hand.

She keeps no scrapbook. Will we remember

the onion smell of die sweaty boy beside us,

the assertive elbow of the girl

who pushed through to pose at the marble knees,

remember how sore your feet? The roof of my mouth

still tender from the raking crust

of a café sandwich?

How many wielders of cameras

remember Vannevar Bush? His "memex"

was meant to preserve every sight, every thought,

every path through the forest of information:

The man of his future, tiny camera strapped to his forehead,

inaudibly clicking, taking copious notes,

"builds a trail of his interest

through the maze of materials available to him.

And his trails do not fade."

Picture him hauling a little red wagon

stacked to the sky with microfilm

that frees his mind for exploration,

trailed by his stenographer and his librarian,

his records swelling like mushrooms in rain.

The mythic, long-desired third eye

installed above his spectacles

sees merely what the first two see. …

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