Bits & Bytes: It’s Gary Snyder’s birthday too


Forgive us: our post celebrating Thomas Pynchon today, on this birthday, is delayed. Please accept the following as recompense, because it’s Gary’s birthday too.


Why I Take Good Care of My Macintosh

by Gary Snyder

Because it buzzes while printing like a planer in a woodshop
Because it jumps like a skittish horse
and sometimes throws me
Because it is pokey when cold
Because plastic is a sad, strong material
that is charming to rodents
Because it is flighty
Because my mind flies into it through my fingers
Because it leaps forward and backward
is an endless sniffer and searcher, is my faithful hound
Because its keys click like hail on a rock
& it winks when it goes out,
& puts word-heaps in hoards for me, dozens of pockets of
gold under boulders in streambeds, identical seedpods
strong on a vine, or it stores bins of bolts;
And I lose them and find them,
Because whole worlds of writing can be boldly layed out
and then highlighted, & vanished in a flash at
"delete" so it teaches
of impermanence and pain;
Because my wife likes it,
& because my computer and me are both brief
in this world, both foolish, and we have earthly fates,
Because I have let it move in with me
right inside the tent
And it goes with me out every morning
We fill up our baskets, get back home,
Feel rich, relax, I throw it a scrap and it hums.

This poem was originally submitted to the Turn-Around Times, the predecessor of the IT Times, and printed in March of 1988.


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