(based on suggestions from @timsterne, @pinknantucket, @notcharming, @slimejam, @dogpossum, @realnixwilliams, @marklawrence, @_camer0n)
Hermes 3000 inherited from a racehorse
named “Light Fingers”, he bought that
light green machine by a nose.
Might have been lost to hard rubbish
instead it was won from mum and adored.
My own fingers small, tipped in bandaids
apostles to the apostrophe
so they weren't cut like keys.
Not quite old enough
to be eight.
Apple IIE wanted to know where
Carmen Sandiego was.
CrimeNet insisted flags of
were playground life skills.
Broderbund crowns made space
for my big head, covert
covertext like Leia’s holograms.
Could’ve hidden behind my age
Brother AX-10 sold
to Brethren girls en masse.
Long hair, long skirts, they had
purpose for electric typewriters.
Headbands thrilled back
interrobangs and questioned the end
of uni holidays. Their clothes were
my clothes, sorted and recycled.
“You’re all there to study, aren’t you?”
Nineteen in college I lied
Thinkpad wasn’t really for keeps.
“Borrowed” on permanent basis
like a stenographed cup of sugar
Never really going to give back.
“portable”, “lightweight”, “mine”:
end ambivalent airquotes.
Work all day, evening class, weekend
assignment, sleepwalk at twilight.
Swapped all time for a library
iPhone 3 fused to my hand.
Every bar and café with ready
power point mapped
in my head. Charger carried long
wind it down to ‘dismiss’ twice a day.
No sharp keys to slip between
no small ding, no red ribbon lifting
the carriage. No holes pepper the page
where ‘o’ punches too hard.
Thirty years old I miss
my green typewriter.
Today's poem is based on suggestions from
- @timsterne: "holograms"
- @notcharming: "interrobang"
- @pinknantucket: "Superceded technology - the typewriter, the reel-to-reel, the minidisc..."
- @slimejam: "Making space. Hard rubbish."
- @dogposssum: “end of a holiday?”
- @realnixwilliams: “sorting out what you’re able to recycle?”
- @marklawrence: “ ‘borrowing’ a cup of sugar from a neighbour. As if we’re ever going to give it back. And how come we don’t do it any more?”
- @_camer0n: “apostrophe apostles, air-quote ambivalence http://bit.ly/fIeEWT (Chapter 8)”
I learned to touch-type before I learned to write, mainly because I was too impatient and wanted to write stories NOW. So Mum taught me. She had a green Hermes typewriter that was bought for her in 1966 when my grandfather had a win on a horse appropriately named 'Light Fingers'. My fingers were small enough that they slipped between the keys and got little cuts on them, so I was often bandaided up in advance, ready to type.
Sliding my fingers around on the screen of the iPhone I have now made me remember that typewriter, and all the writing-machines I've battled in between. I kind of miss their familiar noise, eccentricity and tactile nature. I even miss the bandaids.