by Bret Victor

This morning, under eyelids closed, my brain told pleasant lies.
High above the ground I rose, I danced about the skies.
I swooped and spun, I cruised and climbed, I knew no limitations.
Only dreams let people find these avian sensations.

  As my spirit soared through clouds and sailed through the air,
  My earthbound body went about its nightly self-repair.
  Veins drained pains from muscles frayed and solved for soreness minima,
  As in-flight mental movies played in sleep's cerebral cinema.

Just when nothing mattered but quiescence of emotions,
The placid sky was shattered by acoustical explosions.
The air convulsed with high-pitched screams past aural saturation.
Sonic lightning scorched my wings while noise destroyed creation.

  The fractured sky rained down like hail, I crashed into the ground.
  My eyelids opened amidst the wail, my world was one of sound.
  The shrieking shook my eardrums and reverbed within my head,
  Then left me quick as it had come, alone, awake, in bed.

An intrusive uninvited guest, unwelcome and unpleasant,
Imposed upon my peaceful rest a painful piercing present.
A stranger in a distant land who merely typed a number
Crumpled space beneath his hand and yanked me from my slumber.

  The telephone, my nemesis! Spawn of Alex Bell,
  And the 1880 genesis connecting earth and hell.
  "Quit waiting for the postman. I've invented a solution.
  I call it Instant Interruption: Communications Revolution."

"Let the world be weaved with wires! Let us strangle every nation
With vines sustained by barren spires, phony forestation.
Let tendrils creep through every wall and sprout into a ringer,
Until we're all at beck and call of quarter, dime, and finger."

  Though Graham is gone, his bell lives on, replacing rooster's reveille.
  The morning brings its screeching song to where I'm sleeping heavily.
  It provides this rude awakening to get me ready faster
  For another day of servitude before my shrill-voiced master.

I live the monastery life, I've learned the scribe's vocation.
Virtual seclusion rife with transcriptive subjugation.
My quill, a simple ballpoint pen. A pad, my scroll of presage.
My mantra: "Sorry, he's not in. You want to leave a message?"

  I'm bound by this religion, I'm not allowed digression
  For creation in the kitchen nor relievment post-digestion.
  When I hear the master's cry, I must assume my station,
  Provide the proper alibi, prepare to take dictation.

"Chris is working." "John is gone." "Shumway is at school."
"I think you've got the number wrong for Mansoor and Rahul."
"Jeff? He moved out years ago to marry You-Know-Who."
"Donna barely lives here; when she is here, she calls you."

  Twilight brings my wrist respite as comrades retake residence,
  But master's scream persists all night and takes the highest precedence.
  Films gain intermissions, conversations are aborted,
  Plans become rescissions, concentration's not supported.

Enough! No more resentments! I've had a revelation,
Declared my independence, proclaimed emancipation!
Give me liberty from the bell; in freedom, I don't fear it.
Let it ring from here to hell... I simply won't go near it.

  If conversation's what you seek, conversing I can do.
  Stop by my room and speak a week, or I could visit you.
  The internet's my second home, I live for getting email.
  But I won't touch the telephone!

well... perhaps unless you're female.