Curate This


Fifth Estate # 404, Summer, 2019

How dreary—to be—Somebody!
How public—like a Frog—
To tell one’s name—the livelong June—
To an admiring bog!

—Emily Dickinson

Dogwoods swathed in delicate white, gently clear their winter throats as cable news updates crawl and grovel for her attention. But she doesn’t blog, pin, Snapchat, Instagram or—God No!—tweet, and her dumb phone shortcomings are just fine. She the freak in the waiting room without an umbilical glow in her palm, just a paperback copy of something she fills with marginalia.

Too many frogs posting and posting and posting for nods from bogs brimming with hyper-focused somebodies while apps like tight-assed pimps book faces and fingerprints for everlasting control. The globe churns away with liars, trolls, and vampires who favor their weapons virtual then visceral but what else is new except now they pontificate and pulverize at digitized speeds.

In this age of clickbaiting, news farming, filter bubbling, deep faking, hive mind, and post-truth, a tsunami brews for our collective reckoning. Footage won’t save us from ruptured corners of an asylum imploded—the Mob of Me stranded waist deep and wedged tight.

Rikki Santer’s poetry has appeared in numerous publications. Her seventh collection, In Pearl Broth, is by Stubborn Mule Press. She lives in Columbus, Ohio.