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1990s business people working together at desktop computer     Date: 1990s


Draw the blinds and pour more coffee, pore over

the numbers with sticky digits, munching donuts.

We analyse the causes of childhood in a slimming

vest and Peter-Pan collar, fat ties, broad shoulder


pads, and puffy sleeves, crunch whole kilobytes

of data shuffled between ever-harder floppy disks.

We blow dust from clackety keyboards with tinned air.

Jotting and pointing, we lay wastepaper to rest,


request a screaming printout on a perforated,

green-striped page. It’s all the rage in silicone

these days to plump our figures, quicken the books.

To err is human, to cover up requires a screen.


Who knows? One day this whole computer thing

might crash the marketplace, and go mainstream.



© Robert Peake

Picture 10985092, photograph by T del Amo, 1990s



Robert Peake is an American-born poet living near London. He created the Transatlantic Poetry series, bringing poets together for live online readings and conversations. His film-poems collaborations have been widely screened in the US and Europe. He is a poetry surgery tutor for the Poetry Society in Hertfordshire, and writes for the Huffington Post. His collection Cyclone is forthcoming in July 2018 from Nine Arches Press.