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MR. GUTENBERG RESPECTFULLY DECLINES MR. ZUCKERBERG’S FRIEND REQUEST by Gloria Heffernan

Dear Mr. Zuckerberg:

Thank you for your Friend Request.

I must respectfully decline

due to the unfortunate circumstance

that I am dead –

which limits my social network greatly.

 

In the interest of updating my Timeline,

it appears, good sir, that I died of poisoning

from my own invention.

The alloy of led, tin and antimony took its toll.

So sad when one’s own creation

plants the seeds of his demise.

 

You have said, “Move fast and break things.

Unless you are breaking stuff,

you are not moving fast enough.”

I too felt the urge to break things

to break the silence,

to break the barriers to truth.

It was I, after all, who said,

 

Let us break the seal

which seals up holy things,

and give wings to Truth

in order that she may win every soul

that comes into the world by her word

no longer written at great expense

by hands easily palsied,

but multiplied like the wind

by an untiring machine.

 

That very wind can scatter seeds

to take root and grow,

or whirl out of control.

But I am sure, Friend,

that you are aware of such risks.

And so, I leave you, good sir,

with my most sincere good wishes—

to Like or not, as you see fit.

 

Your most humble Friend,

Johannes Gutenberg

Gloria Heffernan is the author of the and poetry collection, What the Gratitude List Said to the Bucket List, (New York Quarterly Books), and the book, Exploring Poetry of Presence: A Companion Guide for Readers, Writers, and Workshop Facilitators (Back Porch Productions). Her work has appeared in over seventy journals including Chautauqua, Columbia Review, Magma (UK), Southword (Ireland), and others.

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