Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Info Age Troubles


Intermittent Communications

Ten minutes of silence, expectation,
anticipating before I noticed
the modem's troubled blinking lights.

Did you get my last message? Lost

before saying goodbye,
a glimpse of a future I fear.

The line is ok, the line is not;
green light blinking,

trying to connect, trying to reach across
aged copper wires rotting in the walls;

technology is failing me --
      downloads jammed up for hours,
the webpage loads but does not play,
meanwhile, we hung tight

to this fragile con n ecti
                                       ON. So, where

were we?


The distance between us rears
its ugly head.

** It bums me out whenever I have problems with the internet, because I depend on it so much to connect to friends with common interests. I had a hellish time trying to talk someone over instant messaging last weekend. And thus the idea for this one.

***Posted to dVerse Open Link Night #22. Better late than never. :)


Unknown said...

Raven, i totally feel the frustration here. I remember those days so well, and actually even recently, before I got Fios, which I haven't had an issue since, but even with DSL I would still get connection problems, primarily when the weather was frightful outside, kinda like I still get with DTV-ugh.

I like the question you posed early on here, as it adds that feel of uncertainty of message sent/received which sets the tone for your piece as well as offering metaphor too.

The next few sections, where you combined staggered lines and a bit of projective verse really gives, at least for me, a visualization of those old squelch sounds and sporadic connection/dropped connection etc.. Great write.

But I love the ending as it shows that despite this frustration, we've grown into a society that relies on the internet and it's communication heavily, to the point where offline communication is truly an ugly head. Nice tie back to an earlier post of yours here as well.

Thanks for the read.

Ravenblack said...

Thanks for your detailed feedback and analysis, Fred. Really appreciated it.

Yeah I staggered the words to illustrated the erratic connection that I'm having. Even right now, it's going on and off. The funny thing is that it was behaving perfectly fine when the telco guy came to have a look yesterday.

While the connection is up, it's nice to pretend that the world has gotten smaller. It's when it breaks you realize you are over here and they are over there.

Pat Hatt said...

God! I hate it when this happens, every once in a while my computer just wants to be a pain in the butt or the internet wants to conk out. It's always when I want to do something too. Stupid thing has a mind of its own sometimes, that just enjoys ticking me off. I really liked how you ended it too. As we can feel so close but upon things no longer connecting, the distance becomes all too real.

Brian Miller said...

so do you have Verizon? i am completely hacked off at them...my service goes out multiple times a day and they can do nothing about it...what a waste of money...i def do not recommend them...oh yeah this frustrates the crap out of me...

Laurie Kolp said...

We are a wired society. It's kind of scary sometimes. Nobody knows each other's numbers by heart anymore and if there's an emergency who will they call?

Ravenblack said...

Pat: I hate it that it is happening now, at this season. But I think I'd be bugged anytime that it happens. I too think it has mind of its own, and it behaved when the tech was here but when I'm alone with it -- not working.

Brian: I'm not in the US. But it sounds like my isp is using the same protocol of response. They already insisted the problem is not on their end. So I'm on my own.

Laurie: that's true. With the phone remembering the numbers, there's just no need to remember them in one's head. Gone are the days I could recall a few friends' home number.

Ravenblack said...

You know, it's nice to know I'm not the only one who gets really frustrated by this type of annoyance. Thanks for your posts, everyone.

Anonymous said...

At home lightening took out my system twice (at $120 to replace it) and then snowstorms, rain, sneezing, who knows (also they claimed once the system got fried by static electricity)! The nearest place to get WiFi is 20 minutes away so I hear you on the frustration of losing your connection. Apt write that stirred us all up :). Glad I could enjoy WiFi here in LA long enough to read it.

Claudia said...

sometimes it's spooky how dependent we are with this internet things.. i lately had no internet at work for some hard-to-solve technical reasons and just then i realized how dependent i am even at work on the internet... not to speak of at home with all the blogging.. felt write here raven

Ravenblack said...

Thanks Anna and Claudia. I really appreciate your thoughts and comments.

I did remember the network at work going down one time, and everyone just ended up doing mostly nothing all day. Although desk work is not what we mainly do, and still that was what happened. Internet fills up our waiting times.

Anonymous said...

Empathy in truck loads. I think most of us have been at this point sometime or other.
I really enjoyed the way you lay this out to mirror what it is like when you have a fragmented conversation via messenger or the like.
If I knew more about your system, I could offer some advice, but I don't, so I wont. I really hope you can get to the bottom of the matter though.

Daydreamertoo said...

How are you connected, are you wired or wireless?
Change your ISP server. I'm in Atlantic Canada and we have wired internet but I'm on a wireless laptop through it and I very rarely get a drifting signal or loss of it. Despite what the providers tell you, if your computer isn't too old, change the people you deal with to a better server and clean up your computer hard drive so it performs better. Clean out the temp internet files/cookies and then do a scandisc and a de-frag. It maybe your computer hard drive needs clean up and may run better.
Hope that helps a bit, it is very frustrating.

Steve King said...

I feel your pain...this is a very fine reaction to one of the painful complications of modern life. There seem to be so many to choose from. Good luck.....

Ravenblack said...

pspacer11: thanks for sympathy. I'd appreciate the help but I gonna have to try the suggestions already given to me.

Daydreamer: thanks for the suggestions. I am wired originally but using apple airport. I am all Apple at home. It's not the comp because both laptop and desktop face the same problem. Nonetheless I'm gonna have it properly scanned this weekend. But I'm mainly suspecting the modem.

Steve: thank you for the kind words.

Mary said...

Well, you definitely have expressed a universal frustration. You found the words very well. Lord, I could live without a television a long time; but if there is a glitch with the internet it's hard!! Cell phone and texting..that is hard too, but internet troubles are the most difficult to bear.

hedgewitch said...

Since everyone has gone into the shared frustration angle(which I could rant about for hours;_) ) I'll just say the poem also is very well suited to its subject, structurally. The lines, the word emjambment all give a sense of on-again off-again that could represent problems even more basic in human communication than the nuts and bolts of our interwebbing. Good stuff on every level, Raven.

Joanne Young Elliott said...

Certainly know that frustration...not the same type of problems since switching to cable, but still some issues. Nothing is perfect in the tech world I guess.

Great poem. Like how you broke the lines to show the broken lines of communication. And appreciate the ending. I feel close to those miles away via the Internet and when that's not working I do feel that distance.

Scarlet said...

Nice lines and forms specially the spacing....and I hear you loud and clear. It is very frustrating ~

Ravenblack said...

Mary, Hedgewitch, Joanne, Heaven: Thank you all.

dsnake1 said...


i like the structure of your poem here, very appropriate for the mood. Nice! and yes, how we need the internet so much nowadays.

hey, this is my territory, i work in a telco, remember? but i am not the telco guy who came to service your line. :D
you are right about "aged copper wires rotting in the walls." most of the grief come from this. i had this problem initially but i ran a new screen wire from the box outside to my socket, and now i have 3 pCs /laptops running at the same time without problems (touch wood!)

Rachel Hoyt said...

It only takes a quick blip for us to remember how lost we would feel without technology. Great poem.

Ravenblack said...

Rachel: Thank you. You've put it succinctly.

dsnake: I suspected my wires because it hasn't been able to carry a phone signal (no dial tone) for quite a while now but works for the dsl. Just suddenly last week, it just got choppy like this. I can still surf, basically, but the interruption increases in frequency the longer I am on. I'll try a few things.

gautami tripathy said...

I totally relate to this! Don't we all?!!


elemental pulsations

Victoria said...

Haven't we become dependent, though. The way you broke up the lines and the words worked really well in achieving that feeling of frustration.

Anonymous said...

Yes--we are so dependent and technology can be pretty unfeeling. (But your poem isn't.) K.

Ravenblack said...

Thanks Victoria and manicD.

Gonna change isp in a few days. :)

Bodhirose said...

I know it's happened to us all--I too look over sometimes to see if that green light is still blinking...or have I been dis-connected once again. Excellent...really felt the frustration here--but sorry for your troubles.

Ravenblack said...

Thanks Bodhirose. :)

Jannie Funster said...

Are you with Time-Warner-cable? They go in and out at whim.

I can really relate to this. A scant conversation at best in limbo. Yuck!

hope you ended up getting the messages going again?!


Ravenblack said...

hey Jannie. Nope, I'm not in the US. It was choppy in the beginning but it's been great since. Thanks!

Old Raven said...

Ravenblack ... you have done an excellent job of "conveying" your frustration. I DEPEND way TOO much upon the Internet. So, as Bill Clinton says, "I feel your pain."

Happy New Year and may it bring to you a well-connected ethernet!

Ravenblack said...

Thank you, Old Raven. :)

I changed my isp, so things are much better, presently. :D