local_library Don’t Read Books

by Wortley Clutterbuck

Published in Issue No. 284 ~ January, 2021

Don’t read books, they’re bad for you —

just go online, there’s more to do;

like, take a picture of your face

and fling it through the data base;

there are articles in your news feed

to disregard in record speed;

there are cartoon cities you can build

where no one ever needs to be skilled;

those classics bore us all to tears,

and where are the models in brassieres?

I see a lot of words below

but where does my snide comment go?

So where’s the pop-ups, where’s the ads,

the challenges and other fads?

There’s no place for my headphone jack —

my liter’ture needs a soundtrack;

let’s have it with a disco beat —

500 words, then hit delete.

Those books will put you right to sleep —

that binge-watching is way more deep;

who needs a book after it’s read —

let’s juice the power plant instead; (footnote #1)

the facts in books I don’t count on —

besides, they don’t have Amazon;

you might read thoughts that you don’t know —

let’s ask Steve Pruitt if they’re so. (footnote #2)

So click accept, illiterate —

hooray, attention deficit!


1. “[A]bout 5 percent of all energy consumption in the U.S. goes just to running computers.” — Scientific American, October 2018.


2. Pruitt is credited with editing or writing ‘1/3 of all Wikipedia articles,’ which possibly places his current literary (and ideological) influence even with Chairman Mao’s when the ‘Little Red Book’ was published.

account_box More About

Wortley Clutterbuck, at approximately 300 years old, remembers the good olde days. His latest masterwork is the rococo rap opera Poèmes Déplorables, available gratis at https://soundcloud.com/wortleyclutterbuck. Recent work at Chronogram (US), Litro (UK) and Quadrant (Australia).