“Mark Zuckerberg and i” by Brendan Walsh

Brendan Walsh


Mark Zuckerberg and i get tacos at a little place
nobody knows about. he says it’s as close to the real thing
as you can get in the states, and i have to trust him

Mark Zuckerberg and i get fitted in suits for a fancy party.
the suit might be perfect, but i don’t think i fit in with this crowd.
he says don’t worry about it, be yourself, you’re so cool

Mark Zuckerberg and i rent a tandem bike just to goof off,
we get going pretty fast for a while, looping through streets
like a falcon, each of us a single wing, but he has to stop
and take a call; it’s business. it’s always business

Mark Zuckerberg and i play darts once a week
at a dive bar a few miles away. it’s cool to talk and drink
pitchers of cheap beer like the old days. i don’t see him
as much anymore, but i know he’s super busy

Mark Zuckerberg and i take a vacation to the azores,
no families, only us, some good vinho verde, mountains, and the spa.
i’m short on cash towards the week’s end but he spots me
and tells me not to worry about it

Mark Zuckerberg and i testify before congress. i’m there
for moral support. he was freaking out about it, but i told him
it’s totally fine. you’re the expert dude, i say, and he seems
calm and stops biting his thumbnail and tapping his left foot

Mark Zuckerberg and i go to a field with an old handgun
his grandpa left him in a will or something—we shoot up
at the stars and pretend the bullets lodge deep in the galaxy.
think about how tiny we are, he says, and we’re quiet for a minute

Mark Zuckerberg and i don’t talk as much anymore.
we’ll text an inside joke every few weeks but he’s sort of lost
in work and doesn’t know what he wants to become

One night he texts me real late and i don’t see it until morning;
dude, he says, i feel like none of this matters, like, what’s
the point? and that’s it, and i’m worried for a second
that he did something drastic, but when i call he picks up,
sounds tired. remember the tandem bike, he says,
i felt like we could have just lifted off the ground and left this behind

from Poets Respond
November 3, 2019


Brendan Walsh: “I’ve become obsessed with trying to understand the compulsions and sickness of a society that believes billionaires are a healthy/natural component of civilization. Mark Zuckerberg is often on these ‘charm offensives’ that seek to humanize him when he is the furthest thing from a regular human—he testifies before congress, interacts with other people, and then returns to controlling most of our data and information. In this poem, I try to see what it would actually be like to humanize him.” (web)

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