January 28, 2018

Marc Alan Di Martino

WORTH IT

You, too, are currency. You can be saved,
devalued, spent, invested, thrown away
or burned. In this town roads are paved

with skeletons of folks like you and me.
Your net worth isn’t what you thought it was—
pursuing happiness, you work for free.

You’re better than this, you tell yourself as
you Google who you are. And who are you?
Data, as it turns out.
Go now, erase

your name from the wine-dark sea of Facebook blue
before you’re bought and sold! But it’s too late.
The work is done. What more is there to do

but punch the clock and rue what’s left of fate?
In bed, you count your sheep and calculate.

from Poets Respond
January 28, 2018

[download audio]

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Marc Alan Di Martino: “This poem is a response to an article from the Guardian about how Facebook exploits its users by pitting them in competition with one another. One line in particular stood out: ‘We perform free, futile emotional labour that profits capitalism, but can only make us unhappier.’ It is well known how Facebook and Google profit from selling us to ourselves, and yet so many of us (myself included) are caught in this matrix with no hope of escape. It seemed a paradox worth a sonnet.” (web)

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