–yesterday at a local wired coffee house: the place is full,
but no one’s talking —McSorley’s Bar it’s not.

Internet Cafe
Jim Culleny

where virtual folk Painting_mcsorleys_bar
with cappuccinos
gather at tables
like islands of stone
in zen gardens,
faces lit by laptops—
and no one’s apt to step
into the cool raked space between,
to be laughingly hugged or nudged
at key points in a repartee
that flies back and forth
on waves of beer-scented

Rather, they sit
keyboarding thoughts into capacitors
that are Bluetoothed into broadband
and bound for distant counterparts
in other states and hemispheres
instead of being uploaded to
that other E-cocooned human
less than three feet away, breathing
to the left of the stacked biscottis,
keyboarding too, but longing for a
real spontaneous embrace

Painting of McSorley’s Bar, artist unknown