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Tuesday, June 28, 2022


by David Chorlton

     Clarence Thomas says American citizens are seemingly
     'more interested in their iPhones' than 'their Constitution'

Because an iPhone knows
the difference between a single-shot musket
and an automatic weapon;
because the Constitution never mentioned
an abortion but if you ask Siri
she will direct the question to a source explaining
the what and how of it; a source
incidentally unavailable in seventeen-eighty-seven.
One little know-all tablet
fitting comfortably in the hand
can tell you where to turn to reach a stated
destination, connect to the latest baseball scores,
and provide a recipe. But even an iPhone
can’t tell behind
which desk a pupil ought to shelter, or
where the emergency exit is
to get away from someone openly carrying.
Its time to reload
the letters in the Constitution’s “chuse”
with the neatly rounded “oo” that brings
choose up to modern usage.
Ask Siri when the wire coat hanger
was invented. She’ll say Eighteen sixty-nine.
For what was used in earlier
times, Benjamin Franklin advised the use
of an abortifacient to resolve
“the misfortune” of an unwanted pregnancy . . .
while an old Sephardic song
tells of Una Matica de Ruda, the sprig of rue
as a gift from the young man
who has fallen in love.

David Chorlton came to live in Arizona in 1978 and always loved the desert. The land has come to be a part of much of his writing, while other aspects of political and social life present more troubling questions.