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Poetry: "The Day the Cloud of Death Enveloped Earth" by Charlie Brice

It wasn’t the dark cloud of destiny that

descended. YouKnowWho didn’t emerge

with his terrible swift sword to separate the

Be from the Bop. No, this was much worse!

At precisely 10:45 ET, on December 7, 2021,

a day that shall live in infamy, the Amazon

Cloud crashed! Forget Pearl Harbor, this

was a real catastrophe! The litany of misery

this evil caused is legion: When his internet feeding

machine failed, Kyle Lerner, cloudless in Marina del

Rey, California, had to feed his Persian-Himalayan

pussycats by hand, “like in ancient times!” Poor Steve

Peters couldn’t remotely activate his robot vacuum

to suck up those blue-berry muffin crumbs he clumsily

spilled on his kitchen floor that morning. He was reduced

to using a broom and dustpan like some pitiful common

20th Century laborer! Tragedy multiplied that day faster

than sex scandals in Silicon Valley. In St. Louis, Alexa

totally abandoned Mark Edelston, leaving him to

communicate only with his wife! “We chat more during

the day than me and my wife do,” he lamented. Alexa

always responded to his requests and commands, unlike

his wife who, strange to say, probably had an existence

separate from Mark’s needs and desires. Mark suffered

“separation anxiety” in the face of Alexa’s brutal desertion.

And what of the impossible hardship handed to Samantha

Sherhag in Atlanta who, because of Alexa’s cruel malfeasance,

had to use her own fingers to turn lights on and off! Imagine

her finger fatigue, the hours soaking her disturbed digits in

Epsom salts after excruciating rehab sessions endured to restore

her throbbing pointers and pinkies to their pre-disastered state!

But the most sadistic fate of all befell 19-year-old Sofia Echeverry

who couldn’t access “Canvas” the program she used to research

college papers. “I’m going to be at the library a lot longer than

I thought because of [the crash],” she moaned. Nietzsche wrote,

“To live is to suffer.” Trigger Warning! Only those with strong

constitutions should envision seriously deprived Sophia as she

perused the stacks of those antediluvian apps called books—albeit

apps she could use on takeoffs and landings as they are powered

only by intellectual interest and curiosity. What did someone so

young do to deserve such a fate?! We want to believe in a

benevolent God, but if God is all knowing and all powerful,

the creator of everything from pizza to the Pieta, why did he

allow the Amazon Cloud to crash? Why, Lord, why?

Quotations are from, “Amazon Outage Spotlights Reliance on Cloud Services,” by Sarah E. Needleman, The Wall

Street Journal, December 9, 2021, page B1-B2.

Charlie Brice won the 2020 Field Guide Poetry Magazine Poetry Contest and placed third in the 2021 Allen Ginsberg Poetry Prize. His chapbook, All the Songs Sung (Angel Flight Press), and his fourth poetry collection, The Broad Grin of Eternity (WordTech Editions) arrived in 2021. His poetry has been nominated twice for the Best of Net Anthology and three times for a Pushcart Prize and has appeared in Chiron Review, The Honest Ulsterman, Ibbetson Street, The Paterson Literary Review, Impspired Magazine, Muddy River Poetry Review, and elsewhere.

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