The Battle of Silicon Valley at Daybreak

In a countryside green as a dollar bill,
with the much handled commercial vegetation
from around mall parking lots or in freeway divides,
in a landscape where the wireless has been shut off,
emoji are at war. Emoji are at war
in the mural outside the employee cafeteria
for reading The Things They Carried or Yellow Birds
or The Red Badge of Courage: instead of eating,
emoji are at war.

Outfitted in a list supplied by Wikipedia,
(breastplates, gauntlets, steel collars, mail shirts,
vambrace, pouldron, bassinet, barbute, aventail),
chain armor from a 3-d printer for a smaller budget,
emoji are at war: Blushing Emoji, Frustrated, Weeping,
Smiling Emoji near the village firewall,
& a thousand spears like toothpicks,
emoji are at war.

It’s like Where’s Waldo. It’s like Pac Man.
I spot with my little eye in the “watch-fires of a hundred
circling camps” two generals outside a recharging tent,
a tiny banner unfurling PRIVACY  *  NET NEUTRALITY 
* DEREGULATION. Sound of emoji blood
as the Smiling Emoji advance, swallowing everything,
going postal, kamikaze, road rage, suicide bomber
“hurling down to the House of Death so many sturdy souls,”
sound of emoji blood.

A sword pierces Blushing Emoji #956, Pram’s son,
below the groin, and “the dark came whirling down
across his eyes”; a hurled spear is shot through the temple of
Angry Emoji #23, only son of Matthew Thornton
of Boston, and “the dark came swirling thick across his eyes,”
sound of emoji blood. Sound of Emoji blood as Weeping
Emoji #3,418, daughter of the river god, a bullet
plunging into her lung, lodges in the “mortal spot,”
scream fumes.

Outside the village firewall, internet access was slowing
way, way down until the CEO who has her eye on Jim,
a Cubicle Emoji, petitions the Board of Directors
to rescue Jim from his jangling fate of war, seduces him,
gives birth to a daughter ½ Hollywood, ½ New Jersey mortal,
with a weak ankle…Emoji were at war.

                         The CAPS LOCK is on,
so this story ends at the door to the men’s restroom.
For we have seen,

I have seen, you have seen, they have seen how emoji blood sounds
like a ring tone of a 50 gun salute in a thousand wavy ploughed
lines, lines, lines, lines where truth is marching on.

From Battle of Silicon Valley at Daybreak (Spuyten Duyvil, 2022). Copyright © 2022 Alexandria Peary. Used with permission of the author.