Dorian Gray has a Facebook Page

“The Beast” knows just what I’d like for dinner,
knows what I like in my shimmering politics,
knows to send me stray benighted puppies with stitches
and a few homeless addicts on crutches
and to break the gloom, some Bette Davis, too.
666-ish, it marks my charities and the barbarities
of toothbrush-less kids in my country’s cages
and it sends me strange symbols from wars long over
hovering in my news feed side bar, about a new battle
raging in Charlottesville flying antique flags, the flags
of some very bad people and some very good ones, too,
their soldiers bivouacking under tin-underskinned but
bronze-cladded equestrian statues, easily dragged down
when dark falls in the city parks. And after velvet dark
falls on the Facebook page, our collective Narcissism
rallies, calling the troops back to their own tumbling tubes
of memory, dinners, donkeys and elephants and poor beasts
brutalized by some very good people who have new tires on
their cars and mow their grass before it draws garter snakes and
recite the same prayer every day over predictable plates.
Facebook knows. Facebook knows that we all are Lieutenant
Calley, all a bit of the Sonderkommando, a fragment
of Robespierre. It sends us battered puppies to cluck over to
reassure us of our lack of complicity in some crimes, so we know
that we can’t be all that manunkind, our pitiful and too-maligned
little race. Mainly it knows that we all are addicted to ourselves,
the most potent stimulant on our atomistic planets, stranded
with our “friends” and between all of us not one dose of Narcan.
O Facebook, we write on your perpetual surface what flatters us
to believe about ourselves, we who are not crutch-kickers and
puppy-killers, our One Vision that shatters the mirror we turn
backwards on the shelf so that we can evade a representational
portrait. We embrace instead your constructed mighty micro-glass of self.

Pamela Sumners

If you have any thoughts on this poem, Pamela Sumners would be pleased to hear them.