"... from cubicle to ladies room technology has another face ..."

-- Miriam Axel-Lute

Miriam recommends these online literary links.

Still Life with Electricity

"Computers are useless.
All they can give you are answers."
--Pablo Picasso


Answers without their
scatter and swarm,
drunk hens
expelled from the coop
before the cock crow
Spell checkers that reduce
Picasso to picas
and Mumia to a mummy
cavort with spreadsheets
and outdated email petitions
Even the proverbial fox
turns his head
and waits
for more dignified


Across the well worn path from cubicle
to ladies room
technology has another face
pushing manufactured questions
with a single hush-hush answer
in different brands and prices
about fearing odor or a stray leak
about staying 'dry' between cycles
about how to be feminine by
denying everything female
about how to pretend our lives
move in lines not cycles
about how not to inconvenience
our men with the thought of blood.

Answers trying to prove their
questions' worth
ooze off every magazine page and
supermarket display
with shit-eating grins,
sickly brown soaked into
dioxin white.


True questions
and true answers
(How different are they?)
can be unassuming,
warm wool socks on feet
I hadn't realized were chilled.
They pass quietly
among the screams and the
profit-scramble, hand to mouth
to mouth to hand,
in peasant learning circles
and ancient verses.
They slip across wires
weaving through the drunk chicken chaos
They pour with my
monthly blood
from a simple gum rubber cup,
still red.

___ -- Miriam Axel-Lute

Miriam Axel-Lute lives in Orange, NJ. She is Assistant Publisher of Shelterforce, a magazine for community builders, and a soon-to-be student of Urban Planning.

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