Bridge Troll in Seattle


This is an experiment in saying essentially the same thing in two different forms: Prose Poem vs. Exposition.  I prefer poetry, but I really need to work on my prose if I want to write those adventure stories about treasure, monsters, and the people caught in between.


Trolls: Prose Poem

I have grown fond of the term “Troll” on the web; I might even be one. I live between Midgard and Asgard under a Rainbow Bridge. I am fairly certain I am not a “bot”, or an android. My body wishes it was an android as the aches and pains grow more pronounced. But if I am a troll under a bridge, my parents never taught me how to take toll. I get nothing from those that cross over.

I mostly just sit by the fire and listen to the traffic, the foot clomps that keep me awake or awaken me from a deep slumber


Trolls: Expository

Just when I was getting use to the idea that my comments on Facebook might make me a troll, I looked up the term in Wikipedia. My view of trolls comes from Tolkien, and they turn to stone when caught in the sun. I have been called a “troll” once at least in the last fourteen months, but not a “bot”.

According to Wikipedia:

“a troll is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting quarrels or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal, on-topic discussion, often for the troll’s amusement.”

I am not that. I am just a poet with an opinion, and as the old saying goes, “opinions are like assholes, everybody has one.” When I originally set up my blog it was to explore the webs potential to introduce my writing to people outside of the traditional methods of hard copy publication going through magazine and journal editors, or even publishing houses for longer materials. I tried that route for years starting in the early nineteen-seventies. I have a whole list of rejection slips with wonderful lag times of weeks if not months before those works went out again. What I did finally manage to get published never built an audience and without an audience publishers do not go out of their way to print your work or go out of their way to promote you.

The web seems like a nice way to build an audience before turning back to the print world again.

I have set up two blogs, one is just a vestigial organ now, and the other at WordPress is still active. I set up a web persona just to add some mystery to my work. The persona became more active when I set up a Facebook page to help promote the blog. I have yet to post a Tweet to see if that can drive traffic. I am still trying to figure out how Twitter works. I have an old brain and nobody has offered an upgrade yet.

When the Trump administration was installed with the help of FSB money, trolls, and bots, Facebook became my way of at least stating a quick opinion in the comments section. It made me feel I was rallying those of like opinion and voicing some hope and wallowing in my despair until my works in my blog at least caused a ripple in an audience. What is an old poet to do while we wait to exercise our right to a peaceful transition of power in government via the two-thousand eighteen November election and the American people can at least try and vote out the supporting structure of Congress in this horror story of corruption and exploitation.

It has been a very long time since I have been around an active war zone or a coup. I have actively avoided those for forty years now. My intelligence gathering goes back to what would be called the diplomatic community, but I worked for a very long time as an information specialist until I found a real job dealing with the solid waste flow, fighting the war on garbage professionally. It develops an odd perspective of society and leaves the mind free to wander. I will have much more time as I approach retirement to put all that information into written form.   I like to think of it as writing my memoirs, but most of it will be fiction. That is the stuff that I want to be trolled and boted (is that even a word, to be boted?) by forces that I piss off. Maybe I can develop readers. Facebook and Twitter are just tools for me. I guess I am exploring new mediums.

In the movie Blazing Saddles, Gene Wilder is leaning over Cleavon Little’s shoulder consoling him after being bad mouthed for being the black sheriff of Red Rock:

“You’ve got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know . . . morons.”

At which point, Little cracks up.

That is how I like to see people who are not trolls or bots but do not like my comments. But I do not write them to provoke or create discord. That is useless, and any amusement I can get from discord can be found in the news, and it is not amusing. As far as changing opinions, beliefs, only time can do that or growing as a person. Some people just have to learn the hard way.

The web is a powerful tool and like all tools, they can wind up in the hands of people who abuse them, you know, morons. But in clever hands, trolls, bots, propagandists, governments, religions, intelligence services, advertising agencies, salesmen, conmen, etc. it can be deadly unless everybody pays attention to how to use it as an information source. This may be a totally new event in the evolution in humanity. We were all just lucky enough to be born in interesting times. I thought movies were a powerful medium. I thought newspapers, magazines, television, and radio were powerful. I thought just talking to people if you have the gift of gab was powerful. The web transfers data without a beginning or end, without much chance of stripping the data apart and putting it back together to see how and why it works. You have to do that with the written word, you have to do that with film, and eventually you have to learn to do that with everything, the web included.

I am getting pretty old, it is probably time to grow up, learn how to deal with the new world we are living in. Sure I have some experience, but I cannot move as fast as I use to. The web presents a totally new mechanism for my creeping senility, an off loaded memory machine. Mine as well as everybody else’s. Like in studying literature as I was taught in school, a person using this off loaded memory machine has to watch out for trolls, bots, and liars. Just like we are supposed to have learned about life in general growing up. I guess I should have suspected, growing up never stops.


As an experiment, my preliminary observation is that poetry is shorter.


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About johnsmithiiimxiii

John Smith, IIMXIII is the avatar of an award winning poet, artist, etc. who still lives in the Palouse country of the Pacific NW. He has not received much notice with his prose . . . but as his avatar, I hope that he keeps plugging along.

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