Historically, they had a monomania
about the primacy of information.
They applied analytical techniques
to form matrices of implication,
every record tangentially related
to an anomaly, a tangled history
of covert chronologies layered
detail upon detail, blindhanded.
Now they use robots.
Their robots use robots
to amass the metadata,
harvesting and indexing,
archiving and encrypting—
all reasonable expectations
of privacy duly proscribed—
their server farms become
digital ossuaries, datacombs
stacked with our time-stamped souls.
R.A. Allen poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in RHINO, Night Train, The Matador Review, Amuse-Bouche, Gravel, The Penn Review, Amaryllis (UK), and elsewhere. He has one Pushcart nomination for poetry and one Best of the Web nomination for fiction. He lives in Memphis, where he waits for that other shoe. More at https://poets.nyq.org/poet/raallen