(1997. HICS: Hero In CyberSpace – redefining the self-image of all self-professed hicks*)

I curse the daylight and fight to remain  

 awake while others are doing the RL   

thing. Give me the night and a fast, tight line  

 to my provider. A sharp, swift on-ramp   

to the world wide web. I am a cybermage,  

 an electronic punk, a chat room hero   

saving the desperate from the unkind  

 – my only claim to fame! Yet I function! 

I’m free! Alive… and yet… I rot away

 each night in front a poorly made CRT  

absorbing radiation till my eyes

 hurt in my skull and my stomach feels sick  

from the dull roar of artificially

 induced migraine. Hour by hour it kills me  

slowly, yet I cannot face that day to

 day subtle struggle with RL people…. 

I’d die even quicker! A hopeless moron,  

 a scarecrow,  stick insect,  unable to speak…   

A sallow coward that falters and trembles  

 in the face of physical and   

psychological confrontation,  

 trembling pathetically as  

others take cover for fear of being  

 hit by my shrapnel – little pieces of   

me – like a turd gone to pieces at the 

 slightest poke with a stick – so lacking in back  

bone or substance…. I can’t even remain

 solid enough to hit ‘the fan’…. But  

in E-Space… I can soar! and fly!

 and race  and dance and shine and be a Hero, and  

reach out… and touch someone… At the end of

 the day I sleep, sick in the gut, thoughts numb  

with headache pain, yet feeling somehow, good.

  • A hick (pl. hicks) is an unsophisticated, or poorly educated moron, usually of remote, or rural, origin.

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