Journalism in Verse – EST. 2016


Ghosts in the Machine

in Photo Challenge/Science & Tech by

There are some
who are only seen
by the machines,
as if everyone
around them
had prosopagnosia.
But it’s really that
the people who
would stop them
on the street
are now ghosts
that live in the fog,
preserved along with
their younger selves
in Instamatic and Polaroid
prints that cracked slower
than screens
but more irreparably.
now the only ones
who could reliably
attach a name
to their shuffle
through the automatic-open
supermarket doors,
their place in line
at the bank
where they are grateful
for a transaction
that is still
paper for paper,
face to face.


Poet’s Note

“This particular poetry challenge really spoke to me as both a tech journalist and a sometimes poet. I thought of all the people that have been lost between the old San Francisco and the present-day one and how they’re recognizable only to the machines the new residents have made but not by the machine’s creators.”


Chandra Steele has had stories featured on Vol. 1 Brooklyn, paid homage to Haruki Murakami in The Molotov Cocktail, published in Newtown Literary, was sort of funny on McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, made it to the finals of L Magazine’s Literary Upstart series, and won the MTV Write Stuff competition.


San Francisco won the battle, but the war on facial-recognition has just begun

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