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VCR Story | Tributaries & Text-Fed Streams

There was a flipping sound every thirty seconds from the vcr as it was continually
trying to eject a videocassette which was not, in fact, in the machine. Through some glitch
of artificial unintelligence the malfunctioning vcr kept trying
to eject nothing for days. The tuner part of the unit was working fine
so it remained in place, trying all the while to eject a non-existent cassette.

Channel surfing in the cacaphony of colour, sound, sex and violence that is
American TV in the Deep South. I paused to watch a compelling presentation
on a religious theme. There was singing, rapture, sharing and selling
all at once. A large woman wearing a purple robe was sobbing woefully
into a microphone “You WILL be healed” and on that cue, the non-existent tape
that has been trying to eject, with no success, is suddenly spit out, and the motor,
which has come dangerously close to burning itself out,
is at rest, finally at peace.

Bring me your tired, your poor, your broken VCR’s.
A laying on of hands, healing twisted cables, the clocks
that won’t stop flashing …

Nancy Paterson




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