Thursday, August 30, 2018

My Computer Thinks I’m Gay

I have recently been
shopping online
for things like 

medicated shower soaps 
modern day options in 
breathable underwear

hair styling products
and a new shoulder bag 
to hold things like 

my tablet computer
my wallet
a comb

my inhaler 
and sunscreen when I’m 
out running errands

and lately I have been looking 
for a lavender colored shirt
to accent a new vest I wear to gigs 

(It would seem this last bit of shopping 
has made my computer sit up and take notice.)


Now my computer 
is sending me ads 
for wild patterned shirts and skinny jeans

and for things I never knew existed 
that frighten me when
I figure out their true purpose.

I have been told that
greatly sophisticated 
computer algorithms exist 

that can determine exactly
what a person will shop for next 
based on what they shopped for last

but I am fairly certain I will never require 
jewelry for a piercing in the places 
these ads are alluding too.


I began to wonder if I were to 
do some searches for things like
sledge hammers and welding masks

if that would bring things back into balance
closer to my personal experience 
(though I’ve never used either) 

or would I be creating a whole new algorithm 
for welders who use shoulder bags
while running errands wearing lavender shirts?

(Where I live, the chances of that algorithm 
already existing is very high.)


I was going to end this with

Does my computer
know something 
I don’t?

But, on further review
perhaps the question should be:
Can I get a welding mask in lavender paisley?

(I’m pretty sure it would be awesome.)

Ken Owen
Van Niddy Press   August 2018