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3 poems
by Sharon Mariem

Sharon Mariem is an American poet currently living in Norwich, UK. Her poetry has been commended in the 2019 Cafe Writers Open Poetry Competition and appears in several online magazines. She completed her master's dissertation in creative writing at the University of East Anglia.

User Agreement

I consent to the larger gods’ user terms without reading the language

that seals my fate in its endless collection loop listening to the tiny

clicks of my nails on the box that holds the world.

Take My Facial Recognition Data, Digital Jesus

Mined for data, I take my hollowed-out appendages 

to meet the reluctant future and put a digital filter over my real-world

face, it’s funny, it cuts-and-pastes me into the arms of Christ. I try it

with various facial expressions and my childhood won’t let me

post the sexual innuendo; I post a less suggestive capture then

delete it just the same (shame). I’m thinking of blood

as lubricant, how it makes me feel like a spectator

when I want to produce my own willing rivers, with thick

fingers on my tongue, I want to chew the flesh

into paste and sculpt words from experience; everything points

back to poetry. Call it content generation and give me a job.

American Coefficient



give us this day our daily commute       our  biometric personality tests     human 

bycatch image       phrenology transformed into Myers-Briggs sorting hat horoscope

classify yourself               prostrate before the link in your bio

         misidentification errors        fingerprints scanning

and rape kits gathering dust in the police force’s back offices


within the ruins of the everyday      surveillance reigns

automating performance reviews           (how many followers

do I need to get this job?)           university sponsored

post with the student social media         influencing

what functionality           in the mobile device management profile

sending your whereabouts         to middle management snitches

the more docile processes          enculturating contradiction between grit


and failing better     founder theory     (Musk dreams of being cool

and the fanboys are tucked in    their ice baths)     what perpetual improvement

stares from the void       in America             the gods we’ve made

of men     fragile animals seeking     the long tail riches for the niche website

and the 5G arsonists are opting out       so we doom

scroll     another day’s disaster     Q on /pol/ saying      Satan’s back

on his bullshit          snatching children       from the anonymous propaganda

machine     so efficient      I’m already dead

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