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The fate of nerds

For Anne Case & Christina Paxson

“Several epidemiological studies have shown a weak but statistically significant positive correlation between height and intelligence in human populations.”
    ~ Wikipedia article on height and intelligence

If God gave you a good brain
And with it you dare think what you will
You won’t be very acceptable
In this world
Being what you are

She wasn’t yet six months old
Long & slim when
The recommendations started coming
That she should be a model
That she’s beautiful
That if we didn’t love her enough to acknowledge it
That they would
Gladly take her
A sentiment they might never have shared
With the mother at the beach whose five-year-old
Boy had to pee
Wasn’t allowed
Wasn’t this such beauty
Wasn’t the wind- & water-swept sand glad
To miss a few drops of nourishment
In fulfillment of bodily & emotional needs
Prevented & punishable
Of someone fated for a life of frustration
Being what he is
What’s more useful
To smile for the camera
To sell this baby smile
To income she could earn for nothing
Commended & rewarded
Being what she is

How convenient for industry
In its veneer of decency & thoughtfulness
The opportunities provided by marketability
Of just enough of her flesh
Being what she is
The denial of just enough of his
To keep her smiling for the customer
Throughout business hours for pay
In suggestive adornment of narrow insight
While he works overtime at the screen
Solving business problems for relief
In compounded frustration of forlorn existence
Being what he is

She’s a tall slender vision in Spandex and
Translucent wisp of gossamer that could’ve heated
A bedroom like mine had it ever adorned there
Such a shape that instead stands
Statuesque in this supplement aisle
Being what she is
Where someone who’d spent the hours of study
Enough to discuss how this B complex preparation might
Suit me more than that one might’ve been helpful
I’m instead rendered voyeur not to embrace and love
But imagine during masturbation
For the sake of a bottom
Line for this chain that uses her kind to net more
From white American guys like me
Than they could had they employed the knowledgeable
Being what they are

Indeed she’s a tall slender shrew no longer tamable
Wed to the man
Not flesh & blood so hard to please
Should there be such a creature
As a female nerd
The term’s too limiting
Surely as we need her to not be a bore
To get techie with us when techie’s needed
We can’t call it home without her insight
Her unique intuition
Her special way with a crying infant
A ruffled colleague a nosy neighbor an aggravating in-law
Or a case of frazzled nerves we bring home
The surety that behind every great nerd’s a great woman
Greater than ourselves
A role too big for us to ask that she fill
What’s so much easier
In the name of feminine progress & freedom
Selling her body glimpse by glimpse
Earning her position customer by customer
As she frustrates & scorns the studious from whom it’s been cheated
As the master condemns the slave whose effort’s been stolen
As I’m magnetically drawn like the moth to the flame
For like the moth’s impulse mine’s evolved for a reason
Turned on its head for such convenience
The sake of the market
That’s all just the same
What could draw me but
All the potential
That like any other model of typical sizzle typical market value typical stature
She never needed

This is the way the world ends
The nerd with his choice of expressed reaction observes
A society of sophistication & contraption
Though it well may have been
Assembled with decency & thoughtfulness
Become little by little their veneer
Until not one of his kind’s left
Minding the store
Whose photogenic collapse a compound frustration
And forlorn existence can welcome
As I’ll need no longer struggle
To figure out what to say
Once she gets enough past six months to ask
Why someone dressed this way should be
So smilingly quick to volunteer help
To supply what remedy I seek
Yet so slow to offer any further insight

    February 2014

Thanks always returns

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