new gear

(Matt Bialer)

 

DARK FENCE

4, 256 satellites in orbit

But there is one

That has been

In orbit the longest

And nobody knows

Who launched it

Nobody knows

Appears some nights

Some nights it doesn’t

Black Knight Satellite

An oracle in the sky

Black Knight Satellite

Appears some nights

Some nights it doesn’t

My business partner Brad

And I are obsessed

We think it exists

It exists

By day we own

GEEKS ON CALL
Computer Repair

Click me to talk
To a Geek 

Send people
To your home

To do
This sort of thing 

Kind of like
A plumber 

For a computer

GEEKS ON CALL

But in our off hours

Down time

Talk about how certain we are

How certain we are

That it exists

It exists

Black Knight Satellite

An oracle in the sky

Brad –
Skinny
Dark hair
Unshaven
Specs
An earring 

A geek

His pot of coffee

We need more information dude

What are you doing?

We need to hack the Pentagon

You’re crazy
You’ll land us in jail

He’s also a part time hacker

Goes by handle
TheRighteousOne

Mostly just mischief

Corporations or institutions
He can’t stand

TheRighteousOne

On the phone
With Verizon

Posing as a Verizon worker

We have a customer
On scheduled call back 

I’m unable
To access 

Customer data base on my own

My tools are down

4, 256 satellites in orbit

But there is one

That has been

In orbit the longest

And nobody knows

Who launched it

Nobody knows

My tools are down

Up there
In plain sight

But invisible
A shadow

Orbiting the Earth

Oblong shadow

In 1927
Jorgen Hals

Civil engineer
In Oslo

Uses early commercial
Radio receiver

To listen

To shortwave transmission

From a station
In Eindhoven

Notices something
Extremely odd

Signals
Being reflected back

By something

Echoes

At irregular intervals

Echoes

Sometimes 3 seconds
Sometimes 15

Hals unknowingly discovers
LDEs

Long Delayed Echoes

A shadow
Orbiting the Earth

Oblong shadow

Appears some nights

Some nights it doesn’t

Brad still on the phone
With Verizon

Gives them
Fabricated employee V-code

Unique code
Verizon assigns employees

So they can obtain
Information they are seeking

From out in the field

Seeks an account number

Four digit PIN

Back up mobile number
On the account

A Gmail address

Last 4 digits on a bank card

What the hell
Are you doing Brad?

What are you doing?

Shhh!

My tools are down

Echoes

At irregular intervals

Echoes

Sometimes 3 seconds
Sometimes 15

LDEs

Long Delayed Echoes

So intrigues scientists

Huge experiments conducted

Into the phenomenon

Echoes are real

But nobody has an idea

What is causing them

No idea

My tools are down

Oblong shadow

1954
An incredible story

Appears in
AVIATION WEEK AND SPACE TECHNOLOGY 

A mysterious satellite

In Earth’s orbit

A mysterious satellite

Before we even have satellites

The Pentagon is furious

Do not want the discovery

To be made public

Appears some nights

Some nights it doesn’t

Black Knight Satellite

Not to be made public

My tools are down

An oracle in the sky

A shadow

Orbiting the Earth

Click me
To talk to a Geek 

Echoes are real

An explanation
Is put out

An explanation

Satellite

Is actually an asteroid

Just an asteroid

While it’s possible
For Earth’s orbit

To capture
An asteroid

Extremely unlikely

Rumors
That it’s artificial

Artificial

Brad’s on the phone
With Google

I’ve been locked
Out of my account 

Ask security questions

Last four digits
Of his bank card

Name and phone number
Associated with account

All of which he has
From Verizon

Reset password

You’re going to get us arrested Brad

You know that

And don’t do it
From our office devices

I always tell you that
You never listen

Dude, it’s cool

I’m trying to
Dig up the truth 

I’m a whistle blower

A whistle blower

Just an asteroid

My tools are down

Click me
To Talk to a Geek

4,256 satellites in orbit

But there is one

That has been

In orbit the longest

And nobody knows

Who launched it

Nobody knows

Echoes are real

I’ve been locked
Out of my account 

My phone rings

It’s my wife

I can’t find Claire

She not answering my texts

Turned off
Locator on her phone

Our 15 year old daughter

Only child

Good kid
Good student

But she’s been pushing back lately

Pushing back

Fiery red hair
Like her mother

Likes her Swedish fashion
From H & M

Satin tops
With ruffled sleeves

Super skinny low jeans

Bomber jackets

And she is
A girl who codes

Summer immersion program

Learn HTML, CSS
Java Script

Coded an mp3 player

When I learned
I could use code

To make something
I use everyday

Makes me braver Daddy

A girl who codes

Echoes are real

I can’t find Claire

Not answering her text

Finally she answers one of mine

What are your plans?

Hanging out with PPL

Don’t be home too late

No reply

And she is
A girl who codes

Summer immersion program

Learn HTML, CSS
Java script

Codes an mp3 player

When I learned
I could use code 

To make something I use everyday

Makes me braver Dad

A girl who codes

Echoes are real

I can’t find Claire

Not answering her text

Always on her phone

Texting

Snapchat

Instagram

Chat rooms

Giggling

Using their slang

Oh word

Oh, really?

Lit

Fun

Ode ppl here

A lot of people here

You are being mad annoying Daddy

Facts

I agree

Facts, Daddy

We’re worried

About the apps she uses

DM on Instagram

Can’t verify

The identities

Of the sender

Very popular app

For kids under 18

Also popular

With sexual predators

Creepy older men
Can slide into your DMs 

Be careful Claire

Be careful

My wife heard her

Tell a friend

About a boy

She met

In this app

If it’s even a boy

She’s worried

I am too

We don’t know
Who he is

And now

Her phone

Is an impenetrable fortress

Impenetrable

Hidden apps

Vaulty

Password protected app

Media
Such as videos and photos

Can be hidden

From main image gallery

Won’t take it off

Or tell us the password

You are being mad annoying!

It’s fine

Facts, Daddy

We should confiscate

Confiscate the phone

I think she has an online boyfriend

We don’t know who he is

Is an impenetrable fortress

Dude, either take the phone away

Or hack into it 

You got no choice

A girl who codes

I can’t do that

Oh yes you can

Can’t verify

Why don’t we do something as a family?

Go to a museum

A movie

Echoes are real

I’ve been locked
Out of my account 

Up there
In plain sight

But invisible

A shadow
Orbiting the Earth

Oblong shadow

Appears some nights

Some nights it doesn’t

Have the Soviets

Managed to secretly

Get something
Into orbit

3 years before Sputnik

First publically acknowledged satellite?

Or is the object

Something from further afield

Further afield

Can be hidden

From main image gallery

Won’t take it off

Or tell us the password

Can’t verify

Facts, Daddy

My tools are down

1957

The Soviets launch
Sputnik 1

First manmade object
To be launched

Into Earth’s orbit

Object is tracked

Shadowing Sputnik 1

Shadowing

Two months later
Launch of Sputnik 2

Carrying a passenger
Small dog named Laika

But it also

Has a mysterious follower

Tracked in space

By an object

Neither the Soviets
Or Americans

Have any idea

Of what it is

Any idea

Dr. Luis Corrralos

Communication Ministry
In Venezuela

Photographs the object

While taking pictures

Of Sputnik 2
Passing over Caracas

In polar orbit

Which is not possible
At this time

Polar orbit

What is it?

What is it?

Long Delayed Echoes

Sometimes 3 seconds
Sometimes 15

4,256 satellites in orbit

But there is one

That has been

In orbit the longest

And nobody knows

Who launched it

Nobody knows

Something from further afield

Further afield

Can be hidden

From main image gallery

Won’t take it off

Or tell us the password

Can’t verify

Facts, Daddy

Appears some nights
Some nights it doesn’t 

An oracle in the sky

My tools are down

Click me
To Talk to a Geek 

Brad is typing furiously

What are you doing Brad?

What are you doing?

Getting closer to the truth Dude

You’re hacking the Pentagon

Not on our devices

Maybe
Maybe not 

Brad, you’re going to get us arrested

You’re nuts

Chill Dude I’ve done it before

Nobody knows

Who launched it

Nobody knows

Won’t take it off

Or tell us the password

Can’t verify

I sent you a little app I designed

Yeah?

I named it Hawkeye

You can hack
Into Claire’s phone 

See what she does

The photos

Who she’s texting

Break into the impenetrable fortress

It’s the bunker buster

The bunker buster

Oh no
I couldn’t do that

Yes you can
And you will 

A girl who codes

Why don’t we do something as a family?

Go to a museum

A movie

Echoes are real

Hacked the Pentagon

Has a mysterious follower

Tracked in space

By an object

Long Delayed Echoes

1960

Dark Fence

A kind of radar trip wire

Stretches across

Width of United States

Designed by Naval Research Laboratory

Keep track

Of satellites

Whose radios

Are silent

Dark Fence

Huge transmitters

Established
At Gila River

Near Phoenix, Arizona

And Jordan Lake,
Alabama

Spraying radio waves

Upward

In the shape of open fans

Picking up signals
That bounce off

Any object
That pass through the fans

The Commanding Officer
Of Dark Fence

Decides that something

Is circling overhead

Roughly polar orbit

Races to the Pentagon
In person

To report
Menacing stranger

The US does not know
What is going on 

Over its own head

Large black object
In polar orbit

Around the Earth

Possibly weighing
As much as 15 tons

Particularly odd

Neither the US
Or the Soviets

Have the ability

To put an object

In 1960

And the purported weight

Far beyond

What either country

Capable of getting into space

Far beyond

My tools are down

Press reports

Cause major splash

With the public

Time Magazine

Newsweek

Pentagon quickly
Steps in

To kill the story

Derelict remains

Of Discoverer satellite

Gone astray

Just space debris

Cannot verify

I’ve been locked
Out of my account 

Just an asteroid

Echoes are real

An oracle in the sky

A shadow

Orbiting the Earth

Oblong shadow

Facts, Daddy

But the explanation

Does not convince many

Does not convince

Whatever it is
In Earth’s orbit

Acquires a name

Black Knight Satellite

Appears some nights

Some nights it doesn’t

Black Knight Satellite

An oracle in the sky

Click me
To Talk to a Geek 

Brad still
Furiously typing

What are you doing?
I told you to stop

Not from our equipment

Sorting through files
Of the Pentagon

TheRighteousOne

Did you use the app yet?
Did you use Hawkeye? 

Not yet
I feel funny

A girl who codes

You got to know what’s going on dude

Hmm I can’t but feel
That our Black Knight 

Is tied to Ghost Fliers

There you go again
With Ghost Fliers

They’re not related Brad

Ghost Fliers

The first report comes in
September, 1933

Northern Sweden

The reports coming in

“Like drops in a rainstorm”

Neither blizzards

Nor fog

Appear to hamper

These ghostly aircraft

What are they doing

Up in a region

With few aircraft

Able to fly through anything

A shiny bright light

Just like a blow torch

8 engines
Carrying pontoons

Winging its way

Through line of mountain valley

Flying very low
With powerful searchlights

February 2, 1934

Parliamentary debate

About the Ghost Fliers

Swedish Prime Minister

Declares it’s not yet proven
That the Ghost Fliers exist

Absolutely no reason
To take any action

But the sightings continue

96 unexplained

But confirmed sightings

Until February 23, 1934

Secret committee formed

To investigate the Ghost Flyer phenomenon

Codenamed Project Searchlight

Swedish Air Force

Deploys reconnaissance airplanes

For 3 months

Patrol Northern Sweden

Patrols also out on skis

To different mountains

To man the 34 inch searchlights

Mounted on the peaks

Searchlights bathe the darkness

Bathe the darkness

But find nothing

It’s related

I feel it in my gut dude

It’s not related

Up there
In plain sight

But invisible

A shadow
Orbiting the Earth

Oblong shadow

Appears some nights

Some nights it doesn’t

Just space debris

Gone astray

Cannot verify

I’ve been locked
Out of my account 

Just an asteroid

Echoes are real

Facts, Daddy

May 15, 1963

Gordon Cooper

Launched into space

Last Gemini mission

Orbits Earth 22 times

34 hours

19 minutes

49 seconds

546, 267 miles

Reports seeing an object

Near his craft

Glows

With a greenish hue

Glows

Back on Earth

Object seen

By dozens of witnesses

On the radar screen

Of NASA’s
Muchea Tracking Station

In Australia

News widely reported

In the press

But NASA’s reaction
Is odd

Forbid reporters
From asking Cooper

About the object

Put out a story

That carbon monoxide leaked
In the capsule

Caused Cooper
To hallucinate the sighting

Ghost Fliers

Searchlights bathe the darkness

Bathe the darkness

Nobody knows

Who launched it

Nobody knows

Won’t take it off

Or tell us the password

Can’t verify

Appears some nights

Some nights it doesn’t

I’m in Claire’s DM

Selfies

Pouting
With beads

Photos of her friends

Selfies with friends

Food

Crepe with Nutella

Avocado spread

An exchange with someone

Hashtag: Friendly Ghost

what do you like to do?

idk music netflix tech stuff

what do you like?

music video games partying
r u into going to stuff like that 

idk I guess

Can we chill

idk your real name
or where you live tho

is that a yes

maybe but not
until  I know who you are

Friendly Ghost

Can’t verify

The identities

Of the sender

Very popular app
For kids under 18

Creepy older men
Can slide into your DMs 

Should I tell her Mom?

Should I tell her
That I’m spying?

Echoes are real

Black Knight Satellite

An oracle in the sky

4, 256 satellites in orbit

But there is one

That has been

In orbit the longest

And nobody knows

Who launched it

Nobody knows

My tools are down

Up there
In plain sight

But invisible

A shadow

Orbiting the Earth

Oblong shadow

Facts, Daddy

Click me
To Talk to a Geek 

In 1972

Scottish astronomer
Duncan Lunan

Studies the LDEs

Long Delayed Echoes

From 1927
In Oslo

Echoes

At irregular intervals

Echoes

Finds that
Varying delays

Shown in echoes

When mapped

On a graph

Forms a map

Of Epilson Bootes star system

Deciphers a message

A message

Our home is Epilson Bootis
Which is a double star
We live in the 6th planet
Of 7
Our 6th planet
Has 1 moon
Our 4th planet has 3
Our 1st and 3rd planets
Each have 1
Our probe is in
The orbit of your moon
This updates the portion
Of Arcturus
Shown in our maps 

Lunan has a hunch

The graph he creates

Matches how

Epilson Bootis

Looked 13,000 years ago

Black Knight Satellite

From a distant star system

Orbiting the Earth
Since prehistory

Prehistory

But then Lunan

Very suddenly
Changes his mind

It’s not a map
I was wrong 

It’s not a map

A shiny bright light

Just like a blow torch

Echoes are real

A shadow
Orbiting the Earth

Oblong shadow

Appears some night

Some nights it doesn’t

A girl who codes

Facts, Daddy

Should I tell her
That I’m spying?

Why don’t we do something as a family?

Go to a museum

A movie

Tonight

Claire comes with us

To see the movie
Hidden Figures 

Based on a true story

A team of African American women
Provide NASA

With important mathematical data
To launch the program’s

First successful space program

3 black women
Who work in NASA’s computer section

In 1961

They are the computers

Drink from a pot
Of coffee

Labeled “Colored”

Walk 20 minutes each way

To a building
Where nearest restroom

For black females is located

Katherine works out

The hidden figures

Needed for
John Glenn’s mission

They are the computers

Yes, they let women
Do some things at NASA Mr. Johnson 

And it’s not because
We wear skirts 

It’s because we wear glasses

Have a good day

Claire exhilarated

That’s my favorite movie!

I want to be like Katherine
She’s so inspiring 

At work next day

Brad still furiously typing

Now look at this dude

High resolution photos

Very detailed

Filed labeled: BLACK KNIGHT OBJECT

Space Shuttle Endeavor
1998

Some photos were released

But not like these

Not like these

Look at it dude

So ancient looking

They said it
Was a lost thermal blanket 

From the International Space Station

That ain’t no blanket

I’m trying to use
The Hawkeye app

But it’s not working

It’s not working

Can’t get in

Dude you’ve been punked!

A girl who codes

I’ve been locked
Out of my account

The lights in the room flicker

And go off

Our computer screens

And phones light up

Wide, expanding

Room opening light

A shiny bright light

Just like a blow torch

And then blackness

 

 

Matt Bialer is the author of 14 collections of poetry including RADIUS, WING OF LIGHT (Les Editions du Zaporogue), ALREADY HERE, ARK, BLACK POWDER (Black Coffee Press), TELL THEM WHAT I SAW (PS Publishing). BRIDGE, FREQUENCIES (Leaky Boot Press), HE WALKS ON ALL FOUR, KINGS OF MEN (Dynatox Ministries), ASCENT (Bizarro Pulp Press), FORMATION (Weirdo Magnet), DISTANT SHORES (Villipede Publicatons) and WONDER WEAVERS (JournalStone). His poems have appeared in many print and on-line journals including  Retort, Le Zaporogue, Green Mountains Review, Gobbet, Forklift Ohio and H_NGM_N. In addition, Matt is an acclaimed black and white street photographer who has exhibited his work widely. Some of his images are in the permanent collections of The Brooklyn Museum, The Museum of the City of New York and The New York Public Library.  A book of his photos entitled MORE THAN YOU KNOW (Les Editions du Zaporogue) was published in 2011.) Another book of his photos entitled A MOMENT’S NOTICE (Les Editions du Zaporogue) was published at the end of 2016.  He is also an accomplished watercolor landscape painter with work in many private collections. A book of his paintings SHADOWBROOK (Les Editions du Zaporogue) was published in 2012.

8 Responses to new gear

  1. Raymond Farr says:

    Philip, terrific poetry! Again!

  2. xtx says:

    fuckinbadass

  3. fez says:

    They’re so grand

  4. Compelling. Shared on Twitter.

  5. Are you guys responding to my above story? And hi xTx, either way! If you are, I’m might thankful. If not, whatever you are responding to, I’d like to read it 🙂

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