By Chris Pluger
Once upon a morning dreary, as I stumbled, weak and bleary
Down the stairs of my apartment from the upper floor.
While I staggered, nearly tripping, suddenly there came a dripping,
As of something sliding, slipping, dripping down onto the floor.
“‘tis my faucet,” then I muttered, “dripping down onto the floor
only this and nothing more.”
Ah, and then began I fearing, that the sound that I was hearing
Was not merely water dripping out my sink onto the floor.
My eyes were open, heart was racing, fast into the kitchen pacing
Afraid of what I would be facing, facing once I crossed the door
Oh, disaster without measure, struck me as I crossed the door.
It was as I feared, and more!
Deep into the darkness sinking, now I stood there, wondering, thinking,
“Whence the coffee I’ll be drinking? Whence the coffee?” I implore.
I began to breathe much faster ― what mechanical disaster
Fain would try become my master as this myst’ry I explore?
Oh, let me find the pot unbroken as this myst’ry I explore!
Oh, be unplugged, and nothing more!
“Strange,” I said as I approached it, and although I oft reproached it,
this machine had served me well for time and time before.
But today it was not making; not a drop would I be taking
From this pot, which me forsaking, soon began to vex me sore.
This foul pot, which in its breaking, broke me as I begged and swore,
“Can’t you give me one cup more?”
Water from its cistern leaking, electric sparks around it leaping,
Every joint and member creaking, creaking yet to creak some more
First I begged and then I pleaded: it was coffee that I needed!
But my cries now went unheeded. It was deafened as before.
My despair with silence greeted; it ignored me as before
As I begged for one cup more.
Down into the basement running, oh, I tried with all my cunning
Now to fix this problem with a volume of forgotten lore.
But the manual was silent, in my mem’ry I defile it!
And at last I became violent, returning up the stairs once more,
Returning with an angry portent, running up the stairs once more ―
“Now I’ll give you one chance more!”
I pressed the switch, I flipped it madly, begging, whining, saying sadly,
“Can’t we work together, happy, as in saintly days of yore?”
Bowing not to my request it made no noises as I pressed it,
Sat silently as I redressed it, and my wrath I did outpour.
Choking on the dregs of anger ― oh, what wrath I did outpour!
“You must give me one cup more!”
I grabbed the pot’s black plastic handle, smashed it like and angry vandal
Smashed and crushed beneath my sandal, wreckage on the kitchen floor.
“Cursed thing,” at last I muttered, while the fuses popped and stuttered,
and the water slowly sputtered, dripping out onto the floor.
I laughed and taunted, taunting, laughing, mocked the glass upon the floor,
“Now you can’t give one cup more!”
Now I sit here, sadly weeping, now a vigil I am keeping
And in silence, still am sleeping, sleeping yet to wake no more.
Now I lay in silence, turning, and my soul within me burning,
Longing still to be returning, from this night’s Plutonian Shore.
But this veil of tears is on me, laying heavy as before,
And shall be lifted― nevermore!
With apologies to Edgar Allan Poe, and a nod to the various internet versions of “Abort, Retry, Ignore.”