Toxic ISPs

©2021 Michael Raven

It’s been a very trying day.

My internet started flaking out yesterday afternoon. The ISP had convinced me that it was probably an internal issue, so I went and bought a new modem, which should have fixed it, unless it was my router, which it shouldn’t have been, being only about a year old.

No dice.

The problem is that I have a high-priority bit of project work that needs to be done by yesterday or tomorrow PM. I need the internet to work so I can meet my work commitments…

Okay, shitty router… Found the old one and set it up. And things were great until… They weren’t.

I spent hours trying to get in touch with a native English speaker who wouldn’t tell me to keep rebooting my modem, remote diagnostic, tell me everything was peachy until it crapped out again. Rinse/repeat.

Until I got to the sweary stage… So sweary that the AI decided to hand me over to a human. Apparently, “fuck you” when asked if I would like to pay my bill was understood by the AI.

Then the real person, bless his soul, understood I had Reached The End Of The Rope, and actually set up a service call for Thursday.

Not ideal, but I could work with it.

And then got an email saying I was confirmed for a Saturday appointment.

Well, Xfinity, you finally did it. I went down to the local T-mo and got one of their lads to send me a 5G home internet modem due to arrive on… Thursday.

By Friday, I may finally be able to tell Xfinity to finally fuck off. Sideways. With something sharp.

Because… I’ve had it with data caps and price increases and fucking AI with their fucking fake keyboard strokes as they say. “I see,” when I tell them what they can do with their advice to reboot my modem a fiftieth time. After over 20 years of being a customer.

I really hope it works. Because I’m so ready to be done with this toxic relationship with my ISP.

Jolene // Strawberry Switchblade

A guilty pleasure.

Strawberry Switchblade was a Scottish super-sugared-coated polka-dot goth pop Lolita duo. Here, they are doing a country song originally by Dolly Parton.

I’m not proud.

Nor am I ashamed.

They had loose ties to the Cure, but I discovered them before finding that information out.

I had a massive crush on Rose McDowall when they were an active band. That is all.

these dreams/

©2021 Michael Raven

bang the drum
my heart and wake
the space between us alive
she cried

bring these dreams
to me to me
plait my hair and
cover the bed with
lilac on the sheets
drink my wine
and feast
on me

eyes in stars:
let them watch
but bring these
Photo by Molly Champion on

Experimentation, again

©2021 Michael Raven

Some of you made have had a bit of déjà vu if you had visited earlier and seen the original post for “familiar” posted this morning and then came back around again and saw the same post title with some minor differences: namely “[with audio]” appended to the title and a quick little intro added.

And, if that wasn’t enough, some joker posted it with a standard WP audio embed and, not 20 minutes later, changed it up with an Anchor (podcasting service) embed instead. Someone ought to shoot this guy, amiright?

So here’s the thing:

I had a friend earlier today challenge me to get over my “I hate the way my voice sounds” thing and do an audio post. After all, she pointed out, I used to do spoken word back in the day and apparently it wasn’t so awful as to have the hook brought out from stage left and pull me out of my performance, or an ACME anvil drop down from the sky and accordion me — what did I have to lose? Heavy sighs ensued, as I admitted she had a point. I wanted to do something on the shorter side to get the vocal cords back into practice, so I chose to add audio to “familiar” (forgetting I had one of them there foreign words in it that I had no idea at all how to pronounce correctly).

Well, I’m not one for doing things half-ways when it comes to recording and, while I didn’t pull out the big guns with Reason Studios, I did decide to not record it on my phone and repost that way. So I pulled out the old microphone I used back in my music days, did a butt-tonne of troubleshooting to get it to work on my desktop (and I really can’t tell you what finally made it work), pulled out Audacity (which usually only use for mixdowns to MP3 from less lossy formats) and started recording. I wanted some ‘verb and, in retrospect, I think it was a bit too much on the wet mix, but it’ll have to do. And then there is the normalization, which I wish I had known about with I did a few other pieces you can find here because it works much better than Reason’s tool.

Then came the sticky thing of learning how to say a foreign word without totally butchering it — we’ll see if people disagree with that assessment.

Then, I played with WPs audio player. It’s not very pretty or fancy and it eats into my storage to have files stored on the server here. And so I went with trying it out on Anchor, which I had originally considered because of the lack of limits and had signed up for when I first toyed with the idea of adding spoken word, but never got around to actually trying.

But, having already posted with the WP audio player and then seeing what Anchor looked like, I decided to repost yet again with the Anchor app — it just looks all-around neater, plus gets the audio off of my server and puts it elsewhere, freeing up space.

I’m not sure — my friend may have created a monster. I had too much fun (even if I still don’t care for the sound of my own voice) to just let it go at one post.

Yes. I like studio work that much.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the repost as much as I enjoyed farting around with it tonight. I expect there will be more unless someone get me banned from Anchor for tasteless poetry spoken by a man with a hideous voice…

Photo by Pixabay on

familiar/ [with audio]

This is a revision, now with an experimental audio track with the spoken word version of the piece published earlier today. My apologies if I pronounce fylgja incorrectly, as I am primarily an English speaker who like to experiment with words from across the spectrum of languages. I was challenged by a friend to give my readers a chance to hear me do spoken words versions of at least some of my poems. I’m out of practice at such things, so understand that I’m tweaking the system and likely need some time behind me to get back into the swing of things.

Audio was recorded on an audio-technica ATM27HE microphone using Audacity software and plugins (for those people into such things). Reverb is the plugin included in the software “small room dark”. I think it might be a little too “big” still.

©2021 Michael Raven

familiar/ sceadugenga

time to break open bones
scrape out old marrow
fill those dry things
with something else
let carrion consume
that rotten filth
my fylgja riding me
revels in such stuff