by spookfall      it’s cryptodrone who plays the flute

twerp who cannot be cut or burned      wet or withered

strips laying face-down on the pavement

when scar-topography wants      to be touched      in the invisible

a skin-chalk crests      so cryptodrone can cross into your network

hairless     filthy      anarcho-punk-bot-tremor

when sharing a host      in the contagion zone      install my blue-

threat-checkpoints along the doors & windows       each plastic iris

shaking at the stem-tip

we didn’t want to get hurt again


but it’s as simple as using the wooden-end

of a broom or scraping tool

Penetration Testing means a programmed usually

automated series of attacks      administrators carry out

on their own network

before cryptodrone can be  very rich or famous

cryptodrone must string the geo-thermal

threats along a neural mesh

if the mother is a threat then the fetus becomes a target

cryptodrone indexes

in the infection-network

when a petroleum gel resists arrest on fabric

if the president authorizes      it’s cryptodrone who sucks the testimony from the image

from a single pink rose bobbing below

if cryptodrone had remained poverty-stricken he might’ve remained

even now      in the same fetid hole      sucking your data from the wet-site

zero-form marks the opening of a space

where cryptodrone stays a beggar’s child forever

when cryptodrone extracts itself

a secret entrance blooms

making your network vulnerable to attacks

when cryptodrone arches its back to come

all data originating outside the network

will be treated at a single threat-sensitivity

you arrest the holes[1]      i’d forgotten how to forgive

& my nylon ghost removes its curved-perspex-


a strap of code planted      a glory in the dark

could it be that i already died and didn’t notice? [2]

my bluest vein

pinkest palm-wrinkle

sensing your gaze      from the other side of the border

cryptodrone feels a breach more vulnerable than old trash

a witch-quiver-that-night-taking-many-shapes

once you’ve been authenticated

the system uses you      to determine your bounds

like everything else

this process has been automated


[1] Melissa Buzzeo, The Devastation

[2] Clarice Lispector, Breath of Life

About the Author

Madison McCartha is a black, queer poet and multimedia artist whose writing has appeared in Black Warrior Review, Dreginald, The Fanzine, Full-Stop, The Journal, Yalobusha Review and elsewhere. His work has received support from Winter Tangerine, The Millay Colony for the Arts, and was shortlisted for the 2019-2021 CAAPP Creative Writing Fellowship. Madison holds an MFA from the University of Notre Dame, and is a PhD student at the University of California, Santa Cruz. His manuscript Freakophone World was shortlisted for the 2019 Tarpaulin Sky Book Awards.