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This hypertext poem included in the 2011 New Media Writing Prize Shortlist (in the Student category) tells the story of a stalker and his victim. The speaker is the stalker who opens a Facebook account under the pseudonym “David Mills” (after typing and deleting “Micheal” from the name field) to be better able to stalk the subject of his obsession, a young Canadian woman called Pandora Oaklear. The stalker is not much of a poet, writing in more or less iambic tetrameter and dimeter, rhyming words like “distance” with “persistence,” and using a rhyme scheme so irregular that it is surely a reflection of his perturbed thought process. He is smart enough to open accounts under multiple pseudonyms and in different cloud-based content hosting services, such as Webnode, Flickr (a Yahoo! service), Facebook, and YouTube (a Google service). Only this disturbing bit of center-justified verse and the focus on the victim weave all these photos, accounts, and videos together, including a newspaper clipping that chillingly gestures towards a blurred boundary between fiction and reality. And it is much worse than the Quicktime audio clip that sets the tone with creepy music.
It is a rough piece, but its concerns are very timely.
Featured in New Media Writing Prize 2011