Go Away, Online Stalker


Another sestina for the dVerse poetry form challenge.
Back story: I recently started using Instagram and already am targeted – just as the facebook stalkers seem to have finally given up. Boring!

Also sharing this with Poets United's Poetry Pantry #491



Go Away, Online Stalker

Go away, stalker, don’t
pursue me on facebook, or
follow me on Instagram. I
don’t trust you. I’ve seen
your kind before. I can tell
by the way you praise my smile.

I exercise that lovely smile
wryly, when I see you. Don’t
for a moment think I can’t tell
you plan to exhibit delight, even awe,
at having suddenly seen
your new dream; you’ll swear it’s I.

You're even a bit amusing, thinking I
would favour you with a smile.
I know you have seen
that I’m an elderly widow. Don’t
bother, pal, I’m not that lonely. Or
you’re really a robot. I can tell.

You’re fronting a Russian crim? Do tell.
But you won’t of course. Even I
know that much. So take your oar
out of this boat; don’t try to smile 
as you fall overboard, and don’t
bother swimming back to this scene,

using some other false name. I’ve seen
what you are, and I’ll tell
the rest of the world too, don’t
think I won’t. That’s after I
block you and your so-reliable smile.
I mean it, there’s no either-or.

The funny part of all this, or
you might say ironic – having seen
your fake photo, which makes me smile
(not in a kind way) – truth to tell,
even if you were real, you’re not who I
would go for, ever. I simply don’t

fancy the likes of you, nor could you tell
me anything persuasive. I’ve seen, and my eye 
rejects both lying smile and the reality. Just don’t!

Comments

  1. Online stalkers are the worst. They must have very empty inner lives, if they gain pleasure from intruding into someone else's life so unpleasantly.

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    Replies
    1. I think it's more sinister. I think they want to suck people in and then fleece them.

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  2. Isn't it maddening. All the benefits of social media are about negated thanks to these creeps. I want to keep up with friends and my initial intent was to market (big joke) but now I mostly visit dog-lovers sites on Facebook. Sad. Well-executed sestina.

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  3. I like the way you told the stalker off in this poem. He will be sorry he messed with you. I hope he stays away though, as it can't be fun!

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    1. I doubt he'd see the poem. But anyway, I'll just keep blocking.

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  4. I probably shouldn't have been laughing as hard as I was laughing while reading this one. It's just... well, it's just that I would to see the face of your stalker (of any stalker) as they read this poem. Like you, I can't stand this sort of parasite--robot or flesh--who prey on those they believe are lonely or needy or whatever. "Just don't."

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    Replies
    1. Oh I'm much more cynical than you. I don't think they'd even care, just move on to the next potential victim.

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  5. I'm glad your wise to such people

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  6. Yes, the unpleasant and the criminal float merrily in cyberspace - that's why some people keep their instagram accounts private, I suppose. Am glad you're taking it in your stride and just blocking them.

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  7. Sounds as though it is time you got some pepper spray just in case! Social media can be a bit of a pain can't it?

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    Replies
    1. On the other hand, it's great to have places to meet other poets from all over the world and share our poetry. (Smille.)

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  8. i doubt the stalker would have read your poetic riposte. most likely he thinks you are easy prey, but didn't know have messed with the wrong person.
    btw, a creative response with the sestina. i find the form a handful to handle. :)

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    Replies
    1. I thought I would try for very ordinary words at the ends of my lines – which worked well but also involved me in a lot of enjambment.

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  9. I can't help but picture a bot smiling as it gets pushed overboard...only it would just swim to the next boat. Ugh.

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  10. Ha.. I have seen a few too... but the fakers for me are usually pretending to be young scantily clad women. We all know that they are from places like Nigeria.

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  11. I subscribed to Instagram and after two weeks, I regret it. So I am back to kitty and pupper videos and pics. You need some virtual mace to spray.

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  12. I've never had the experience of an online stalker but just a few similar mild cases on twitter. they can be annoying and they can be creepy. always be alert.

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  13. I am so loving the attitude in this poem 💖💖 Online stalkers are the worst kind.. I feel they are energy vampires and just want to suck the life out of people 😥

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    Replies
    1. I think most of them are in fact robots fronting criminals, who want not our lives so much as our money. (But for young and beautiful you, you may well attract human men too!)

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  14. Don’t
    bother, pal, I’m not that lonely

    Ha, nice play. The lines between real and fake are all but dust these days

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  15. this flows seamlessly .. sounds creepy!

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  16. I love your outrage, your wisdom, your rejection. Hope s/he never comes near you again.

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  17. Are these people??? word clones??? viruses??? creepy polico-sabateurs??? financial scammers??? Whatever their origins or motivations, I have no doubt, they have the worst intensions. It is 'virtually' impossible to get through a day without these dark-side intruders (be they via computer or phone) creating an off-putting nuisance in one's personal space. I find it so upsetting, I stick solely to email and blogging (and even that, is far from pest free). Your poem captures the frustration of crossing paths with one of these freaks, so well, Rosemary. Though it is a shame you have to deal with it at all. Why does there always have to be those who can't resist ruining something that was designed to be a 'good thing'?

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  18. What a strange world we live in, where people stalk others online. I like your firm resolve not to be a victim.

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  19. There's something so fishy about those catfish. It all comes down to 'take your oar
    out of this boat and don’t try to smile as you fall overboard.' Great line!

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    Replies
    1. Oh thank you, Colleen. I was a bit uncertain about that one; glad you think it works.

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  20. *snickersnort* Yeah, some of those messages are a laugh riot. I wonder if I should tell them they'd get a lot farther if they pretended to be a cute dog rather than a sketchy dude. :D

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  21. Online stalkers can certainly be a drag on our patience, but your amusing poem provided much needed levity to the situation. :)

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  22. The more benign of stalkers are the fleecers. There are others far more malignant and tenacious, and like Sanaa said, are "energy vampires." In either case ignoring them is the best path, as then they can't feed.

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  23. Brilliant - such short and snappy lines, great end words, great homonyms. Dammit, I'm going to have to give the wretched sestina another go.

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  24. Just so. And I'm smiling too.

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  25. Wow, a very powerful way to expose the dark side of social media. It really shouts out with the short lines and the 'I' keeps the focus and the 'dont' the message!

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