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This report is taken from PN Review 125, Volume 25 Number 3, January - February 1999.

Pricks and Pixels Chris McCully

There are those in my profession who think that the Internet promises 'fluid treasures' (Editorial, PNR 123). Half the world's population, it seems, uses the net to order flights and books, baubles, pizzas and persons. But for every addict who traces Pound's 'memory and imagination' through the net, my guess is that there will be ten who search the net for treasures of a different fluidity and composition. The search is for the dark backward not of another's imagination, but of our own. It is the often unacknowledged place out of which come poems, and promise, and disappointment. Reaching it involves crossing a frontier of sorts. I went.

The web trailer promised 'FREE LIVE couples fucking.' Whatever the status of the initial word of the blazon - was it an adjective or an imperative? - better live couples than the alternative. I've always turned up my nose at necrophilia. The allure of the gymnastic corpse is olfactorily offensive. Frankly, the whole thing stinks.

There are those who think - there are those among the Moral Majority who would scream - that sex-on-the-net means something rotten in and about the States. Even the outfits offering these 'personal services' seem, at first blush, slightly shamefaced about their blurred but beckoning graphics. They are riddled with disclaimers. 'This site is regulated by...' 'If you do not wish to enter this site...' 'This site may be patrolled by Cybernanny...' 'Click here only if you are over 18 and viewing ...


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