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Then & Now: WCW on QWERTY


This is the alphabet q w e r t y u i o p a s d f g h j k l z x c v b n m. The extraordinary thing is that no one has yet taken the trouble to write it out fully.

–William Carlos Williams, “The Simplicity of Disorder” (1929)


1. qwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnm

A phenomena that happens to a computer’s keyboard when a human being is bored to death…

Bored to death in a cube a human decides to type qwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnm (all the keyboard buttons in an orderly way) to a search engine to see what comes up…

–urbandictionary.com (May 5, 2006)

Ah, those were the days!

Michael Leong is the author of four volumes of poetry, e.s.p., Cutting Time with a Knife, Who Unfolded My Origami Brain?, and Words on Edge, as well as a translation of the Chilean poet Estela Lamat, I, the Worst of All. His poems have appeared in jubilat, Lana Turner, New American Writing, Tin House, Verse Daily, The &Now Awards 2: The Best Innovative Writing, and elsewhere. Excerpts from a new manuscript in progress is forthcoming in Best American Experimental Writing 2018. He is Assistant Professor of English at the University at Albany, SUNY.

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