[Virtual_reference] A question to end all questions

Randal Baier rbaier at emich.edu
Tue Dec 6 13:32:54 EST 2011

Hail to thee, blithe spirits, colleagues all. I offer this poetic transformation after reflecting on the occasional absurdity of our tasks. 

Randal Baier 


out of the air 
from Delaware 
comes a plaintive soulful cry 

"how *do* I buy the book" 

I'll do what I can 
from Michi-gan 

Why don't we have a look 

Through policies, scripts and 
various URLs 
I endeavor to define 

How one would parse this gentle plea 
at once profound, sublime 

You know, it's not too often 
that I receive such a precise request 
but I'm confused, a bit astray 
while working at your behest 

could it be bibliographic 
this problem that unfolds? 

or perhaps a classroom panic -- 
trying to do what you've been told? 

My interest wanes, I am perplexed 
I struggle to comply 
why me dear lord, why me today 
why "be here now" I sigh 

The warning bells continue 
Bleating their sonic pluck 
The sound ever so insistent now … 
Refusing to give up 

But, lo, what wondrous absence this? 
Forsooth, I am in luck, 
the bells have stopped, oh glory be, 
another colleague has picked up! 
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