Portrait of Steve NoJobs    from the After-life

Steve NoJobs had passed the divide separating those of Flesh from those of Shade. What to do? There was no one around to schmooze with or impress. A lonely place. As he moved forward—others—the shades—moved further away—like the expanding cosmos, he thought. So—he thought—I will write. But there were no key-pads, no typewriters, no pens. So, he thought, I will reminisce.

Steve remembered Being Born. This was a singular event. As he emerged from Mama NoJobs’ womb, instead of being slapped on the backside by the Birthing Doctor, Steve slapped the Doctor in the face. The Doctor, Doctor Jackal, took notes—wrote a still influential essay, Formation of Personality in the Womb—Foundation of Persona Prior to Freud’s Oral, Anal and Genital Epochs.

Steve was a Forceful Presence with his parents; they were intimidated by him. He refused Mama NoJobs’ nipple; refused to be bottle-fed. He wanted Mama NJ to spoon feed him homogenized milk with a spoon—like she fed him mushy baby food from tiny bottles. He loved being spoon-fed. If Mama NJ did not spoon feed him, he had a temper tantrum—shrieks, tearjets—a template for future strategy when he did not get his way.

Steve trained Mama NJ to place him in the carriage when he raised his right hand. When he raised his left, it was time to return home—for pablum—and reruns of The Honeymooners. He bellylaughed every time Ralph warned Alice: to the moon…and raised his tiny right fist triumphantly.

When toddler Steve toddled onto the streets, he saw kids playing marbles. Steve then thought—and thought—then jerry-rigged a mechanical device with twigs and discarded mattress springs that moved the marbles; and Steve convinced the kids to watch rather than play: the boys watched—amazed. Steve thought to himself: Humans would rather watch than play.

Steve’s favorite film: The Wizard of Oz  No! Not because Dorothy unmasked the Wizard as a fake. What if, he thought, the Wizard could maintain the illusion of being a wizard—being more clever than the Dorothys of this world!

One day, while sitting under a tree, an apple fell on Steve’s head. Newton! Theory of Gravity! I will create a device—like the Marble Machine—and call it Apple! A Grave Appellation! Steve bellylaughed. To the moon…he cried.

Steve NoJobs watched the first Moon-Landing in 1969. He watched Neil Armstrong prance around on the gravel of the Moon. One step for Mankind…Neil pronounced. Everyone cheered! Steve was impressed. Humans cheered when someone pranced around on a barren landscape. I just tasted The Future! Scrumptious! Like an Apple!

Univac! Giant Computers—were being developed. What if these Giants could be shrunk, made smaller, so Humans could carry them around in their pockets—and obtain information—call this information—“Knowledge”—and get people to purchase it. But these devices were already developed. Steve is a little hazy on the details. But somehow he secured the patents to these devices—and called them Apple—to see if humans would bite. At first—No Dice! But Steve relied on his favorite maneuver: the Temper Tantrum! Many were intimidated—and impressed. Apple devices, they thought, must be good—Laptop! I-Pad! SmartPhone! Smaller! Faster! Cheaper! Manufacture in Bangladesh—or some other “wiggly” place. Humans will bite—Access the Virtual Cloud! Everyone connected!

But not everyone was biting. Steve thought of Barnum, Ziegfeld, Henry Ford, L. B. Mayer—the Great Impresarios! The Wizard of Oz! Flash! Epiphany! Tell all—I will go into seclusion. Meditate. Like the Buddha. Have a Vision—Revelation! Thus he did. Went to India—Nepal—some “wiggly” place—thought and thought—came back to USA—Silicon Valley—told all: a Vision—an Apple—sleek, easy to handle, aesthetically beautiful. Beauty is Truth, Truth—Beauty. Humans—bought it! Steve thought—Life is an Illusion; the Virtual Cloud is an Illusion—of an Illusion. But I won’t tell this to Humans. They are convinced by an Apple. My reputation is secure. I am worshipped. Maya—Goddess of Illusion! The Wizard of Oz!

So Steve NoJobs trudged ahead—meditating—reminiscing—toward—Exoneration? Exaltation?    or the long gray road to—Forever…


  • Bernard Block was born and raised in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn and attended Cornell University and Brooklyn College. He hitch-hiked to California in 1965 and lived in the Haight-Ashbury through 1967 where he gave poetry readings at the I and Thou Coffee Shop, North Beach coffee houses and Golden Gate Park. He returned to NYC and studied with the poet Colette Inez in the mid '70's. He earned his living as a caseworker with the Bureau of Child Welfare in New York City (he is now retired). Bernard has read at all the major spoken-word venues in NYC. He has presented his poetry in venues in Philadelphia, Columbia, SC and Asheville, NC. In August, 2014 he was invited to feature in Laugharne, South Wales in celebration of the centenary of Dylan Thomas’ birth. Bernard curates and hosts the Series “From Whitman to Ginsberg” at Cornelia St. Café. There have been 21 editions of this Series; the most recent was presented on September 28, 2018. All 21 editions were videotaped and can be accessed on his YouTube Channel. He has had 38 poems published in the prestigious European on-line literary journal Levure Littéraire #8, #9 and #12 (Editors: Rodica Draghincescu; Erika Dagnino). Five of Bernard's poems appear in the French/English literary journal Recours au Poème (Editor: Marilyne Bertoncini) with French translation by Elizabeth Brunazzi. In an article in this journal regarding the NYC poetry scene, Ms. Brunazzi devotes a significant discussion to Bernard's poetry and his organizing role on that scene. Bernard Block’s book of poetry "Am I My Brother’s Keeper?" has been released by Dark Light Publishing. This is a bilingual edition, English/Spanish, with evocative translations by the eminent Mexican poet, Roberto Mendoza Ayala. It is available on Amazon and from the author: [email protected]