Microsoft Word. Light of my mind, fire of my frustration. My sin, my soul. Mi-cro-soft-word. The mouth contorts with anti-poetry. My. Crow. Soft. Word.

Oh, Word. For 20 years, you have supported and tyrannized me. You have given me a skimpy Etch A Sketch on which to compose, a cramped spot on the sentence-assembly line — and then harangued me with orders to save or reformat as you stall and splutter and assert points of ludicrous corporate chauvinism (“Invalid product key”! “Unrecognized database format”!).

And just when I need to be alone with my thoughts and my Mac, you detain me by emphasizing my utter dependence on you, melodramatically “recovering” documents lost in your recreational crashes.

After lo this lifetime of servitude, I intend to break free. I seek a writing program that understands me. Goodbye to Word’s prim rulers, its officious yardsticks, its self-serious formatting toolbar with cryptic abbreviations (ComicSansMS?) and trinkety icons. Goodbye to glitches, bipolar paragraph breaks and 400 options for making overly colorful charts.

Goodbye, especially, to the mean, white and narrow page — which is hardly the intoxicating mental expanse Kerouac and Cather must have enjoyed. With Word, I always feel as if I’m taking an essay test.

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