“Ordering Dumplings With Bitcoin” and “Real Money”

Timothy Tarkelly
Dec 28, 2018 · 2 min read


It’s the very first transaction. Numbers verified,
given that green checkmark
and somewhere wires pulse like veins,
like gasoline, burning numbers into the ledger
and I feel
like Galileo charting constellations
in QR codes,
leaving candles burning
in Cathedrals across the cyberverse.


Tell me again
how dumpsters are awash
with pennies and wars
are waged with diamonds,
but my thumb drive
has no value.

Felled forests
in your bovine hide
billfold, bulge through
alpaca fabric, but I
am “a dreamer”

because real
is defined in the mines
of Brazil. In the cottonfields
and paper mills
on America’s sweaty back.

“In fact, if something green
isn’t guaranteed in gold,
if the men who dug it
were given their dignity,

if the logo on top
of my statement
isn’t attached to the Manhattan skyline,

then how am I supposed to trust
that the criminals
changing numbers belong
to the same club that I do?”


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Timothy Tarkelly

Written by

Writer and activist from Western Kansas. MA in Theatre (K-State), MFA in Creative Writing (National University).


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