I have a universe
in my pocket... and some
lint. The world
at my fingertips,
all knowledge awaits
and forty two cents
in change rattles next to it.
I have a universe
in my pocket and what...? I
use it to watch cat videos
and trade petty barbs
with fellow trolls under a bridge.
I feel guilty when I go to church.
Not because of Saturday’s misadventures
or the bottles that scatter my bedroom floor.
I am not burdened by the cake I had for breakfast
or the bed in which I woke up that morning.
So why do I feel this guilty?
I’m a prisoner of my own device
though the four corners of the earth sit in the palm of my hand.
When the world starts to scream too loudly
I can turn the volume down.
I can put the world to sleep.
These days I lounge ever more than I work. I fret
the number of likes on my profile picture
as if I didn’t just roll my eyes when my Mum told me I was beautiful.
I scavenge for validation as if this screen will be my best friend forever
though for now I mope alone and eat fried chicken in bed.
When the pastor tells me I’ve been saved,
hurricanes conjure their fists.
The ashes of the Amazon grimace.
The oceans and their few remaining fish wish that they could drown themselves
while the clouds above the Sahara cry the few tears they have left to cry.
I feel guilty when I go to church
because the only world I’ve paid attention to doesn’t exist.
Species raise their arms to surrender after years of brawling with extinction.
Yet, I only lift my thumb to scroll.
Beyond my screen I see
grey skies perch upon grey buildings
which tip-toe on grey concrete.
I’m lost in a grey sea.
Its currents rip and scrounge at my feet with hands that are wrinkled and veiny
I dreamt about a crystal blue pool.
I felt stupid when I saw the ocean.
The one that winks,
The one in hysterics,
The OK sign.
The shocked one,
The facepalm one,
The angel baby,
The thumbs up,
And the one throwing up.
Life can't be bad:
My frequent emojis aren't sad.
Before I knew it.
I pressed send.
A long text meant to be erased.
I smiled before thinking about
The initial reply back.
My heart sunk.
The buzz of notification.
Exactly what to do when her face shows on my screen.
Exactly how to play off
The only voice,
The only face that mattered this time of night.
To be honest, I wasn't sure
What I expected to see.
Of course lying to myself.
My pinky underneath the phone
Waiting for reply.
A mental continuation
Bringing another thought to the message sent.
Fighting the urge to send Lol.
I sat almost a lifetime.
The same heart wrenching feeling.
The moment you realize you lost your phone.
Or my case.
A brief text denying all evidence of what stares at her nose.
Signifying what I saw
When she'd call, when she'd text.
That same delicious smile I'd heart over a million times.
All reserved for future reply.
This isn't a love that can be
Put on speaker phone.
We're far too silly for that.
Easily saying the first thing that
Comes to mind.
One moment to the next,
Phone etiquette thrown out the window.
This isn't a love that can be sat down.
Kept between an ear and a shoulder.
The amount of time it takes for someone to leave the room.
Conducted in civil manner.
Attempting not to shout,
Completely losing train of thought.
Not sure of validation,
Our voices raise a bit.
By now you should know we shouldn't have to limit ourselves like that.
Denying a freedom that connects us to whom we truly are.
Our quirks, general weirdness.
The crazy looks from those around.
The laughs that get funnier each moment that passes.
By now you should know that we are the complete definition of crazy.
Often appearing in person,
Before one of us can hang up.
Continuing the conversation
At any given time or place.
This definately isn't a love that
Can be placed on speaker phone
If we have to applogize for what we say.
Afraid to be who we really are.
Isolated from who we truly are
I've used them on my windows
To see the clear outside,
If I read the Op-eds,
I shudder, shuttered and hide.
I've spread them 'neath my plates and cups,
My shelves all neat and tidy;
But the headlines made it clear to me
My glass is more half empty.
They had a place in the litter box
For **** to scratch and squat;
I laid them round my garden plants,
They made fine insect traps.
Rolled and twirled they'd start a fire,
I could fold them into hats.
They cleaned the grease from BBQs,
And they're safe to pick up glass.
Crumple them for packaging,
They work as school book covers;
Add water and some flour,
To shape papier mache lovers.
Fold seeds in them to germinate,
Then use them for compost;
There's many ways to employ
Your Times and local Post.
But I won't subscribe to Dailies
For the felling of our trees;
And yet I miss my papers,
And the ways they worked for me.
But when enthroned,
You'll hear me grouse,
There's no **** paper in this ****-house.
My cell works well to scroll and swipe,
But it's only good for a virtual wipe.
We allow the wicked run
Kills us rather slow
Through the lights behind our thumbs
In the '80s I worked for a company
who sold mobile (cell) phones
they needed 2 bodybuilders to lift
and only Tory yuppies could afford them
we also had a car phone fitter
no hands free so lethal on the roads
I had to stock take the big *******
so a waiting hernia had my name on it
In the 90s I worked for a different telecomms firm
they never sold the now slightly smaller mobiles at all
no future in them, that's what they said
anyway, business suits and drug dealers
were the main market for them at that time
my company thrived on fax machines and payphones
if you were seen with a mobile you were a *****
or a low life down a shadowy back street
In the 2000s everything changed almost overnight
affordability and smaller size really mattered
the masses and all classes turned to text
and the novelty of talking on the toilet
in the bath, or while enjoying al fresco ***
that means outdoors, not with Alan Fresco
the genie was out of the bottle
and so, unfortunately, was Christina Aguilera
In the 2010s, public phone boxes are a rarity
the irony is those that are left
with the doors ripped off and pools of *****
are now largely the preserve of drug dealers
trace ability more difficult, **** odour irrelevant
the mobile phone world has turned full circle
in just 2 decades users have evolved from social pariahs
to social media addicts with a furtive future unwritten
I've gone for social commentary with humour here. I'm aware not ALL public phone boxes are used by dealers. We have plenty of older people and rural areas in the UK.
In my mind
Seeing you was the perfect form of communication.
To watch the expression of depth.
Every wrinkle that crinkles the side of your nose.
The sentiment grown from standing so close.
Eyes grown in anticipation.
Every depth expressed.
Explored until we're tired.
In my mind
seeing you was the perfect form of communication.
It's only so much to do behind the screens of phones.
The customization of emojis plastered on blank screen.
A temporary thrill that we enact before actual contact.
In my mind we restrict too much of ourselves with the press of a button.
Cheeks spread loose, folds undistracted by the moment where we ourselves are drawn to life
By what we anticipate most.
Without need to talk as much as we can before an abrupt end.
To consider you without call waiting or the awkward feeling of having to call you back.
Malicious moments before the call actually goes through
The introduction of physical smile.
Separately from the window of a phone
Leaving more room for availability
To a point of trust.
There is no such barrier as insecurity.
In over one hundred pictures you are free to do as you please.
Intuition doesn't lie.
A sudden sensation that strikes out the blue.
Theres no need for passwords or indiscreet glances.
A rare case trust comes into question.
A certain closure that adjusts to a overwhelming thought.
A sudden reach or pull confirms this serious accusation.
A subtle glance to remember the way things use to be.
In over one hundred different pictures I witnessed your body language begin to change.
In over one hundred different ways you hid pieces of yourself behind a password.
In a world where we are free to do as we please.
You decided to hide yourself.
Second guessing that truth would never find the light.
Appearing against the phone of a random stranger.
A light to peek through the crevice