Tuesday, May 17, 2011

One Shot: the mad man & his pocket watch


we serve consecutive life sentences,
stated by our own pen, without punctuation
running away down pages in annals of
personal pronoun preoccupation
words bent and blending together
on babbling lips and pictures in
wallet windows of kids we only
see when schedules intersect

have your people get with my people,
send an email, i'll check your tweets
to get status updates on your
maturation son, read a wiki
if you want to know how to
catch a ball, but i'll be there
on saturday, at your game,
with my blackberry

at what point of evolution do we now find
ourselves, in touch with our self, but no
one else, check the clock face,
not some digital monstrosity
built to fool us that the
sweeping fingers bear no
ramifications on our reality

it's a circle whose circumference is measured
by hand and pi, that can only be sliced
so thin before it loses taste and is spit out
in a napkin by those who once
loved us, mis-spent leaving only
crumbs in the tin pan and
hunger growling stomachs

HUNGER. GROWLING. STOMACHS.

period. the end.

Woohoo! It's One Shot Wednesday...where poems are served on platters to be devoured and for dessert we bring you...more poems. Ok, so write it poetically and serve it up, come join us at One Stop Poetry. The meal begins at 5 PM EST.

The picture is from Magpie Tales.

132 comments:

Corinna said...

"Leaving only crumbs in the tin pan" ... our beautiful solitary connected world.

David Allen Waters said...

at what point of evolution do we now find
ourselves, in touch with our self, but no
one else,

That says it all my friend.

Pat Hatt said...

So very true, no longer to we stop and smell the roses
Just work, work and work some more making stupid poses
But then not much else one can do
Have to live, as you don't want to grow up in a loo..lol
We all wish we had more time
But there is always another stair to climb

TALON said...

I loved this, Brian. Time remains the same no matter how we look at it and how isolating are the activities where we now spend it almost senselessly.

tracy said...

You have become such a beautiful social voice, Brian. Your amazing work NEEDS TO BE PUBLISHED. I wish I could do that so more people could read you. You are more than relevant.

Daniel said...

Time, time, time (it seems) is not on our side. We do agree on a similar theme today my friend.

ayala said...

Love it...had time on my mind today as well.....smiles.

Vicki Lane said...

Put down the Blackberry and step away . . .

Bonnie said...

Seering Brian! Not only do you cut to the quick, but you do so with words that flow so beautifully one into the next.

So much to appreciate and learn from in this poem. So wise. So ... will we take heed or stay immersed in 'personal pronoun preoccupation'?

Magpie said...

The more technology we develop, the more isolated we become. I'm not sure that's progress.

ds said...

Love that last stanza ("measured by hand and pi")!! "Consecutive life sentences/stated by our own pen...in touch with our self, but no/one else" Natural progression to Hunger Growling Stomachs.

Great write, Brian. That picture does force thoughts back to a simpler time...

Olivia said...

The first few lines had me already!
Very well composed..

it's a circle whose circumference is measured.. true.. I scream!!

Sending you warm wishes xox

Heather said...

This is great! Yes it's funny we just were talking about this...how isolating it can be when all you do is sit in front of keys....a l l day!
LOVE this one - so true - xo have a great one!

Helen said...

You are mighty young for being so brilliant!!!

Sue said...

Yep. It's a problem.

"/

trisha said...

what a vivid description of modern life!!!!

we should mend our ways or in future robots will be performing our family duties and we will become some sort of jelly :)

rosaria said...

Brilliant! A clear image of a Utopia where we are only in touch with ourselves. The title is a winner!

Raven said...

Great poem! It is so true. Sometimes I think the only way my Midget will communicate with me is thru txt. *sigh*

Jill from Killeny Glen said...

OH this really is ON. Will it continue to get worse? It kinda freaks me out. I laugh seeing two teens texting each other WHILE SITTING BY each other...but its sad really...seriously...what next?

Mama Zen said...

This shook me, Brian. One of your best, I think.

Syd said...

We are so disconnected for a species that thrives on being connected. Catching up here, my friend.

Vicki Munn said...

sometimes, i wish i lived one hundred years prior so i wouldn't fret over this love/hate relationship i have with technology. and i sometimes so dislike this childhood my children are living with video games and gadgets that are "necessary" to keep up with their friends. and i too can and have sat in front of the computer all day long, interacting with blog friends, when it would be a better idea to actually go out in the world and make some friends that i could actually touch. virtual ((hugs)) to everyone!

such a great poet are you. personal pronoun preoccupation - my favorite!

Kori Donahue said...

AMAZING...Kori xoxo

Tess Kincaid said...

Nice write, Brian. My favorite line? "...before it loses taste and is spit out in a napkin by those who once
loved us."

william said...

you cannot get any better than this :)

budh.aaah said...

Hunger of various degrees on various levels and it doesnt help any that all we are in touch is our own selves....Great one shot and Magpie promt.

Claudia said...

can you hear my hunger growling stomach..?
this is excellent brian and it touches me madly - esp. these lines...
that can only be sliced
so thin before it loses taste and is spit out
in a napkin by those who once
loved us..need to throw away me pocket watch..

amyjosprague said...

Brian this is such a brilliant poem! The haste of the words and the haste of the meaning--it's sad and true. Excellent word choices and great theme!

Who Is Afraid Of Miss Lovett? No, Mrs.Lovett... said...

Brian said,"have your people get with my people,send an email, i'll check your tweets to get status updates on your maturation son, read a wiki if you want to know how to catch a ball, but i'll be there
on saturday, at your game,with my blackberry
at what point of evolution do we now find
ourselves, in touch with our self, but no one else..."


Hi! Brian...
Once again, a very well-written, thought-provoking, poem...after reading your poem I have reached this conclusion...
Instead Of, "Winter Of Our Discontent" How about..."Spring Of Our Non-interaction?" In other words, it seems we don't have time for interacting with people one-on-one anymore.

Thanks, for sharing!
DeeDee ;-D

moondustwriter said...

The internet/work can sure be a blight on family life.
Time is a running... I'm off

Nice One Shot

Valerie said...

and here I am surrounded by technology... Hmmm perhaps I should chuck the computer and get back to reality.

Lolamouse said...

Brian,
Unfortunately, the people who need to read and understand your message the most are probably the ones who don't take the time to read poetry either. Beautifully crafted and a sad commentary on our times. It's funny but tragic when people in the same room would rather text eachother than speak.

hedgewitch said...

I hate digital clocks. As if a circle with numbers is just to complex, takes too much time to check the time---where is that at? An excellent look at how fast and furiously life passes through our fingers, all the sweetness of the moment lost in hassle and hustle, and our lies of love and concern spat back at us. So sad, so true.

Birdie said...

Brian! very lovely! I took from it the same what D.A.W. ... "in touch with our self, but no one else" ... it touched me, it stayed with me ...
It's a great magpie! Have a wonderful day!!

Jessica Kristie said...

"it's a circle whose circumference is measured
by hand and pi, that can only be sliced
so thin before it loses taste and is spit out" You are a creative genius. Wow, great stuff. :)

lori said...

so sad to think of only crumbs of time leftover while little (and big) stomachs grumble with hunger.

yes, we are consumed with the personal pronouns. love all the punctuation references :)

Kristina Farrow said...

Wow, this pulled me in and kept me completely. I think this so often of communication and how technology has changed us - our priorities. Glad I came across you in One Shot Wednesday.

wolfsrosebud said...

Great collection of words to remind one of what is important in life...

Louise said...

Brilliant poem..I'm always amazed at how your words just flow so easily...like you are brimming with stories...loved it!

anthonynorth said...

Great expression in this. I'd ask, is it really evolution we're involved in at the moment, or the opposite?

Anthony Desmond said...

technology runs most people now-a-days...
and I like the way ya told it! ;)

Lena said...

A gasping read! I loved it! What happened to the old, authentic touch..?

G-Man said...

Sherman....
Set The Wayback Machine for 1955!
The 21st Century is on Sensory Overload!

annell said...

An amazing piece of writing! Thanks so Brian.

Randy Behavior said...

This speaks volumes to me. Damn the tv, damn the Wii, doesn't anyone just want to climb a tree?

pandamoniumcat said...

Woa...this is great, your writing reflects todays society so well. I love your stuff! :)

Henry Clemmons said...

There's a mouthful. Great work, love the word, it hit home. Luv ur stuff always.

C Rose said...

Fantastic one shot Brian. Our sense of community bond is so vital and it starts with the community closest to us, unfortunately it often stand in people's periphery. Wonderful write ~ Rose

Elizabeth Young said...

Magnificent poem Brian that echoes so clearly my own thoughts regarding time, technology and family. This was written with such clarity and even the rushed atmosphere of 'the problem' itself that it leaves the reader slightly breathless and harried. GREAT poem Brian!

heartspell said...

Step away from the blackberry; it's not a real fruit and the tweets do not come from sweet feathered friends, and yes the clock can still tick if we are listening before we've wasted all that is precious.... well said, my friend.

Natasha said...

Have you been nosing in on my live, homebased conversations!? I have been accused of spending too much time living life in 140 characters or less...so I've cut back. Honestly, for me, it's not a regular occurance to find folks to relate to...so this era has done wonders for silly things like self-esteem, confidence, and all that selfish stuff. (maybe a twinge of sarcasm there) But, I am big on family time, fun time, and live interaction, so my new goal is balance. And of course, less commenting means longer comments...sorry! :)

Sulthana said...

Wonderful! Encapsulates the negatives of a technologically-addicted modern life.

I have recently become too addicted to technology and wasting time.
Must get back to real life! :)

steven said...

i'm going to sell my smartphone now.

really well written, and powerful imagery.

"...loses taste and is spit out." visceral and convicting, all at once...

sheila said...

okay... I LOVE the part about the point in evolution! That's frickin BRILLIANT.

Things are so hectic this month with the kids and the whole wrapping up the school year thing. OMG. Thanks for staying in touch!

mairmusic said...

'pictures in wallet windows" nice (sad) image that speaks 1000 sighs! nice write, my friend.

Sheila Moore said...

pictures in
wallet windows of kids we only
see when schedules intersect...I remember those days. makes me glad I don't work full time anymore.

Leslie said...

"i'll check your tweets
to get status updates on your
maturation son, "

this line cracked me up. and the poem... too true. i love the way you had a really fast-paced, almost frenetic, rhythm going. really made your point even sharper.

Andy said...

It's so sad how technology has changed us, well some of us.

I would love to hear you read this. The flow is amazing!

Mystic Margarita said...

Totally blown away! A sad, but true summing up of the rat race our lives have become.

Bev said...

one of the (many) reasons i look forward to retirement is to get away from the madness of technology..staff that prefers to IM rather than walk down the hallway to speak face to face??...puh-leez!!!
it makes me frightened for my grandsons, what things will be like in 10-15 years!
your writing is spot on...

PattiKen said...

So true, Brian. This makes me think of Harry Chapin's song, Cats in the Cradle. Isn't it sad that instead giving us more time to spend with those we love, technology has just increased the distance between us.

Ann Grenier said...

Such a problem - wonderful poem. When we took our grandchildren to lunch the other week we watched a woman with her three children texting throughout their lunch! The kids were silent and so sad looking.

Chris G. said...

What a life we lead today...sad, to see where we've stuck ourselves. As many find ourselves wishing: if only there were more time...

Another lovely piece Brian - and thanks for all your hard work each week. I know a lot of people appreciate the time you put into visiting everyone you can, my friend.

Hope said...

wow! nicely done!

Pastor Sharon said...

Oh this one really hits home. How often do I think of "the good old days" as I continue to tweet, text, and blog my way through life?

When in reality, it would be much better to put those things away for a glass of sweet ice tea and a conversation with those I love more than the toys of technology.

What have we turned into?

Irish Gumbo said...

Ha! Nailed it, man. The theme of evolution gone awry in this relentless pursuit of time and efficiency and connectivity.

In a song by Oingo Boingo Danny Elfman says

"We've gotten so smart,
we can blow the whole world apart!
But when it comes to the simple things,
like living together?
Ha!"

Yeah, you tapped into that. I dig it.

Me said...

This one hits a little close to home these days...thanks for making me think.

Harnett-Hargrove said...

An anthem for the times. Though if we are in the evolution, we know not what's up ahead... -J

KB said...

So true. I love poetry that gets me thinking about life.

CM said...

Perfect commentary on today's society. But aren't we all guilty to a certain extent? How can we not be, unless we live in a cave.

Nice write.

THE BEATY said...

great peom The title sounds like the name of a 1930s pulp.

Kim Nelson said...

FABULOUS! Both form and content. Love this!

http://www.kimnelsonwrites.com/2011/05/16/as-i-am-meant-to-be/

Margie said...

WOW!
This is just too good!
You are an amazing writer!
Bravo!

versebender said...

"personal pronoun preoccupation"...a perceptive and alliterative observation. The entire piece was, as usual, well done. Vb

Lori said...

Wow! Love your words..so true..this battle of the rat race..it really is so sad because we know all that gets missed and left in the dust...unless of course we choose to step off this fast track. :)

secret agent woman said...

Work life should not intrude on the rest of life, in my opinion.

Slamdunk said...

You raise an important issue Brian. I don't believe all of the new and neat has enriched our lives on the whole.

Steve E said...

Brian.
YOU
NEVER
STOP!

You are a computer of ideas, poems, prose.

YOU
ARE
A
WRITER

In my dictionary:
Wri-ter (rite-r)....BRIAN!

Apryl Gonzales said...

wow... conviction and cheering going on all at once inside of me. I'm guilty and not, a mother seeking balance in a messed up world.

Great Write!

Margaret Pangert said...

Hi Brian~ This is such an aware poem, written in the imagery and language of poetry, that I think it is of a quality that should be published and out there.
Have you heard of the indigo children? Apparently, there is a new generation of children: highly intuitive and capable of living a hands-on kind of existence that will "save" the rest of us. Maybe it's just a new age metaphor...

Dr. Heckle said...

I'm kind of addicted to my digital monstrosities at this point...

Mary said...

I'm such an alliteration sucker...you had me at personal pronoun preoccupation!

Matt Coughlan said...

CAPS LOCK FOR THE WIN
IN REAL LIFE I'D BE SHOUTING
"WE HUMANS HUNGER"

:D

Jonny S said...

HI Brian thanks for the comment on my poem, love your work

Terresa said...

What a piece, this, so timely as laptops, Iphones, keyboards replace the warmth of a human hand.

Anna said...

This is brilliant. so many great lines. "measured by hand and pi that can only be sliced so thin...", then ending with "period. the end." -- those loved have had enough of the "personal pronoun preoccupation" and spit him out and there's the ending. punctuation. mark.
Your work is wonderful. And you amazingly find a slice of time to personally encourage and comment on each person's post. That is awesome. The end.

John (@bookdreamer) said...

I so remember the days when you left phones at the office and home and we puzzled at work at how to manage the memo and notification piles in our pigeon holes

adeeyoyo said...

Wow, excellent Brian! Where are our priorities and how did we get to be like this?

Zuzana said...

Oh yes, everything is moving too fast and we become so desensitized in the process. Many do not think twice about what they share anymore. Perhaps feeling they can say-write anything and everything. But it is not so, as even written words can still hurt...
Lovely piece dear Brian, one that can be understood in so many ways.
Have a great day,
xoxo

rel said...

Brian,
great comment on today's speed valued existence, but for sure there is room for both: crumbs and nuggets, on the tin plate. :)
rel

Celestial Dreamz said...

beautiful description ... so very true ... loved it.

Just Be Real said...

Hmmmm.... intersting. That is why God is the same yesterday, today and in the future. Blessings.

Lorraine said...

I dig, personally I dont' have any of these techno thingies, except of course for my laptop, not that hungry, and if I never have conversation again, I'll be happy

HopeUnbroken said...

along with the others: loved it. so very, very true. and so unrecognized by many. thanks for putting it to words.

mindlovemisery said...

I really can't pick out one line I love the most because I adore every word! Beautiful! It definitely stings with truth

shah said...

I love this though its message is somewhat depressing ;D as it is truth. Wonderfully illustrated truth, but all the same. Our lives are as passing ghosts down an eerie passageway between lives. Thanks for your visit to my humble blog, too. I'd lose my jaw if I got this may comments ;D Shah. XX

Captain Dumbass said...

Nice. Loved that spitting it out in a napkin.

Bradley Howington said...

Brian, I really loved this piece! Great work! Well written! :)

Monica @ bohemian twilight said...

"solitary connected world"

aha aha. very astute.
and great pace.

Kat_RN said...

How very true. Reminds me of the song "Cats in the cradle". My own children have grown up to much like me and live in other states. Enjoy your boys, they are a gift.
Kat
ps. I get to be your 100th comment, how cool is that, good work.

the walking man said...

Reminds me of Harry Chapin's prophetic "Cat's in the Cradle."

Pete Marshall said...

excellent, as always

Asobime said...

You are always sucha deep poet.

Enjoyed this very much. It has much resonance and that is important today.

Timeless and topical, Brian.

Lady Nyo

Vernon Wildy Jr. said...

I like this. We have become an isolated society that doesn't know how to connect with one another. I think you captured that well.

Mary said...

Wow-you nailed it. How much time do our time-saving devices eat up? And do we ever connect as humans anymore? Kudos Brian.

ninotaziz said...

It's not too late, Brian. Never too late. Thoreau did it...

arspoetica said...

excellent wordplay and all-too-real. as ever. great write.

janice said...

thank you brian, as i don't know how you do it regarding 'always' taking time to comment on each and every submission...and believe me it means a lot to everyone, if i may speak for them...

thank you for your comments on my one shot wednesday submission, however i am sad to learn of your loss and wish you the strength and solace to hold onto your memories and treasure the moments spent with your loved one...

sincerely,

James Rainsford said...

A profound and deeply intelligent write, which rewarded my many readings.

repressedsoul said...

Well then pleased to be comment 110..bloody hell Brian...pens lead to growling empty stomachs but ny putting words down like you've done here don't you think we gain some otherworldly perspective? I think we do...

Goat said...

A rant is the perfect form for the subject matter--causing the poem to BE the very thing it is ranting against. Brilliant!

Madeleine Begun Kane said...

Beautifully said and so true!

Kodjo Deynoo. said...

Excellent written, I like the idea behind it.

HyperCRYPTICal said...

Excellent write Brian.

Anna :o]

Raivenne said...

All work, work, work to find a moment to ourselves which is rarely enjoyed even when found, because one thought is always on the next, never able to truly enjoy the now. Excellent write Brian.

Victoria said...

Stunning condemnation of how we allow the unessential to erode our lives and how we lose sight of what is important. I so enjoy your voice, Brian.

Penny said...

Great poen, Brian. A sad reflection on how we get lost in life.

Brigid said...

Agree, a beautifully written piece about the erosion of our lives. I couldnt pick a line, it is all worthy of highlighting.

Belinda said...

This makes me think of how removed we are from our experiences/lives. Loved this.

Everyday Goddess said...

i've gotten back into calling people, you know, by phone. tis thrilling to startle them!

who knows where we are going??

Margaret said...

I am comment #121! Oh my word. Very fun how pi became pie and the first lines made me laugh as I am married to a grammar head. This seems to have just flowed from your pen.... err, keyboard. :)

Teresa said...

Truly, for a society completely connected to the world, we are completely isolated.

angela said...

what I dig about your writing..your voice remains true, your axe always grinds poetic girt fabulously...just today I wrote that libraries will stay "en vogue" if they remain a cool 'live' social place while offering the digital, we must not loose sight of human interaction...now, off to the next blog, ha! ~

angela said...

make that "lose", oy!

Joanne said...

You have captured it well in words of substance, but also in the rhythm of the piece with it's continued lines chopped up into anxious bits watching the clock, connecting yet not connecting, alone in the crowd of symbols.

~T~ said...

I take paper to the ball games. You can't write on a blackberry, it just squishes!

Lucy Westenra said...

Wish I could write like this. Mine always emerge metrical.

JL Dodge said...

You ooze talent my friend..
LOVE this !

lucychili said...

time is slippery
words are addictive =)

Sue J said...

I absolutely love this. 'Personal pronoun preoccupation'. How very true, and it does seem that people would rather communicate via a machine than eye to eye. Excellent Magpie.

Bee's Blog said...

Your words of truth swept me away. I am totally caught up in this fabulous description of how so many of us live out lives. Time to take stock. Time for a leisurely read.

haikulovesongs said...

this has the feel of that song "Cat's in the Cradle" by Harry Chapin, but bringing in all of today's "technological miracles" ~ i worry about the effect on the kids in twenty years. i worry about the effect on all of us ~ my attention span is next to nothing now and the desire for instant gratification keeps growing. interesting and unique One Shot, but yours always are.
dani