Monday, February 25, 2013

poem of the day 02.25.13


tchaikovsky is dying on stage

the philharmonic is bleeding his sixth
but the woman in row g has her cell phone on

moving her fingers and texting away
like she’s on the train ride home from work

perhaps she’s blogging about the music at hand

but chances are good that she’s looking
for a bar nearby to shoot down a few drinks after the performance
or making plans for the next night

it’s just as well because she’s not the only one

the guy in row j is catching up on basketball scores
and checking his bank  account

the woman in row p has her ipad out
and is shaking the thing like an etch a sketch

the man in row r is watching a movie on his device
and the old woman next to me is looking up her medicare benefits

amongst these well-dressed dullards
exist pockets of electric blue screens
glowing like an ocean at noon

it comes in a wave as each of them shrug
give in
and join the crowd

there is no escape from this barrage of back-lit insanity
at either baseball games or here at lincoln center

people pissing money away on this brave new world

and tchaikovsky is dying on stage for this

pieces of our brains and our being have died
for this digital servitude

it’s almost sad
but it’s become so de rigueur that it almost doesn’t matter

we’ve let tchaikovsky die before
and we’ve missed so much in this zombie effort to attain it all

that when the performance ends
and the people rise up to slap out their thunderous applause

shouting bravo
at the orchestra

as they put their technological gods away
if for only a moment

you wonder if they even know
what in the hell it is that they’re cheering about.


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