Thirteen ways of looking at the smartphone – by Moira Garland

after Wallace Stevens 
 
1.     Lights up like a child’s eye 
                  on a fairground ride
                  on a hot, hot day.
 
2.     Small letters balloon
                  hundreds of miles up to the satellite
                  splashing words down 
                  into nano spaces.
 
3.     Cupped in one hand,
                  sheltered by the other,
                  cold in the rain
 
4.     The man without wires, 
deafens his ears
                   looks vacant.
 
5.     We believe we are spiders
                   making pearl-draped webs
                   of meaning.
 
6.     Aeroplane mode: as if 
                  we can open windows
                  swipe the sky.
 
7.     Remember the squat green phone
                  (so trendy in the living room),
                  after six o’clock
                  you held the handset, finger 
                  round and round?
 
8.     Did you rush to get the key
                  in the door when you heard the bell,
                  as exciting as 
                  the clack of the letter box each morning?
 
9.     Who is the thirty-year old
                   running in the snow
                   ears open, eyes open?
 
10.  Children pick 
                  at the cobalt, shouldering
                  guns, so that the elements
                  glow in a dark continent.
 
11.  Battery failing,
                  its core broken, 
                  a mortal carcass.
 
12.  When you get to the end of
                   your life will they give you the time
                   back you spent with the screen?
 
13.  Your    tongue    stored on the cloud? 
                  Your    hands         a stylus on skin?
                  Your    breath          virtual reality?

 

 

 

Moira arrived in Leeds via Liverpool, Warrington, Hong Kong, Cheshire, York and Huddersfield. Prior to poetry taking hold she worked as a bottle-packer, graph sorter-outer, medical secretary and lecturer, accompanied by a few fun things: melodeon playing, knitting and a son.

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