Friday, December 28, 2012

Fading back into the dream where I woke second in life after living
Thinking the fences of socialism in the simplest sense would save me
But the nature of the mind never rests
And so I live with the thoughts of the former
And the former is in me
No religion can alter the soul
Even if the soul is saved
And no man can love something so entirely unique from him
God envies the mortal heart
And saves it in his deity

I am no more finished with this strife than I am breathing
And yet
The meaningless cannot comprehend what they are
But they feel it

The shackles of cognition impair the soul
Inexorable time
Impairs the soul

I never dreamed about what kind of days mine would be
Broken people live broken lives
And we are increased in sustenance for it
We persevere in our helpless state
And thus my thoughts turn from depression to hope
And thus I caution myself
Keep forward
Keep straight
Keep cold and unfeeling

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

If you can seduce me with words
If Whitman arouses my body
If you speak softly of politics
Passionately about dreams
If you dream of my lips on your neck
If you talk of poetry without verse
If you're versed in love
If your words go cold
When our eyes are warm in dim light
Words wrapped loosely on your tongue
And hands firm on the lower of my back
If you speak to convey truth
Concealed with the lust of two bodies
I would delight to oblige
In conversation

The "Real" World?

Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. Myspace. Google+.

Those are just the big names.

Then you have the markets.

Amazon. eBay.

No one's leaving out entertainment.

iPad. iPhone. Laptops. Gaming devices. Apps.


Email. GPS.

Where does the real world disappear into the digital world? Or is it a beautifully constructed collision we are insensitive to? What will happen to our society when technology fails on a grand scale? When the lights go out and the numbers stop crunching?

We've engineered our race to become technologically dependent beings. Children are not fascinated with touch screen devices, but rather expect them. Even basic technology that was indeed at one time groundbreaking is now foreign to the new generations. As we are progressing through time, so is our digital mindset.

If we do not pace ourselves...if we do not carefully maintain in our lives a sense of the real, the tangible...I predict we will become so absolutely consumed by the digital world in which we are choosing to live that if any event occurs which thrusts us back into the type of world we were born into, we will either not survive, or we will go mad, in whatever sense of the word suits.

...and here I am typing my thoughts onto a screen, with no physical trace of the language anywhere...zeroes and ones, zeroes and ones...

I promised you
To miss
To feel you again
In dreams
But not waking
You were real
And we were there
In the darkness
And in soft tender silence

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Suits and The Overalls

I've worked in the local Ace Hardware store now for a little over three months. I'm one of two cashiers, and I see what I would guess to be about two hundred people a day. I see overalls covered in mud, mechanic uniforms covered in grease, dry cracked hands, grey hair, brown hair, a name tag for Darrell, Joe, Dexter, Greg. Women with children, teenagers trying to fix a bike, war veterans in search of a light bulb. The diversity of the crowd is vast, yet all maintain certain commonalities.

I imagine it's easy, if not expected, for business people to perceive these farmers, plumbers, mechanics, etc. as being unintelligent. Many are slow to speak, and sometimes, when there's a heavy accent, hard to understand. I recall one day standing at my register and thinking about this complex between the overalls and the business suits. While I was standing there, a man came in and told one of my coworkers that he needed an adapter for a goose neck pigtail...this was apparently common jargon for both of them. I thought about all the other people who come in asking for schedule 40 PVC, conduit, solder, elbow couplings, etc. These are everyday requests at our store, but for someone who works in an office in New York, these phrases might not be so common.

Many of these men and women are underestimated. I have found that not only do they excel in their trades, but when asked about things political, scientific, or in some other way academic, they often prove to be very knowledgeable. Sometimes their diction is limited in variety, but the concepts are fully understood. So while a lot of the people I see on a day-to-day basis might not survive Wall Street, I'd wager that not many on Wall Street could find an adapter for a goose neck pigtail if their life depended on it.

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Mobile Shopping Experience, and the Digital World

I was listening to NPR tonight as I sat at the dinner table having leftover barbecue and baked beans. I wanted to catch some news before settling down for the evening. There was a report on the fiscal cliff, nothing new, an update on the NHL lockout, etc. But about halfway through my baked beans came an ear-catching news piece about mobile shopping. Here's a link to NPR's story:

According to this news report, the days of check-out lines and cash payments is gradually but surely becoming a thing of the past. In many large retail stores, sales associates equipped with specialized iPads with barcode and credit card scanners can now approach an on-the-floor shopper with the means to check them out right where they stand.

Our society is rapidly transforming into an all-digital world. Social life has become social media, entertainment has become an iPhone app, classrooms are becoming video broadcasts, and now cash is becoming an unseen piece of information transferred on airwaves.

While the digital shopping experience has been in existence for a while (virtually all retail stores have an online market), and whereas even credit cards are not exactly new, it's the idea that we are becoming absolutely consumed by the digital world that worries me. What began as a convenient privilege -- being able to swipe a piece of plastic if cash happened not to be on hand -- is no longer an alternative, but a primary way of life. We are forfeiting our proverbial bread for zeroes and ones.

My concern about the digital world is not only with payment methods, but with the implications in the phrase itself. When we talk about the digital world, we are actually making reference to another world. We are creating a new reality...and it seems not to concern us. This reality contains all of our information from the real world; depending on the particular terminal of the digital world, that information could be addresses, phone numbers, bank accounts, personal interests, activity logs, purchases, etc. We leave footprints with every step, and we are tracked by those footprints.

I am 19 years old. A few years ago I created Facebook and Twitter accounts. Got a bank account, got a debit card. I launched myself into the digital world with no hesitation and no worries. It was only a few months ago that I deleted all of my social media accounts and closed my bank account, keeping the money I earn safely protected where I choose. I can write about some of my concerns for the kind of digital society we are becoming, but there are still some aspects that seem to be instinctive, and I can't quite articulate why I feel so skeptical and leery of giving out all my information. Tonight's NPR story about the progression toward mobile (and inadvertently digital) shopping only furthered my concerns. And at the end of it all, I can't help but think logistics: what will happen when the digital world crashes and no one can access their information or money? I can tell you one thing -- I'm steering clear of credit cards, and I'm working to stay in the reality I was born into...not the one we've created.