Unplugged Poetry

Over at the dVerse Poets site, we are fretting about the level to which families and individuals are plugged into devices as a surrogate for genuine desires.  A recent survey supposedly tells us that the family is coming together again in the living room, in front of the TV, but each armed with their smartphones, tablets, laptops and so on, tweeting and messaging away to the outside world instead of talking to each other.  Bodily togetherness, perhaps, but a zombification of the mind.  This is a poem I wrote a year or so ago, but which seems very relevant for this discussion, so I hope you don’t mind me reusing it.



We only really come alive

in front of deadened roar of others,

canned laughs still rouse us to sardonic smiles,

while tortuous plots free up our sneers.

Looking carefully ahead, not at each other,

each lost in our singular, unshareable thoughts.

We gossip about them in a semblance of emotion

so trite we stop caring long before the sentence ends.

As unadventurous as last night’s dinner

no miracle can reheat.


Not facing or squaring the truth and the gape,

ever silent we cling to our sofa

and the myth of our togetherness.


19 thoughts on “Unplugged Poetry”

  1. the myth of our togetherness….yes, we have to be careful.. just being in the same room doesn’t mean connecting to each other.. and the danger is that once all electronic equipment is turned off that there’s nothing left we have to tell each other

  2. dang….the myth of our togetherness….reheating last nights excitement…there is some zingers in this…and how true as well….we have created lives of crowded loneliness…full of things to do that keep us from ever really connecting with each other…

  3. I find that phenomenon – of people physically close but each in a different electronic world – absolutely fascinating. At the same time though, it’s sad. I think you get at something really important too about it. It takes more effort, courage, whatever to interact with others in person in some ways than it does to do so online.

    1. Thank you for giving us such a great prompt. I try and try to keep my family from it – without becoming too apostolic about it, because forbidden fruit are always the sweetest, right?

  4. Strong indictment of all that is wrong with so many relationships. Sadly, I often have to plead “Guilty” under the guise of chilling out. I don’t know if, as a society, we will ever be able to change this.

    1. Oh, me too, Victoria! It is hard not to succumb and there’s nothing wrong with using it occasionally when your brain is too frazzled for anything else. It just makes me sad when I see people doing it all the time, even when they are fresh as dewdrops and out on a trip or something with their family.

  5. Sometimes I think this is what it has all come to; and children growing up in today’s world will think of this as ‘norm.’ Teletubbies indeed. A fine write which makes me think.

  6. “so trite we stop caring before the sentence ends” sums up the way I read about celebrity news. And clinging to the sofa and myth of togetherness–love this. And the title is so rich–cartoonish way of existing, couch potatoes with our television and big bellies, vacant airheads subject to mind control on the screen. Great poem on the subject!

    1. I hadn’t thought about celebrity news when I made up that line – but you are so right, it sums it up perfectly! Half of the time I don’t even know who the so-called celebrities are, let alone care… Thank you for visiting.

  7. Lots of very good lines and phrases here! As much as I like the line about clinging to the “myth” I also feel that the poem could have easily ended without that final stanza.

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