Sunday, September 17, 2017

there i was at a work meeting.  the subject was mobile apps.  how we can do some work using our phones and ipads.  i said it.  i said, i don't have a phone.  there was a collective gasp.  then silence.  then someone spoke, 'richard, how the hell does anna and nick get a hold of you?'

fair question.  i'm surprised i survived the late 20th C without mobile technology.  i mean, how did we do our shopping in the 1970s and '80s when we couldn't call our wives, husbands, partners from the market and ask them if they wanted creme freche or yogurt?

first world problems.  but you know, mobile technology is not an evil.  in kim stanley robinson's trilogy, Science in the Capital, which is about scientists, politicians and climate change, the man elected president, phil chase, is an affable fellow who is elected to deal with a destabilized climate, uses his blog to speak, kindly, i have to say, and meaningfully, to the people.  president chase's blog is called CUT TO THE CHASE.

 it's a great set of three books.  one of the best reads of mine last year.  and i gave my copy of the trilogy to my boss because i think robinson's work should be well known. 

anyway, i wonder what nicannor parra, that most duchampian of poets, would make of social media.  the great antipoet is still alive, i believe because i haven't heard or read otherwise, parra must be about 103.  i think parra would dig twitter, blogger and facebook. 

so it happens that anna woke me yesterday with the news.  she can upgrade her smart phone and i would get the second phone free [well, not free but we would be credited the cost of the phone which works out in the long run as being free], and we would consolidate our separate data plans to a family plan. 

that we did all that.  i am the possessor of an iPhone 7+.  there will be even greater gasps for breath tomorrow at work when i show up with my smart device. 

i'm learning the features.  what i think is exciting is the ability to text, face time, and call fiends and family.  i've been emailing my friends to create contacts.  i apologize if i missed you.  i don't know how the damn texting thing works with friends outside of the u.s.  but if you wanna text an old poet please email me and i can add you as a contact.

but please give me a little slack.  i'm learning the lingo and the tech. nick is damn sophisticated with the technology and he's been showing me and anna how to use and navigate our new phones. and if you blog using your smart phone please let me know that too.  i can't find an app for blogger.

what else?  everything!  i texted my friend john b-r today and i told him about sven birkerts' newest book of essays where birkerts laments the dominance of digital life and its deleterious effects on literature.  john reminded me that the cat is out of the bag.  gertrude stein might've gotten on board with digital life.  that's when i thought of parra.  the antipoet, i think, would love twitter.  duchamp, in the early 20th C, made us look at art as common objects; objects he called, readymades.  twitter is like readymade language.  digital culture does not exclude poetry.  only persons can exclude poetry.  the medium might be the message, as mcluhan said, but it is people who make the medium. 

therefore, poetry is made with the iPhone as it is made with pen and paper, and even earlier, quill and parchment, and even early than that, stylus and clay or wax, of even early than that, with the human voice. 

now is the time of the pixels


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