Linh Dinh: Plugged Stupid

Poetry is close reading and attentive listening. It requires silence, reflection, sustained focus and analysis, mental habits that are much atrophied in our culture, and which our young are growing up mostly without. In a society that always hurries, even to nowhere, fast, and values quantity over quality, most this, biggest that, poetry is truly a waste of time. We don’t even have the patience to look at each other in the eyes and listen.
I talk to the side of a face, as this face stares at a screen. My voice must often compete with yet another song, replayed for the zillionth time. I shout in fragments, because even three sentences in succession would crash my listener’s frayed hard drive, burdened as it is with trillions of greatest hits, sport statistics, Sarah Palin’s aphorisms and porn images.
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