Sunday, January 27, 2013

52.5 Seconds Ago

Extra, Extra, read all about it…
     … And the…. exclusively….
Extra, Extra, read all about it…

: that’s so this morning,
downloaded the full scoop after
my first cup of joe, just before the
spoon sunk the last of the cheerios swimming
in the bowl

Fire: Electricity
Fan blades: Freon
Like: Love
Communication: Status Update
Words: Emoticons and Textspeak

Husbands tweeting wives two rooms away
to tell them they love them

Brother texting sister to turn the volume down on that game of angry birds, never looking over, never prying neck from it's downward angularity…despite being an arm's span apart

Nodding to the tunes you just prepared
Setting playlist for the afternoon commute
A sound interrupts, indicating something has just broken
Only to find it’s some coupon, for some place you never knew existed, despite being down the road for the past six months

Extra, Extra, read all about it
…breaking news…hot off the presses…
Read it first…exclusively…
Extra, Extra, read all about it

:(Shaking head in apathetic disgust)
That’s so fifty-two.five seconds ago…

For Brian Miller's Media discussion for this week's Poetics over at D'Verse.  Check out his excellent article and then tune in to all the amazing responses linked up to the best community of poets around.  


  1. Fred, I greatly enjoyed this poem -- it was clear, playful, insightful and communicative. A great read for readers like me.

    But I don't get the last line. "That is so 5 second's ago" I have heard as an ironic phrase to talk about how things change so fast, but the "52"? I looked in the
    urban dictionary but I can't imagine either of those two meaning fitting.

    Any hints?

    Ah, wait, I scroll back to your title and now I see the title is 52.5 seconds. I still don't get it. I'm a bit concrete, I'm afraid.

    I tried though:
    Isaiah 52:5 "For all day long my name is constantly blashemed."
    Psalm 52:5 "Surely God will bring you down to everlasting ruin."
    Sura 52:5 "By the Heavens He Raised High;"

    or maybe it is a latitude 52.5° for somewhere just north of Amsterdam.


    1. ha. glad you enjoyed this one. Love the depths you went into researching the 52.5. Funny thing is, my work is pretty much always steeped in symbols, but this one time here, 52. 5 is just a number I came up with. not quite a minute, the .5 is to further the sense of inanity we've moved towards, as in, how can someone possible get the .5 part. I love how the psalm 52.5 would fit though, nice find. and the latitude one is pretty cool, definitely can do something with that. But yeah, just a number that popped in my head this time around. Again, glad you enjoyed the piece overall.

    2. Ahhh, thank you kindly for the explanation.
      Keep bringing down everlasting inspiration to us! (modifying Psalm 52.5)

  2. ha...isn't it a mad world..sometimes i text my son as well despite he's in the same room just because i know he will pay attention then (and because of the fun..smiles) i think as social media is still a relatively new thing, we still have to learn to use it wisely..find the right balance..

  3. The speed of communication is awesome these days but I think we have lost a bit of intimacy and personal touch. I find it funny that my hubby is messaging me on my laptop from his laptop when he is just a floor away. And there is always drama unfolding somewhere every second. Do we really need to know all of these ~ Good commentary ~

    Happy Sunday Fred.

  4. Always a break in what we are doing or watching for some stupid news crap to leak in, they always place it so well too. You just get into something and then the extra extra crap comes due.

  5. Ha..This is very good. Love how you have captured the way we live (not me)
    Hilarious about husbands telling wives they love them two rooms away.Technology has made us all very remote from each other even though we live in a frenzy of constant communication. Good one Fred.

  6. everything got so easy these days.. less muscle movements... less talking...less doing...for everything seemed one click or touch away... how pathetic...i wonder who's the robot now: the one we create or us who create? men has truly achieved all the impossibles...from nothing to something...and now, i guess, we're in great great trouble...ah, sooner or later we, humans, will be just part of history..have once existed and can be viewed in a holographic diorama produced by a micro chip...ah what a scary close to reality premonition...enjoyed this Fred...can't believe where it took my imagination while reading this...clever portrayal of what is real...smiles...

  7. What have we become? This is a rousing exploration, exhortation, even, of the e-generation/age and how we comunicate. Progress? Yes and no. Never more people in the world, more loneliness than ever. The exact quoting of number of seconds ago is so very effective

  8. ha...what is news...what is it we are really saying for all the world to hear...kinda scary at times the things people put on there...a bit sad for me the husband tweeting love from 2 rooms away...get up and go show them you interesting reality you capture fred...nice write...

  9. Isn't it crazy! You have captured that insanity - the extra which is actually a bit diminishing. k.

  10. You nail a lot of jello to the wall in this one, Fred. To me it's a symptom of our ongoing alienation from our natural selves, our natural world, that we prefer this distance in our dealings with each other, that words in text have more meaning than words spoken--though I think, also, it's true--seeing the word, writing it, is somehow more tangible than that passage of air over the larynx that disappears in the wind. Maybe it's part of that feeling the ancient Egyptians knew, where a human could be annihilated by chipping his name off the stone. Enjoyed this much.

  11. This is great Fred... the world at our fingertips.

  12. How short our attention spans have become - and how unwilling we are to give our attention to anyone else. It's got to come to an end sometime, doesn't it?

  13. Sigh.... It does seem so often that tweets are taking the place of real in-person conversation!

  14. Great response to the prompt! Really creative, Fred.