Last week, while I was sitting in the train, waiting to depart, I wondered about what could be a good topic to write about in my next blog. Suddenly I remembered that April is Poetry Month and started thinking about poetry books, authors, and other related topics that might interest you. My thoughts, however, were abruptly interrupted by a person’s loud conversation on her cell phone, and another, and another. Then I decided to combine the two elements that I had in my mind, cell phones and poetry, and here is the result:
by George Bilgere
Perhaps, in a distant café,
four or five people are talking
with the four or five people
who are chatting on their cell phones this morning
in my favorite café.
And perhaps someone there,
someone like me, is watching them as they frown,
or smile, or shrug
at their invisible friends or lovers,
jabbing the air for emphasis.
And, like me, he misses the old days,
when talking to yourself
meant you were crazy,
back when being crazy was a big deal,
not just an acronym
or something you could take a pill for.
I liked it
when people who were talking to themselves
might actually have been talking to God
or an angel.
You respected people like that.
You didn't want to kill them,
as I want to kill the woman at the next table
with the little blue light on her ear
who has been telling the emptiness in front of her
about her daughter's bridal shower
in astonishing detail
for the past thirty minutes.
O person like me,
phoneless in your distant café,
I wish we could meet to discuss this,
and perhaps you would help me
murder this woman on her cell phone,
after which we could have a cup of coffee,
maybe a bagel, and talk to each other,
face to face.
Poem reprinted with author’s permission.
Below are some books that would help us get along:
- I See Rude People : One Woman's Battle to Beat Some Manners Into Impolite Society
- Why Manners Matter: the Case for Civilized Behavior in a Barbarous World
- The Civility Solution: What to do when People are Rude
- Talk to the Hand: the Utter Bloody Rudeness of the World Today, or, Six Good Reasons to Stay Home and Bolt the Door