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Jack Phillips Lowe

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Member Since: Sep, 2007

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WTF?
by Jack Phillips Lowe

Monday, August 26, 2013
Rated "PG13" by the Author.
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It's a narrative poem about a couple that's separated by technology, and how the guy deals with that, courtesy of a silent film comedienne.

 

“WTF?”

Laura and David Clawson spend the night
in adjoining rooms a world apart.
She’s in the living room, Facebooking on her first iPhone
which she bought after saving six months for it.
He’s in the kitchen reading a biography
of Mabel Normand, the silent film funnygirl.

David isn’t a fast reader,
but he burns like a fuse through this book.
To him, Mabel seems like a lost friend found.
David learns that the comely Ms. Normand
was a sharp feminist battling in a man’s business—
armed with a tongue that was even sharper.
Mabel ate ice cream for breakfast,
made and spent money by the truckload
and used men like sticks of Doublemint gum.
Rock & Roll before rock was invented,
Mabel even managed to check out by age 40,
just a heartbeat before soundies arrived.

For half a minute, David wants to go in
and tell Laura all he’d read.
Learning was a joy they once shared.
Then David recalls the monster mask
Laura made of her face
whenever he interrupted her surfing.
Without lifting her eyes from the screen,
Laura would grunt, “WTF?”
cutting her man off at the knees.
David neither understood nor responded;
Web was a language he never could speak.

Instead, David decides to say nothing.
He goes to the fridge and scoops himself
a dish of chocolate ice cream.
He takes it to the kitchen table
and pretends he’s sharing it with Mabel.
There, they sit and David tells Mabel
everything he read about her that night.
The flickering black & white beauty listens closely,
smiling through a free-and-easy expression.
Mabel doesn’t say “WTF?”
In fact, she says nothing at all.

Middle Island Press

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Reviewed by Ronald Hull 8/27/2013
A great little story about Wonderful Technology Foibles… ;-)

I bought my partner an iPad. She is now on her third iPad and I can hardly get her to take her eyes off it for anything. The only thing worse is when she's on the iPhone for a half hour talking about something that must be terribly important for her to talk so long.

As a result, I haven't been able to talk to her much and she hasn't read any of my stories or books. You have a great understanding of modern life and portrayed it well.

Ron
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