Thursday, April 25, 2013

Twenty-first Century Clutter vs. The Spaciousness of Books

Twenty-first century clutter traps me
fills my time and in a daze my days disappear
--what with Facebook Twitter Email Facetime YouTube
Wikapedia Blogs Podcasts Texting IM Instagram.
Twentieth century paper clutter still around, still abounds
mail delivered daily: donation pleas, advertising come-ons
-- tossed out
magazines mailed monthly: AARP, Southern Poverty Law Center and more
-- kept in baskets
handouts from: poetry readings, classes, events, workshops.
-- kept in files
(like my emails, maybe to read or to need later).

Yet in my house there are books
  on shelves
    on tables
      on night-stands

 many old
    a few new
      some from the library
        some from friends

with their solid feel
and their sometimes temporary status
-- I read them now
(unlike my Kindle, its electronic books unread).

Books in the twenty-first century are
unique      a treat      rare

and when I curl up in a chair
  and hold a book
    and feel the paper
      and turn its pages

when I read and reread and mark parts I love
  with sticky notes or paperclips or highlighting
      or when I underline

my life is spacious and slow

in the old-fashioned twentieth century way.

revised / improved on November 2018

This poem published at Poets&Patrons


  1. Beautiful! I love this poem and can definitely relate to your sense of being overwhelmed by all the online and paper clutter. But physical books are indeed still wonderful. Now when I'm curled up reading in our papasan chair, I'll think of you. :)

  2. cathy and I am snuggled up with my new tablet and in a while will read the draft of a friend's book on my kindle. May have to add addendum to thisoem.