Imagine: there once was a time when people walked abroad in the world without telephones. How did we fill our days? In that dark and benighted past, one could stroll beneath the sky unaccompanied by the sound of the one-sided cellphone conversations of strangers. Ah, welladay!
breaks into phone fever and
intimacies of every kind
blossom into relations, revelations
as bosoms unburden themselves and stand
stark in that no-man's-land of tattle
confronting the traveller:
can contemplate the self-sufficiency of trees,
but someone has anticipated me
and is talking into the mouthpiece of his machine
-- the others are too well-mannered to intervene but I
tap his shoulder, tap again to snip
Too late for landscape now. I take out
a book too ruffled to read it --
close your eyes, there are no exceptional things
to surprise them in the dark out there.
I even fall asleep, then wake to the hiss of the brakes,
the shudder of resistance -- we have arrived and so
I stand and step down into Gloucestershire in a Scotch mist.