Jeff Manning

everyone keeps telling me I have to modernize


This poem is part of a series of poems made as part of an exercise where the reader chooses 5 words and writes a poem about them. They than exchange their 5 words with another author who has written 5 other poems, resulting in a total of 20 pieces.

Everyone tells me I need to modernize, but I have never understood why. Sure a computer might be faster, but at my typewriter I find fewer distractions. No emails, no chat, no games to take me away. Just me and the paper the faint smell of ink as it strikes the page.

Everyone tells me I should get a cell phone as they stare into their screen illuminating their expressionless face in a pale, almost death-like light. But then I have to always be available, and never in the moment I would reply, but it falls on deaf ears anyway as yet another text comes in.  

Everyone tells me I should get a smart doorbell, then I could see who’s coming to my door even when I’m not a home. I chuckle as I remind them I don’t have a phone, and even if I did who do I have coming to visit, when they’re too busy at home tapping away on their own.

Everyone tells me I need to use “tap” or even better the new wallet app. I laugh to myself as I dig out my cash. It’s not that I don’t trust banks, though I know they could crash. I just find some solace in knowing what I have, and not needing a program to dictate my spend.

Everyone tells me I should get a new game console. It’s always one of the big three and they always scoff when I tell them the last guy said to get the competitor. “Oh no one uses XBOX. Get a PS5.. or was it a 9?” ironically telling me it’ll keep me connected while simultaneously making fun of the “other guys”.

Everyone keeps telling me they feel farther apart, and like they have no time. They lament the distractions, the time sinks, and the fatigue. But every time I tell them it might be their device it just falls on deaf ears as they tap away grabbing the new hit thing, after all you gotta modernize.






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