This is the official blog of Northern Arizona slam poet Christopher Fox Graham. Begun in 2002, and transferred to blogspot in 2006, FoxTheBlog has recorded more than 670,000 hits since 2009. This blog cover's Graham's poetry, the Arizona poetry slam community and offers tips for slam poets from sources around the Internet. Read CFG's full biography here. Looking for just that one poem? You know the one ... click here to find it.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Type, Type, Send

Type, Type, Send

We speak a language of thumbs
communicated into translators of T9
like UN ambassadors
transliterating the codes of our home countries
into global policy
each carrying more weight than
the digital characters they encapsulate

type, type, send
type, type, send

a new message in the inbox
read at 55 miles per hour
or between classes
or minutes before deadline

the poets of this language
are the ones who choose to punctuate
the oft-overlooked colloquialisms
into the proper grammatical structure

proper spelling still matters somewhere
AIM has the niche of brevity
with its lowbrow dialect
of “LOL”, “ROTFL” and “OMFG” —
bearing your digital STDs,
keep your emoticons from infecting our thumbs

the debate is as old as English
when Norman French filled manors with "beef" and "veal"
while fallen Cynings tended the cattle and sheep outside
the high class thumb the seven keys for “t-h-r-o-u-g-h”
while the uninspired ignorant masses settle for “t-h-r-u”

if the late Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. — or MLK —
spoke today
the phrase, broadcasted into the phones of the crowd
would be that we are judged
by the content of our communications
type, type, send
type, type, send

our thumbs define us
much to the jealousy of our other eight digits
the exasperated index
the vainglorious bird
the self-important ring
and the naïve, wayward pinkie
that secretly plots and schemes
in hopes that an errant firecracker
or angry car door
will leave it as the sole articulator
the last tool to accuse in courtrooms
or scratch behind one’s ears

but none of the non-opposables
even united like a superhero foursome
can counter the voice of the thumb
they merely hold our phones like beds
while the outcast digit
the extremity intentionally uninvited to parties
articulates in an erotic tryst with keys
like lovers beneath dark sheets
sending our hopes and dreams to phones elsewhere

they, jealous and embittered
lean tightly against the battery
like guests next door in a seedy hotel
wondering what passions
can be seen on the other side
celibates envious that others can love so freely
forever uncertain how T9
rises from foreplay to climax to afterglow
between spent thumbs and their beloved keys

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