23 November 2007 | Vol. 7, No. 3

On Their Cell Phones: a Ghazal

The Jedis insult the Sith on their cell phones,

mock Darth Sidious's hiss on their cell phones.

No ringtones, text-messaging, email, or Tetris,

we had no choice but to diss on their cell phones.

The lovers sweet nothing, talk dirty, confess;

soon they'll be able to French kiss on their cell phones.

Why is it they can't get through to friends downtown

but can, with ease, call Paris on their cell phones?

At last, you can get it on anywhere you like;

phone sex addicts buy mobile bliss on their cell phones.

This one goes out to all the wedding guests

who got sloshed on free booze then pissed on their cell phones.

Land-lines are for chumps who don't mind getting tapped;

pimps, cons, and dealers subsist on their cell phones.

Gossips were thrilled by the technological leap,

found a better mill for grist on their cell phones.

Strangers, side by side, talk to people who aren't there

and perfectly coexist on their cell phones.

They debated Eve's role in the fall of man,

cross-referenced Avalon's Mists on their cell phones.

While most prefer nooses, shotguns, or poison,

some have tried slashing their wrists on their cell phones.

They moved away from the nuclear power plant

once they started growing cysts on their cell phones.

Tired of clichés, small talk, telemarketers?

Try calling up surrealists on their cell phones.

Reception's so lousy they can't get roaming

never mind radiant gists on their cell phones.

It's fun watching apes deny their mortality

as they tighten the grips on their cell phones.

I was snapped by Cingulars at the party,

now megapixelated blips on their cell phones.

You could do worse than reincarnate as one;

look at all those hotties' lips on their cell phones.

Chain-smoking goth kids in the Last Drop Cafe

hunch over journals and lisp on their cell phones.

Some have Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd, Dio ringtone riffs;

others opt for a lick from Liszt on their cell phones.

Do they hate freedom, want the terrorists to win?

No? Then why didn't they enlist on their cell phones?

First, they beat it with mastodon bones: no reply.

Next, tried to call the monolith on their cell phones.

About the author:

Daniel Hales has poems currently in Conduit, Quarter After Eight, and Slipstream, and has others forthcoming in Cranky and Bateau. He teaches English at the New Directions School and at the University of Massachusetts. He is also the songwriter, singer, and guitarist for The Ambiguities. He can be found online at home.earthlink.net/~djselah.

For further reading:

Browse the contents of 42opus Vol. 7, No. 3, where "On Their Cell Phones: a Ghazal" ran on November 23, 2007. List other work with these same labels: poetry, ghazal.

42opus is an online magazine of the literary arts.

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