Alternative | Poetry Breakdown

Hello everyone!

I come to you with a poem! Hope you like it!

Alternative

Instead of staring down at the dimly lit screen
with notifications flying by and
too bright smiles and too put together outfits and
clickbait or not clickbait
Inhale the air no matter the smog or the crispness
give your lungs validation that they
are fulfilling the reason for their creation.

“I must escape” you protest.
“It’s a way to keep connected.” you say as you enter your fourth hour of
s c r o l l i n g.
“Well, what else am I supposed to do?” you say
like a bitch.
“Everyone has phones. “ you curtly say. “It’s the norm now.”
like a bitch.

And here we go with crumpled smiles and dead batteries
forced admiration of passing scenery when all you can think about
ARE THE BUGS!!
a breeze brushes your hair, tucking it gently behind your ear
just like how you do it
and you look up and see
the horizon.

Like a line drawn definitely into the soil,
it separates the boundaries of heaven and Earth
where you know what one is like
with delectable foods and vast emotions
and the other is full of desires and safety
What if a little bit of heaven dripped down to Earth,
but you were too “busy” to even
notice?

Instead of rapidly messaging your friend
despite one sitting in front of you
or watching the 176th video, letting your eyes blur
and mind mush or
checking with the trends and making sure
you are on par, eyebrows and all,
try validating your mental capacity and physicality
that you are not going to be immersed in an alternative
seeking for reality anymore.

I wrote a poem similar to this a while ago, but that was about phones and how it’s inevitable that we use it. This poem is similar since it’s about technology, but it’s a more blunt attack on it. I was inspired to write this piece because now that I’m done with my first summer class, I’ve been spending my days watching little kids trip and beauty gurus talk about eyelashes and the next thing I know, it’s time to go to bed. While I don’t think phones and laptops are bad because they’ve opened different communities and opportunities, but if you find yourself escaping too much on it, then that’s when it becomes a bad thing.

There are different “stages” of this poem. The first and last stanza mirror each other with the driving message of Instead of and the last line being the solution. The second stanza is structured like a conversation you would have with someone you know who uses their phone or laptop way too much. Their rebuttal and what you may think is followed after. There’s a heavy air of it’s just a bunch of bullshit happening in that stanza.

And the following stanza is about when that someone finally puts their phone down and nothing else seems enjoyable to them. It’s just not as stimulating as what was easily accessible. Until they give it a little more time and they really start to see the Earth as it is. Now, the fourth stanza is a step back, like a narrator retelling the exposition again and accusing the reader, setting up the scene for the final stanza. What if little bit of heaven dripped down to Earth, but you were too “busy” to even notice?

At the end of the poem, I really want to drive home the message that you aren’t doing yourself any good even if you’re watching TED talks or cooking videos or reading articles or even learning code online if you don’t go out and apply it. Apply that motivation that you picked up from the TED talk. Make that delicious looking dish. Protest something you don’t agree with or write your own opinion. Use that code to build an app or design a website.

Do something and then you’ll find that conquering the world isn’t as hard as you thought.

Alice

PS. Happy June! I’m currently in NYC. 🙂

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