A poignant, poetic view of our relationships, increasingly mediated and recalled for us through technology. Conor O’Callaghan’s poem ushers in this week’s collection of articles at theDiagonal focused on technology.
Conor O’Callaghan is an Irish poet. He teaches at Wake Forest University and Sheffield Hallam University in the United Kingdom.
[div class=attrib]By Conor O’Callaghan, courtesy of Poetry Foundation:[end-div]
Three Six Five Zero
I called up tech and got the voicemail code.
It’s taken me this long to find my feet.
Since last we spoke that evening it has snowed.
Fifty-four new messages. Most are old
and blinking into a future months complete.
I contacted tech to get my voicemail code
to hear your voice, not some bozo on the road
the week of Thanksgiving dubbing me his sweet
and breaking up and bleating how it snowed
the Nashville side of Chattanooga and slowed
the beltway to a standstill. The radio said sleet.
The kid in tech sent on my voicemail code.
I blew a night on lightening the system’s load,
woke to white enveloping the trees, the street
that’s blanked out by my leaving. It had snowed.
Lately others’ pasts will turn me cold.
I heard out every message, pressed delete.
I’d happily forget my voice, the mail, its code.
We spoke at last that evening. Then it snowed.