Forbidden Fruit

The techno-launch has become a real cliché. The smart-casual man on stage with a radio mike. The hushed auditorium. The massive graphics yelling “believe” or “because you are” or “we are the we” or some other un-capitalised nonsense.

Honestly folks. It ain’t the second coming, it’s a box of electrical components that’s very slightly better than your last box of electrical components. Get over yourselves.

Forbidden Fruit

We’re here to hear the ineffable plan,
a giant stage, a single man,
the tension builds, the music rocks –
he’s waving a tiny, shiny box.
“Its charging port has been restyled!”
he cries – the faithful crowd goes wild.

Stand on stage with your radio mike,
and show us temptation in pixels and bytes,
Yesterday’s models are obsolete! Dead!
We’ll throw them away and buy this instead!

“The flashlight is brighter!” he says, in tears,
“The camera can give you elephant ears,
and the processing speed has a two percent gain!”
It was worth the sacrifice! Worth the pain
of every twenty-five hour day…”
He drops to the floor. They scoot him away.

Blind our minds with your techno-might,
our needs encased in angel-white…
Yesterday’s dreams are sacrilege! Dead!
We’ll throw them away and buy this instead!”


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Claire from Customer Care

We have precious little time on this beautiful Earth, and there is nothing I resent more than having to spend it jumping through hoops all in the name of “customer service”. Sitting on hold, explaining things three times to people in different departments, listening to protracted terms and conditions scripts, or – my favourite – “passing security”. (Next time, you’re told that you’ve passed security, do what I do – cheer. They never know what to do with that.)

Anyway, I parcelled up all my frustrations, stuffed them all into a poetic person known as Claire from Customer Care, and vented.

Claire from Customer Care

I can’t come out tonight,
I’m on with Claire from customer care,
Who is voicing my pointless choices,
As my ears bleed despair.

I can’t come out tonight,
I’m finding my ideal tariff
with just ten sections of soul-sucking questions,
As my hopes vanish.

I can’t come out tonight,
I’m ticking terms and conditions,
Poring over each torturous clause,
While The Reaper’s steps quicken.

I can’t come out tonight,
I’m completing a quick questionnaire,
Assessing my satisfaction with that interaction
with Claire from customer care…

And my starving eyes… just stare.

I should have gone out tonight,
Instead, to the beat of on-hold music,
I lose it.


© Nina Parmenter 2018

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Monkey Fingers

A request! This one’s from my lovely sister Ana Bush (yes, there is a family resemblance, but no, that’s not her in the picture).

Ana was trying to send me a request for another poem (coming soon!) but unfortunately, queen of the touchscreen that she is, ended up requesting…… “a period”. Brings a whole new meaning to “lovin’ your flow” doesn’t it?!

So, Ana, you ham-fisted lovely, I present….. your period.

Monkey Fingers

Ooh! Ooh! Monkey-Fingers!
Stabby, jabby, chunky fingers,
Pawing at my touchscreen like a primate in a zoo,
Hit, miss, proddy, pokey,
Stupid smartphones just provoke me,
How can I hit ONE key with a finger made for two?

Smug little kiddywinkies,
Typing with their dinky pinkies,
Flying round their phones, like fairies frisking through the flowers,
Tippy, tappy, flutter, flitter,
WhatsApp, Snapchat, Tinder, Twitter –
Meanwhile, Monkey sends a text. This may take Monkey hours.

Ooh! Ooh! Scary Monkey,
Stroppy, sulky, sweary Monkey,
Scowling at my smartphone like it threw a monkey poo!
Still, while all the techno-kiddies,
Scroll and scroll until they’re giddy,
Monkey here is busy… with the FUN things monkeys do!


©️Nina Parmenter 2018

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My Shiny Rectangular Friend

Phones. They’re great aren’t they? I mean, they are ACTUALLY awesome. The amount of computing power that (nearly) every one of us holds in our hands every day is… staggering.

But at the same time… aren’t they just annoying, attention-seeking little bastards?


My shiny rectangular friend

Oh what did I do,
Before I had you,
My shiny rectangular friend?
My little world locked
In a bright beepy box,

The things you can do never end.

My clock, my reminder,
My little fact-finder,
My camera, my telly, my pen,
My music selector,
My friendship collector,

I’ll never be lonely again.

You store all my galleries,
Count up my calories,
Lead me to cafés and cabs,
You pinpoint my spouse,
While you heat up my house,

You order me chips and kebabs.

And, at one single stroke,
You connect me with folk –
Including the ones I detest,
I “like” their new cars,
And “wow” at their scars,

Not sure who I’m trying to impress.

Every day, “BEEP BEEP BEEP!”
You wake me from sleep,
With a noise that goes right through my head,
Then you stress me with headlines,
And meetings and deadlines,

Before I have got out of bed.

You bip and you buzz,
And you make a huge fuss,
The second you want my attention,
And still, when you’re sleeping,
I hear your voice speaking,

“Quick, check me, you might have a mention!”

Even zipped in my bag,
You silently nag –
“Get me out! Touch me! I’m shiny!”
You’re rude and invasive ,
And very persuasive,

For something so lifeless and tiny.

So each minute or six,
My addicted thumb flicks –
Who’s posted? Who likes me? What’s new?
This madness must end,
My rectangular friend –

I think I should break up with you.


©️ Nina Parmenter 2018

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