I’m Not Sorry




Where the road and footpaths meet, I negotiate a way
between hunched hatchback gas-sippers, cyclists,
and small, home-bound children.

I look down at my hands: white smartphone in one,
white bag of prescription medication in the other.
I’m enjoying the Spring sun; maybe it’s the meds. Maybe
it’s the fact that I have a better phone than you.

The zeitgeist whips around my ears, stage-whispering
in a Bale Bat-gravel -

ten ways to reach people you flippantly call friends,
via touchscreen, never much counteracts the fact
you’ll lack bona fide faces tonight.

Facebook. FaceTime. Twitter, Skype -
I’ll see them tonight.

The pills provide just the right levels of depersonalisation.
Detachment. I’m disenfranchised, and not sorry,

because I still have a better phone than you.


About Luke Prater

I am thirty-five, and live in England. They say a picture paints a thousand words, but I'd argue the opposite.
This entry was posted in Autobiography, Luke Prater, Poetry and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to I’m Not Sorry

  1. brian miller says:

    haha…chances are you probably do…my phone is a beater
    but cheap…does the work…enjoy that sun
    not sure i would want to depersonalize completely
    but i will say my online friends have shown care
    where some flesh and blood havent…
    at times

  2. Rob King says:

    In agreement with Brian Miller – I think on-line friends I’ve never met are there because they care, and they aren’t afraid to show it.
    Phones? Ha! ;0)

    Great poem Luke – really evocative.

  3. dragonkatet says:

    An interesting commentary on how ‘detached’ and ‘impersonal’ the world has become, despite being ‘better connected’ than in any time in history. There really is an ironic disconnect there, don’t you think? The meds can either help that sense of isolation or magnify it – depending on both the person and the meds. I tend to think social networking works in much the same way…I like that you’ve included both and shown the parallels of them.

  4. Luke Prater says:

    thanks all – yes we have become so very detached despite the Information Age and a population that was never bigger – and pills to keep us happier. So detached that we need online dating sites to meet people. Thanks for the comments

  5. Rayona says:

    We seem closer than ever, available to talk to each-other in an instant. Yet we are even further apart than before. Great poem

  6. henna ink says:

    Oh my, I LOVE the opening stanza. What a pleasure to read aloud. I also love the last two lines … and would like to know more about your pills. ;)

  7. hypercryptical says:

    Excellent commentary on this world in which we live in Luke and you definitely have a better phone than me!

    ten ways to reach people you flippantly call friends,
    via touchscreen, never much counteracts the fact
    you’ll lack bona fide faces tonight.
    Facebook. FaceTime. Twitter, Skype –

    I don’t really bother with FB etc. – perhaps I should – but have made several (what I consider) bona fide friends via blogs. It is probable I will never meet them – but that does not detract from the value I place on their friendship.

    It is true in today’s world communication is button-touched, friends at your fingertips but we speak to each other less. Close friends are emailed and texted rather than spoken to and I find I meet my friends less and really wonder if I mind…

    Your comment response referencing online dating – how true this is, so detached we have become we no longer know how to meet people – indeed my sons followed this route.

    All that said, social networking offers friendship and opportunity for lonely souls – those who would be lonely regardless. So despite its many negatives, positives exist too.

    And you do have a better phone than me!

    Anna :o]

  8. if you say so…
    Luke came by to say “Hi”
    We really have risen to an all time high in impersonal communication
    A couple (on a date) texting away on their smartphone — romantic???
    Are the pills more addictive of the phone???

    cheers -Moonie

  9. ManicDdaily says:

    Oh dear! It is an odd sort of sense of community that we have these days – especially as a writer, because the interchanges one has with writers – though digital – can feel very real and intimate in ways that exchanges with people face to face who are not in contact with one’s writing may not feel.

    Yet – skin to skin is hard to beat. This has a lot of sharp wit. I especially like the home-bound children who are somehow the opposite (and yet parallels in isolation) of the phone-carrier. k.

  10. We have become detached, impersonal and silent when it comes to face to face interaction. Great piece of with and a touch of dark humor! Love it!

  11. ayala says:

    Interesting write, Luke. I wonder sometimes about this and all the social media. We need pills to be happy..we need instant gratification online..It is a complicated word, I’m not certain that it has to be.

    • Luke Prater says:

      Yes Ayala, I agree.. we have made it so complex and there is a new kind of pressure/stress on people – in the old days they worked harder (physically), ate more, slept longer, and died younger (according to the stats, notwithstanding the explosion of eating disorders and fast-food culture but that is separate issue). The overstimulation from all the devices we use, the general electromagnetic radiation that is everywhere and getting stronger all the time, the lack of physical exercise may of us get through sedentary jobs etc and the pressures on young people to get qualifications and high-paying jobs… I can’t claim it’s more stressful than war-time (like WWII), but generally I’ve really felt all these pressures in a way that is significant and very detrimental to physical and mental health.

  12. Luke Prater says:

    Removed the ‘fuck you’ from antepenultimate stanza… felt tonally a little out-of-place. Anyone think it should go back in?

  13. Well, I like the opening lines and how things are mechanical or deformed, nonchalant or in a state of atrophy. When you bring in the meds and the sunlight -being out in the world world well it’s an interesting comparison, a different kind of medicated state, different is all.

    Skype is good and facebook is good but they do not ring the bell
    and I think it’s fine that the poem can act as social commentary
    but it does not act as what the person is medicated to.

    You know right now I can find nothing for that so I appreciate this poem.

    It’s intelligent -and you could like it.

comments welcome, crit encouraged