Phone Appetizers

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  1. Attentionator.  Sends out a howling banshee sound when user is about to walk in front of a bus, because they can’t keep their eyes off their phone.

 

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2. Ironee.  Emits a loud warning to the user (and everybody else in close proximity) who forgot to turn off their cell phone inside a movie theater.

 

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3. Ender.  A game app that features a futuristic, fictional drone war that unknown to the user controls real military drones in Syria and Pakistan. (Great for kids and adults!)

 

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4. Dull.  An app that guarantees boring dates. Success rate 90%. The other 10% just settle for what they can get. (or at least a free dinner and a glass of wine)

 

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5. Paypit (by Grapple!)  This app uses your phone’s vibration feature to remind you that an automatic payment towards the new upcoming version of MePhone has been deducted from your checking account. Grapple’s motto is “pay before instead of too later”.

 

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6. Apocrypha.  An app that has measured out all mathematical possibilities for the last day for humans on Earth. Through a serious combination of statistics gathered from scientific think tank, B.S. labs, it promises to send a cheerful chirp and a cute emoji upon that day.

 

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7. Earplug.  A specially designed music app for tin ears. Sing along as loud as you want and out of key! The music is so bad, no one will know the difference! (American Idiot approved!)

 

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8. Insta-Snatch.  A camera app that automatically searches the web, replacing the photo you took with a better version, picked from one of the millions of other people who have taken a photo of the same thing you photographed. (Free legal assistance offered if your photo, which isn’t your photo, is used commercially)

 

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9. Needlist.  An amazing new app from the makers of Shitlist that keeps track of stuff you don’t need, but buy anyway. A dynamite way to make sure you buy gum, magazines, lighters, candy, and a laser for the cat you don’t have.

 

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10. Shitlist.  A classic app that handles all the people you hate on social medi sites like Facepunk, Insta-ham, Twatter, Word-Collapse, Blogosfear, and Trumpdumb. Complete with ready-to-use insults that are updated daily.

 

For some more prose check http://www.anotherealm.com

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The Grand Piano

Photo by Scott Haefner
Photo by Scott Haefner

These notes are chromatic

Tumbling up and down

Mere half-steps

Semitones are impossible

My fingers cannot

Slip between keys

Into a dampening effect

Of felt touching felt

My foot twitches

Upon metal pedals

To sustain, to soften

 

This melody I’ve chosen

Is a tone cluster

A chaotic attempt to know

How to place my hands…correctly

Upon coldness, the feel

Of keys, plastic, polymeric dead

Seeking to revive, for

Only touch can be dynamic

 

I open the blackest of lids

Gaze at the crisscrossing strings

Pluck a few with my finger

Hold a few down to feel

The cycles produced by hammers

Hitting string, thumping

Placing myself between

Sound and silence, where

Only the most careful listener

Can read the melody I suffocate

 

I catch my breath, then lose it

Scraping my finger along vibrations

Low ones, stutter, jump,

High notes, tickle with

A pain, an abrasion, a thought

Everybody must feel this

Earthquakes, sky, a cloud full of rain?

 

Closing the lid, I look underneath

The legs of the piano appear

Too skinny to hold the weight

Precarious, unstable, fragile

Then my eyes survey the space

Atmosphere of a million melodies

And all the hearts that have

Embedded themselves in them

I must be careful with this song

And not force my arms down.

All depends upon my touch

 

(Read a short Christmas story by Elan here.)

Opal Pool

Photo by Elan Mudrow
Photo by Elan Mudrow

The roads are so young

Where old mines have been forgotten.

They stumble through the forest

Uneven, full of ruts, washouts.

Men have come with tools

Left them, returned with better.

Implements that shine silver

Rust resistant, until rains never stop.

The goal is to cut clean, to sprinkle

Shaped earth, decorating the contours

Of river, pools, and growth.

We, the ones, who yell along trails

Echoing off ancient volcanic movements

Slip five dollars

Inside an envelope–

license plate number–

Scrawled in human–

Bleached white envelopes–

Connect with the eerie reflection

Of how we carve, paint, sing, make roads–

And yes, the art of the outhouse.

The parking lot must be made bigger

Awake

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Tuned into the silent bloom

Of thought….. caught

Inside an act of noise

Inside the caress of the orchid

Inside the rejection of the hyacinth

Lovers’ insomnia, a midnight language

Speaks to us in a dead lip sync,

Which is a haunting by voice

A death that communicates

Where only shapes speak……ghosts

For they know us by our lives,……however…

The living isn’t allowed to know ghosts

For our fleshy hearts are tethered to a whirl

External to the internal and out again

Only to be knocked down in the midst

Of clocks, mistuned, marked by the soft grasp

Of the unsteady continuum, linear kissing

Perhaps that was our mistake…for

Cruel are the stars, planets are dumb

We are shots through blackness

Cylindrical tubes of blood and bone

protected by a thin celluloid

A playback of memories

All sleep vanishes

Virtual Advice

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If you’re dating a dud of a download

And it’s occurring during an internet outing

Find a different server……

Don’t let a rude browser screw up your day

We can talk Facebook to Facebook,

Instant message me

No need to Skype, post, tweet, or offer me

A Goodread and get all Kindle

I will text you the same thing I’ve always texted you

It’s good to keep a few tabs open

Weed out crappy apps

Don’t let them waste space on your hard drive

Find the perfect operating system

Don’t share your network with any old device
You can’t afford to load pages slowly

Sometimes, it’s good to clear your history

Stay positive and keep updating on a regular basis

It keeps you safe from viruses

And eating too many tracking cookies

About The Bird

Cindy Schnackel

I was invited to one of those huggy, huggy group meetings. You know, the type where everyone reveals inner lies about themselves, others, and the world around them. Well, we soon started picking out animal personalities for each other, which sucked, because someone else chose what animal you were. So, right off the perch, things weren’t going to be honest, just brutal like a writers’ workshop. There were cougars, bears, eagles, dolphins—lions, owls, deer, and yadda, yadda. Me? I was a bird. Not a specific bird, just a generic, B-I-R-D, bird. That’s the word. Not an avian personality like a bluebird or gold finch, but a plain old bird. What were they trying to tell me?  All I could do was pretend it was a compliment. My feathers weren’t ruffled and I didn’t chirp up. I wouldn’t dare peep in public.

If I was to be a bird, then I must be a flightless bird. After all, I drove ten miles to attend the meeting.  Somewhere, back in my sordid evolution, I had the ability to fly. Now, for reasons of survival, that ability was lost, because I wanted to drive a Prius, Passat, or Volvo and feel good about it. I developed a quick, efficient waddle that could outrun stupidity. Unfortunately, stupidity is stubborn and I have had to keep running, continuously. My beak became sharper. I needed the perk to peck the shit out of anyone who was particularly problematic. My eyes moved to the front of my head from the sides, so I could see who was insulting me and who I insulted back. I went for easy prey, foraging in schools of overpriced degrees, chewing on grants, choking on loans, leading to a career inside an aviary called community college. This led to teaching kids who don’t read, who prefer spark notes instead of critical thinking. Thinking is for the birds. Go America. I watched out for (not always successfully) bigger hunters who would kill my personality. They fed voraciously upon individuality like it was Tweety’s feed, spewing out rotten eggs of ego during union meetings. I would mate with those of my kind, but since none of us could fly we kept to ourselves. Occasionally a kindly scientist patted me on the head and gave me a treat, but they always wanted something in return.

So, the meeting was a success, yes I’m a bird. I’ve now been caged.  But, I’m going home proud. You’ve heard about migration, so I’m going to get seasonal. By the time you hear my birdsong. I’ll be long gone. I just need to find my keys.

A Score To Settle

John Cage's 4'33"
John Cage’s 4’33”

We share the intros

Melodies, harmony and noise

Along the loud life…enough

To vibrate the moon

Shake a star loose

While all our faults

And splits of passion

Deepen beneath our feet

Buzzing between brackets

Of time signatures, rattling keys

Propping up our city by the meter

In preparation of the worst

We sing our bridges into soundness

Reinforcing our staved streets to

Protect us from dissonant gravel

Engaged with our theme and variations

Through further development

Counter melodies, extended harmonics humming

Then unexpectedly, the earthshaking shimmy arrives

we enjoy its counterpoint

Addicted to our contrapuntal connection

To the falling structure of song

Frightened and exhilarated by the penultimate beat

Coda

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