My New Addiction

My productivity, which has not been at its peak since the arrival of hot weather, except for the writers’ weekend away, has fallen because I’ve relapsed.

For years I’ve called myself a recovering journalist, since anything that interferes with one’s life  is an addiction. I’ve managed to keep things under control by limiting myself to a five-minute dose of radio around 9 a.m., twenty minutes of radio and internet around noon and four, and an hour or so in the evening on Google News, BBC, Twitter while fixing and eating dinner, plus a quick peak at BBC online before bed.


Enter Newsify, which has taken over my phone. I signed up for BBC, NPR, Salon, the New Yorker, and NYTimes. When it downloaded, I had something like 150  unread items. They included multiple reports on the latest from Gaza, Ukraine, ebola, and the Argentine default. And also fantastic theater reviews, dancing cats, celebrity gossip, and lots of videos of Stephen Colbert, etc., etc.  I paged through everything and quickly found the “mark all as read,” then deleted the Times with the idea that I was seeing the same stuff on the website without useful updates.

So now my unread items are down to sixty-ish twice a day including a great many fascinating stories that take me away from my writing.

One possible solution: I’ll give up all other news (ha!) and limit myself to Newsify.


Summer Peepers

Spring peppers chirp all summer  Credit: Wildlife of Connecticut
Spring peppers chirp all summer  Credit: Wildlife of Connecticut

The sound washed over all except ticking of two clocks

Peep, chirp, harumph, mini-squawk.

In the background, tick pause tick tick twitch

The other tick-tick, tick-tick, quick_ quick

Can one clock run faster if they keep time the same?

The chirping and peeping and harumphing washed loud

A huge, variegated chorus, a happy congregation

In the midst, something a June bug? flew buzz-saw

against the screen

A pause, an overhead jet roar

The radio next door to catch the evening news

Interferes with the TV across the street

Both interfere with my internal movies

marble steps

white icing building façades

young girl drapes herself

over an antique diningroom chair and ignores everyone

a road ends at a T intersection

the only options are two parking lots

So out in the world it’s all sound, no images

After 10 minutes tick twitch and tick tick

No peepers

Jet, TV, radio drove them away.