As all of you know, I am a fan Jason Petty’s poetic work in general, and this particular composition registers acutely – causing me to consider one of the most pervasive, personal, and pastoral concerns of our epoch. SIMPLY PUT – – – > YOU ARE ADDICTED TO YOUR PHONE, AND IT’S HURTING YOUR FAMILY.  So please ponder these relevant and compassionately confrontational words of self-reflection from our brother Propaganda:


So I tend to think of life in terms of movie clips, or tweetable moments
Somehow I’ve convinced myself they last longer that way
And my wife proved me wrong when she referred to my phone as my black wife
Now I thought it was funny, we both giggled, now single men take notes
Now I’m no expert, but I don’t think she was kidding
She talked about some other stuff which I really don’t remember
I was too busy in my head composing a Tweet
Where I would quote her with some sort of clever hashtag
About marriage and about how much I love her
To be paying attention to her at that moment
I think what snapped me back in was the silence which
Indicated I was supposed to have some sort of response to whatever she was talking about

I told my father that story in hopes to get a little sympathy
My father, Civil Rights and Vietnam War vet
Hopelessly charming
On his fourth marriage, father
And rather than the customary nod that men give each other when they understand
He proceeded to tell me why he failed as my mother’s husband
He said it was the same reason half of his platoon died in Vietnam
And the same reason you are deathly afraid of your daughter becoming a teenager
Son, you can’t hear past the explosions, either the ones that already happened or the ones
You anticipate
See the former, paralyzes
Living life in the rear view mirror driving full speed across traffic into the center divider
So shell shocked you too stupid to duck when bullets are flying
Or the latter
Your life a game of capture the flag
So focused on the finish line, you stepped right on a land mine
So ready to attack the day
Frustrated because you can’t find your keys
Focused on the meetings you’re finna miss
And the traffic you finna sit in to realize you been holding your keys the whole time
Slow down
You’ve been hypnotized by the possibility
Son, I couldn’t hear past the bombs
The first one didn’t kill me and the second one ain’t even happened
Yet it ended our family

He told me a love story
Of a woman born before him
He said, but I new her from before and at the moment of conception
There was an eternal connection
And although I didn’t know it then, I’d fight for her affection
It’s this war we been waging since day one of creation
And only when you lose her do you learn to appreciate her
Like even when I’m with her, I’m itching to get rid of her
And she only gives you one shot, blow it and she’s gone
And I took advantage of her
That’s why I’m telling you this
Son, you can’t rush her or slow her down, you better keep her on your side
She will slip through your fingers like sand
Her name is Time
And she told me a secret
She said multitasking is a myth you ain’t doin’ anything good just everything awful
And she begged me to stop stretching her thin and stuffing her full, and stop being so concerned
With the old her and future her, but love her now
Her presence is God’s present, and you should be that, present

So I guess you could say
Well I guess I can say I’ve been through a divorce now
Me and my phone are no longer married

I think I’m ready to be here now