Lea poesía

2022-02-02 @Blog

I’ve first noticed ‘Lea poesía’ inscribed on stickers behind tables and chairs at a bar. Yesterday I noticed the same at a café. Sometimes the message takes a more drastic form: ‘Por favor, lea poesía’.

Satire aside, do such messages aim to inspire more socially engaging etiquette? - in contrast the lobotomized, behind a computer? - similar to the ‘we don’t offer WiFi, talk amongst yourselves’ series I recall in the States? That is, ‘lea poesía’ could serve as a figure of speech, like a pivot, like that rubber band wrapped around the wrist.

Concerning public WiFi, I don’t particularly care for it. If I bring the tablet, it is ultimately to address some form of writing, an offline activity. Though if I do connect, it’s almost invariably to squander time with something inconsequentially stupid or postponable. (Nor do I need electric sockets, thanks to the exorbitant battery lifetimes these days.) Better socialize.

Maybe the campaign aims not to influence the real-worldliness of our presence, but the quality of our escape, provided that we’re already bound for one? That is, don’t mindlessly scroll your smartphone, but at least read something of value, like poetry. Poetry readings at bars … imagine.

Next is the question of encouraging the paper form of quality reading in place of electronics. What sort of sticker slogan could communicate such agenda?

It has to be something subliminal. As with anything of the sort, I think images are better suited.

Just across the street from my building is painted a long mural (too elegant to be called graffiti) of kids in Covid masks, the little of the face still uncovered now nearly concealed by outstretched smartphones, total immersion, expressions listless, wrinkles intense, the air decadent. Totally macabre. And recently I’ve noticed a similar mural further down the street.

Would the spreading of similar art across town transmit the desired message? That this smartphone immersion appears plain ugly? Am I among the few whose eyes receive it thus repugnantly? Is this a futile endeavor?

Perhaps these bars and cafes seeking to inspire a form of social rehabilitation or poetry readings (for what is otherwise the point of sticker propaganda?) should consider small-scale electromagnetic pulse generators, however hindering to electric lighting, kitchen equipment, refrigeration, credit-card processor machines and all-around operation? Or simply operate within sealed containers, such as bunkers, aluminum vacuums, or the like inhibitors of mobile reception, a source of narcotic dependence that can only compete with carbohydrates.

Alternatively, is it too much of a fantasy to imagine solitary individuals at cafes or bars, consumed by nothing but the penumbra, the thought, and that beverage/spirit? No phone/computer, no book, no notebook, no newspaper … like the lone women of Hopper’s cafés or cafeterias?

Now let me give a rundown on how I feel.
If it ain’t natural, then it ain’t real.
- Beaver Harris

Questions, comments? Connect.