High School Writers Club

By Billy Templeton III
Posted 7/19/19

I ask my students to question our cult of technology,whether it is a crisis in our culture or a blessing, and then to open their journals and write—but before they can pick-up their pensthe …

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High School Writers Club

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I ask my students to question
our cult of technology,
whether it is a crisis
in our culture or a blessing,
and then to open their journals and write—
but before they can pick-up their pens
the girl in a pink Nirvana T-shirt
and streaks of purple in her blonde hair
lifts her phone high above her head
to snap a series of meditative selfies
in which she carefully constructs
a pained reverie to share
with her beautiful followers.

Earbuds sprout like tiny cauliflower
from their heads as I swivel
toward the open window
to watch the red-bellied woodpecker
flit to her brood in the cavity
of a dead ash. They cough and chirr
and bark as she hops to them with food.
I open my journal and write.

When we read Shaun says
that if the future is anything
like his computer game
the world ends when he firebombs
the burgeoning east Asian alliance.
Kendra says her life is an iPhone 7
that can’t keep a charge.
Camille says her consciousness
is a scrambled blue plasma television
flickering in an empty,
abandoned hotel pool—
we clap, the woodpecker taps,
and we close our books
to head out for pizza
because she wins
and we’re all so hungry.

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