As we’ve entered week two of the semester, my practicum course on editing and publishing has once again selected a poem to appear this week on the webpage from our most recent issue NDQ 89.1/2.
Cyndie Zikmund’s “Man on Twitter Who Isn’t Your Friend” embodies the tension between the world of social media and the kind of peaceful companionship that is altogether too rare in society today. In some sense, this poem encapsulates the challenging intersection of our digital mediated and deeply humane experiences of the world.
As you likely know, these days are particularly challenging for many cultural institutions, publishers, and little magazines. So even if NDQ doesn’t float your boat, If you can, consider buying a book from a small press, subscribing to a literary journal, or otherwise supporting the arts. I heartily recommend grabbing a copy of the new issue of Hotel Amerika which is celebrating its 20th anniversary by publishing an anthology of some its most creative, provocative, and stimulating work. Grab a copy here.
Man on Twitter Who Isn’t Your Friend
A man advertises his services on Twitter.
For $80 an hour, he’ll come sit with you.
He doesn’t drive, but he’ll ride with you.
He doesn’t speak on your behalf, but he’ll stand by your side while you do.
He won’t cook your meal, but he’ll eat with you.
He is extremely skilled at doing nothing.
A single woman going to the gynecologist messages him to accompany her.
An old man visits the bank once a week and doesn’t like walking alone.
A housewife drives her kids around all day, needs someone to keep her company.
A businessman requires a last-minute lunch date at a see-and-be-seen café.
The man who does nothing responds the same way. Yes, I’ll be there.
He won’t agree or disagree.
He won’t challenge or support.
He isn’t looking for conversation.
He simply wants to sit with you and do nothing.
I’d pay for a friend like that.
Cyndie Zikmund’s essays have appeared in Under the Gum Tree, Pink Panther Magazine, Magnolia Review, and The Literary Traveler. She is seeking publication for her first memoir about her journey from being orphaned in Central Montana to becoming the first female design engineer at a Silicon Valley networking company. www.cyndiezikmund.com