To read the latest issue, click 'Issues by year' in the menu above

(On reading the latest psychological
research into my condition)

After thirty years of explanations
(shading into remonstrations)
that one-thing-at-a-time’s passé
since multi-tasking’s here to stay,
that Generations X and Y
do different things with thumb, mouth, eye
each with its separate slice of brain
why can’t you do that? they complain.
Why can’t you stir-fry with one hand
while texting friends in half the land
or talk to Cousin Jane in Rome
and at the same time write a poem?

In business too it’s elemental
that multi-tasking is essential:
you need to field a client’s call
so that they’ll think you're on the ball
while finalizing a report
and writing invoices – in short
a one-track mind’s no use these days:
you need to split that mind three ways . . .


How nice when, decades passed, you’re told
(although, these days, you're getting old)
that really what brought you success
was your single-mindedness?
That yours is more coordinated,
focused, project-orientated
and that the younger generation
can’t equal you for concentration.
Guess what? You were right all along -
(and ha! – the others plainly wrong!)
Great ego-trip! To be admired –
now that you’ve finally retired.