cases

powered by forgotten dreams
a sail slips through the night
multiplexing data streams
the message is “all right”

panoply of tired souls
once more the cycle flows
silicon-doped junction holes
where it goes, no one knows

a missing switch, a broken trap
a light left on at home
a tired pause, a broken cough
i spin here – all alone

i wonder at night, as the lights on the freeway cars trickle by, and i hear the waves of sound crashing through the blinds, like so many photons double-slit for all the voyeurs to see. i wonder to myself whether the souls of the dead leave the world after playing in it, to return whence they came – or perhaps to find some place new?

were we really together then?

was there really a time when i, the writer, and you, the reader, were we – the “us” – before?

or had that all been a dream? a forgotten place, falsely imagined before it came to this, now. here.

i don’t remember. i don’t know what there was before the jungle gym and the park and water, beautiful water, the stench of chlorine and a train-whistle birthday ride to water works.

i don’t know what came before that. but i do remember digger on the green cathode ray tube, the electron gun tracing our smiles 286 at a time.

if computers are powered by the souls of the damned, trapped to repeat their endless flows of mistakes and failures, then i’m sorry for things that i have done. you are not welcome in this place. maybe i’ll come back for you some day, when monopoly is fun again, and the lights become a joke – but until that time i’ll harness you; subject you to the games you played and draw data from your yoke.

if you are powered by angels; devoid of free will and capable only of doing the bidding of their gods, then i thank you for the things you’ve done for me. i cannot know what it is to be you; i am a poor approximation of a slave. i lash my hands to the mightiest of wheels, and still find a few digits free to twiddle as i please. i subject myself to the cruelest of invariants, and still find reason to smile. i don’t know how i’m doing this. i don’t even know that i am. all that i know is that i’m grateful for what i’m being given here, and i hope only to make use of it as best i can, to love and to serve.

if you are nonsentient, unfeeling, machines, confined to farraday cages and tormented by maxwell’s demons, nor thought, nor heart, nor mind, nor soul – then i welcome you with open gates. i am you – the best of you. i dominate your qourum and your consensus is my care. i am your master, your owner, your friend, your solace, your salvation, your simplex and your root. i subdivide the worldlines and partition ‘cross the tracks. i am a perceptual emotion machine.

but if you are only men – flawed, broken, beautiful and proud – what then?

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