“…the machine whisper” (Harris, 2014, p. 80).
I find it interesting reading up on most poets but those poems published by my publishers, Dylan Harris, Tomas Ekström and Kristian Carlsson I read with a special eye. Something critical, almost loving, and in search for our denominators. Sometimes they are there, sometimes they just blow me away. Right now I’m reading Anticipating the metaverse by Harris (The Knives Forks And Spoons Press, 2014). First things first. Pages 1 and 3 takes me to the eighties. But between these lines there is the CC Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike 3.0 Unported license copyright. Information that needs to be free. To be known and shared. Unless private ownerships kills off all things human.
So. What the fWck is “metaverse”? Verse about verse? (And wordplay around the multi-world interpretation of the ideas of quantum mechanics etc.) This will have to be a review about writing a review. I can’t review my publisher — he’ll cut off my royalities and burn my manuscripts. Besides I really can’t write anymore so. Well.
The book could be an critique of our disassembling world, where we build the tools to know our ecology and then never actually listen to the answers to the questions we pose. Not knowing which thoughts are our own and which have been planted by an other hand. Are these our cities? Our languages? Our code? What if I belong in a parallel or a serial place. What if all this intelligence is artificial. Could not the world of piracy my child builds with me be the real world and the one where I try to pay my bills with poems the fantasy imagined by someone else. Like you.
The scare and conquest of the image of the growing digital to the withering post-digital where none of us can step, steep, outside. It is a parallell with the same conditions of centralisation and ownership it was designed for — you may feel that the global/glocal society has made it more open. But still, we who program and are fluent in the language still just administer the property of megacorps giving you fragments of information — just to keep you docile. Weblogs and social media is opiate. You are being programmed.
The book, a collection of poems. A tad horror here. A sprinklersystem of playfullness there. It is a searching for form. A trial and error. Like programming HTML. Moving <p> beyond the page; corrupting, adding lines. Moving about. A glitter of the eye — the I. An I which will never be matched by manmade simulations. A world still matched by the simulations made by humans. We redo the script, read it into our process-memory — our lives, the short span — breeding, feeding, incoding history into our material offspring. Our immaterial. There is no such thing as anything immaterial — there is sociocultural order and weight in every digital storage. And the actual book seems to start at p. 33. There is the code of culture. A brief longing, then the cycle of combustion. Our words are maggot. Only the silence speaks of truth. Conciousness is a simulation as our lives, all that we experience, is the narrow view of a singularity in a vast complexity of a god-like world. What you see is the simulation of reality as you can never grasp it fully. Program your simulation Harris says. Know the language behind the code that marks up everything and you — as you are everything and still all this nothing.
Connected to this is the failure to correctly measure the quantum-mechanics ruling and our hope stands to building machines to better our own narrow vision. The search for graal, the truth-machine, to help see all things — to grasp a complex world of no end in sight. The end of minor things: life, a tomato sandwich, a butt closing in on the filter — all these things we can perceive. But the stars? No. The inner workings of nothingness. No. Harris poses questions and there are no answers. Some look to God, some to heroin, there is also science — which provides as good answers as any old poet. There is an interconnection between them. We are nonetheless overwhelmed and lonely. Misguided by commodification instead of anything else. Anything must be better. Even not understanding the language you speak. As silence and white noise together form communication, so does particle and wave. The view of the world/word is a matter of context and perspective. My reading of Harris’ book is not his. And probably not yours. And remember always, as Harris does, it is what the reading of a work produces that has importance — not the writing.