The energy to come back again and again

A flower seemed
to grow alone
in a field.

Upon closer inspection,
I watched a bee crawl
from underneath
a petal.

The bee whistled a tune;
something
about missing his honey
while being out
on the road.

The song had a slow,
steady melody,
undergirded
by a buzzing melancholy.

Soon, other bees
I also hadn’t noticed
joined in the whistling.

I found the music odd,
unsettling.
The chorus of bees whistling
took me back
to someplace
I thought
I might never
visit again.

I left the bees
to walk in wooded silence
for the next two hours.
While the sun dropped,
I came upon
the shape of a house
as it slowly moved forward
from a dead end
in the woods.

I knew the house was alive,
for it breathed,
and it sighed,
and it waited
to help me remember a world
that I had forgotten.

I sat down
on the front porch
in seat that was warm
and watched a broken moon
appear low
in the sky.

Did you know the moon
was once a simple ball
of amniotic fluid?
Before it became
a great, celestial body?
We were all birthed by the moon and we never even knew it;
that part of our common history
erased.

I then began
to recall
all the things
I learned
during my college years
spent on an isolated island
off the shores of Greenland.

I remembered my moon studies professor
telling us how
she had learned
on her first day at school
that the sun
was not the center
of the universe,
but that it was the moon,
our moon above.

She told us
that the moon
and the sun
had gotten divorced
long ago
over a terrible thing
that was too terrible
to say.

She told us
about the polar nights,
the forever dark
and the clinging cold,
nights which scoffed
at attempts
to separate them
by thin slivers
of noonday light.

She told us
about the colors of the moon,
what they meant,
and why we should fear
a deep-purple sky.

She told us
how the moon
is covered with dust
from the sun,
light and golden,
and how the moon
has an outer ring
like a belt of rocks
strung together
from our mistakes.

In fact, she once told us
that if we stared at the sun,
right into its hot, glowering eye,
we would see the moon within.

She told us
that the moon
is a great jewel,
a magic treasure
of the universe.

She told us
that the moon has two halves,
the side it presents to the sun,
and the other side,
which she never talked about except to say,

“It is impossible
to see it both ways.”

I think back
to how
I was taught
the hidden truths
constraining the moon.

On the porch
that night,
I stared,
wary of the broken,
still-circling moon
and felt anxious
at the approach
of the bees’ whistles
coming to radiate
right through me.

The energy to come back again and again

The first time we saw an asteroid, we were in a war

There was once
an asteroid
with a core mass
of roughly 10.3
billion tons.

What made it different
from other asteroids
hurling through
our solar system?

Well, we learnt
from the natives of the asteroid
(that’s certainly different
from other asteroids)
that this particular asteroid
came to Earth first in the 1800s
and that it left Earth
as all asteroids do,
quiet and humble,
like an old woman
farting in church.

Scientists from the 1800s
studied the asteroid leavins
and they figured,
using their gargantuan
human brains,
brains bigger than a weasel,
brains smaller
(but more efficient)
than an oliphant,
brains about the size of
an ape brain,
figured to use their brains
to extract all of
the valuable metals
in the hopes that,
in a hundred years henceforth
(they wrote words like that in their journals
along with naked drawerings of
mermaids and faeries),
so that in a hundred years henceforth,
humans would understand
how to make
precious high-end toilet seats
from asteroid metal.

There was a lot of excitement,
as they discovered
that the asteroid
also left behind
a recipe for Toaster Strudels,
and they tucked that away
in henceforth hopes
for a future
with a toaster oven
or two.

They further henceforth hoped,
that with this valuable asteroid
the human race
would one day make
ALL of the planets in the solar system
as valuable
and productive
as Jupiter,
that big-ass gas giant
of a big-ass planet
that 1800s scientists
loved more than their
own
dear
mothers.

The asteroid
also left behind
some itty bitty asteroid people
to help the scientists out.
The scientists called them,
“the local, indigenous population”
and hired
some mercenaries to fire upon
the tiny alien sources
of infinite, cosmic wisdom
with teeny wittle arquebuses
and eensy weensy cannonballs.

Humans never say die, do we?
No, sir, humans do not.

The first time we saw an asteroid, we were in a war

Things We Hold Dear

It only took two minutes to break the world, split it open, let the gooey center leak out into the cold black of space and watch the solid core shiver in its raw, iron nakedness.

Then, the entire thing was still.

“This was the world and all it contained,” read the memorial.

You reached into the stillness and pulled the world to you as though it were something important you’d forgotten. It was as though the old life itself was within you, and you felt the weight of all the old life beating in your own heart and pumping through your own veins.

You reached for the world again and again and again.

“The world and all that it contained, yes?” they asked in a sibilant whisper, smile wide as Orion’s belt.

You pulled the world closer.

“The world is a thing that shouldn’t have broke.”

Their eyes widened and they looked at you with terror, wondering what you would manage to sacrilege next. But you had been here before.

You felt that dusty sense of eternality. You knew they had loved the world in the time before its death, despite their present tone. They had been here, waiting for you, for this. They’d been here before, too, while you were holding the cold world close to your chest in mourning. You felt then, as now, the warmth of their celestial body wrapped over and through your own. And yet you had forgotten how suffocating that warmth could grow.

Their thousand hands touched your skin and you shivered.

“I know you do not like the world to be cold and lifeless,” they said softly through a million mouths in a million tongues. “But I’ve told you these same things many times before and do so again now.”

A billion hands closed tightly around yours, “You have always taken up within in me and then kept this constant vigil, watching over the world. And the more I watch you watch the world, the more I fail to understand love.”

You shook your head and tried to escape their constraints. They closed a trillion eyes then spoke, “No one can keep you from watching. All these years from now, when we’re here again – no one will ever keep you from watching.”

You put your hand inside one of their open mouths and said, “The world is our love, my love, and that’s all we will ever care about. The world will continue no matter what, I promise you yet again.”

And then you climb inside, taking the world with you, keeping it safe and close, like you would a helpless child.

Things We Hold Dear

If This Is The Future, Call Me Marty McFly

Dystopia
is the product roadmap.*

Our attitude
towards democracy
is fundamentally different
from our attitude
towards algorithms.

If
we’re to have a future,
it is essential
to make sure
that people’s opinions
won’t become
so deeply
machine-influenced
as to be useless

             or hostile.

People worry
that computers
will get too smart
and take over the world,
but
the real problem
is that they’re too stupid
and they’ve already
taken over the world.
%

The first
major innovation
in computers
was
a computer word processor
called
WordStar.

It’s tempting
to believe that computers
will be neutral
and objective,
but algorithms
are nothing more
than opinions
embedded in mathematics.~

The state
developed
an ideology
that dictated
that computers
would be good,
but
that in order
to manage computers
and control computers,
they needed
to control
information
.

They believed in the idea of

total

information

control

.

We’re building
this infrastructure
of surveillance authoritarianism
merely
to get people
to click
on ads
.^

It is important
to recognize
that
the power of surveillance
will be increased
as
computer-controlled systems
become
ever more sophisticated
.

It is
very hard to know
when an algorithm
will
have made the final calculation
when it always has
more data available.

*https://twitter.com/monikabielskyte
%https://www.washington.edu/news/2015/09/17/a-q-a-with-pedro-domingos-author-of-the-master-algorithm/
~https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/08/opinion/sunday/criminal-justice-reforms-race-technology.html?smid=nytcore-ios-share
^https://www.ted.com/talks/zeynep_tufekci_we_re_building_a_dystopia_just_to_make_people_click_on_ads?language=en

If This Is The Future, Call Me Marty McFly

Does Whatever a Spider Can

oh! you spiders

oh! you little creatures that cause so much fear

oh! you symbols of evil and danger lying in wait

oh! you funny stories

oh! there is no one who actually is a spider

oh! you creations of the military/industrial/entertainment complex

oh! you modern mythological villains and heroes;
you are not pure anything, just frustrated and lonely and broken and confused

oh! you reflections of the present

oh! in every single one of you, there is a hidden message

oh! you are stories and stories and stories still

oh! you are stories that are supposed to be told

Does Whatever a Spider Can

Freedom’s just another word for existential crisis

You want to know why I’m going to war against the war on terror?
Because terror is a war against the war on freedom.
The war on terror is a war against freedom.
Terrorists want to destroy the war on the war against the war on the world.

———–

This war against terror is a war against human wars against civilization.
It is a war against a way of life against life.
The terrorists do have an interest, as do our enemies.
Our enemies just might dare to dare to do something.

                  ———–

Isn’t there a risk that they might risk succeeding?
Yes, I’m afraid that I’m afraid there is.
I’m very concerned by that prospect’s prospects.
I just hope that there is a response to put a stop to that response.

                                    ———–

In other words, we can’t give up on our liberties.
But isn’t ‘liberty’ another word for terror?
Yes, and we’re precisely talking about terrorists so try and keep up.

Freedom’s just another word for existential crisis

Stonehenge was a fast food restaurant for Druids

They would roll up for a mutton burger with a side of porridge fries. Stonehenge management considering franchising but then they met the Romans.

Sebastien, the Roman, wrote of their first encounter, “The leader of the Druids, a Greek probably, who I think was a priest or something, said to us, ‘These are the chefs of the Druids. You must help us make them into restaurateurs or whatever the case may be, and we will shape them to take over Stonehenge’s management and be the ones who control the stones, which is very difficult to do, because Stonehenge has over 12,000 stones.'”

Sebastien wrote, “And so that’s what we tried to do. But we couldn’t keep the stones in the chefs’ care, we couldn’t, because we Romans were too greedy. Rome would have gone bankrupt without the stones, and the Druids would have gone bankrupt, too.”

Sebastien wrote, “So we Romans tried to make sure everyone could have a piece of that Stonehenge pie even though the Druids were always the ones who were the real masters of Stonehenge.”

Sebastien explained, “Then, when we Romans found out the Druids were trying to kick us out of Stonehenge, we turned around and basically said, ‘We never liked praying and sacrificing and eating there anyway.'”

But then, as soon as the Romans found out Stonehenge was being sold to the Norse by the Druid owners, the Romans brought the hammer down.

They put a bar in the basement called Sebastien’s and put all kinds of non-Druidic people in charge of Stonehenge’s finances.

Sebastien wrote, “Finally the Druids approached us Romans and asked us to have the people who really know how to run things come run Stonehenge and come up for a drink at Sebastien’s, where all the Druids liked drinking.”

Sebastien wrote, “And that was the end of the real Stonehenge.”

Sebastien said, “There was a time, when Stonehenge was re-opened, in 1701 in France, when the French were at war with Britain and a lot of the stone was taken out of England by the French.”

But, by 1760, the French had won that war, and all the stones were returned to Stonehenge, which was then re-closed in 1791.”

Sebastien wrote, “The idea was that we Romans in England had this big problem with those Romans in Rome but we rarely complained even though we were not allowed to keep any stones that we personally prayed over or anything sweet like that.”

Sebastien wrote, “Eventually, the Romans down south closed Stonehenge the restaurant and then they moved Sebastien’s (and the rest of us) to Northampton where they’d bring up lots of people all the year round to drink and eat mutton burgers and porridge fries fresh from the bar’s kitchen. We used the old recipies. The people loved it.”

Stonehenge was a fast food restaurant for Druids

Forging Steel from Iron

It was midsummer when you thought to jump

To your door, I’d come, I knew I was the last in line

The air grown thick with desires

I saw people in your yard

Away from the dark and into the light they ran

I was almost like them but

I knew in my heart they were all sicker than I was

They didn’t say any words, just lived under the midsummer sun

They died from this disease they call ”   ”

The plants around them grown tall from bonemeal and symphonies

Finally, I walked into the house and tried to find you

I saw people in your living room, people bleeding from their eyes

The kitchen filled with dead bodies, people in the bathrooms, I don’t know if they were dying too

Every house with people lying in the yards

Walking through your house, the people lived in constant pain

I thought when they died they would be gone for ever

I saw these people I knew were dying

Their bodies were empty, but they moved on to the next house they died to live in

I lived in a house with people like me

I didn’t call myself mad, I didn’t talk to my friends

I lived in the dirt, I dug in the ground with my bare hands, I cleared the gutters, I kept the garage doors closed

I saw people in the streets, in their cars, “homeless” they called them

I came and tried my best to help them; they didn’t want my money

I tried to help people living in pain

I saw people in the yards, they died in pain

I saw people in the streets, they died in pain

I saw people in the houses, they died in pain

I found some people who worked for the city

They told me how to fix the problems of the people in pain

They were genuis solutions and now I was a genius too

A lot of people were working for the city, I started working for the cities

It was like a big prison or something

The people, the yards, the sun, you thinking to jump

Forging Steel from Iron

To Dispel

Many white men talk to me like we’re in a secret club
Many white men talk to me as though I have somehow been wronged
Many white men talk to me like I’m seeing what they see
Many white men talk to me like this is how it’s supposed to be
Many white men talk to me like everyone was born their way
Many white men talk to me about what whiteness means
Many white men talk to me like they don’t know white’s origins
Many white men talk to me like they can’t hear another tale
Many white men talk to me like water isn’t wet
Too many white men talk to me like they ain’t afraid of death

To Dispel