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Monday, 4 July 2011

Journey to Oblivion

Think of me as you will. 
Have I become a thought I've had?
                                 A pulse, a spark,
a positive, a yes, an on, 
                        a true,
a single digit on a circuit's highway
travelling through dark?
                        I make my way.
Or not. Am carried
                  by a multitude
                                a crowd of those like me
across a field
and on towards my destination
                             with little more awareness
                             or chance to choose my fate
than if it had been written in my genes.



I'm hustled into Diode Street
                             ablaze with lights just now
                             (and - as you know - one-way).
                             I feel the sudden loss of power
                             that Diode Street induces,
pause for a moment
                             close beside The Cathode Cinema.
                             The screen outside
is showing snippets of the film within.
Experimental. Must be. Very. Lambs
                                 gambol in a field of numbers,
the farmer's forking sentences into a cart.

Why does the pause go on? The throng
                                    is getting restless. Up ahead
capacitors are charging and discharging
                                    all of which takes time
                                    a lot of time 
                                    (for someone in a rush)
allows the traffic to be regulated.     
Eases down the rush
is the printed circuit board's equivalent
                                    of traffic lights.


Trains of square wave pulses ghost across the screen, distort
both texts and images -
                       if only we could disentangle them:


There is always a voltage drop across a diode where sheep graze
on open hillsides there resistance is measured in Ohms 
the pasture in the valleys is constructed differently to
the field effect transistors and the gate providing access
to the stream should be shorted to the source 
until the circuit is complete.



The last wave shatters and the sheep graze on
a neural network
                which fades to diagrams
                pin diagrams 
                extensive memory blocks
                (but not the sort we suffer from)
                then back to neural networks.
It's oscillating now, between the two.



Which is when I see myself
                          sparking between the two
                          mapped to the screen and travelling 
                          fitfully on both 
                          both at the same time -
a situation quite devoid of logic,
which is why, perhaps, the screen can't settle down.




Where sheep are grazing in the upper pastures 
or in the fusiform gyrus a neuron may fire only when 
a certain face appears and sheep graze in its known
receptive field or on the open hillsides. It is also known 
that some parts of the brain produce a pattern of electrical 
activity that corresponds to layouts of retinal images 
and the gate opens to imagery originating from the senses
The sheep have trampled and/or consumed the final paragraph. 
However, in the brain, memories are very likely represented 
by activation patterns among these neuron networks. 
Such representations are formed, retrieved and reach 
conscious awareness by means not completely understood.



We move at last
approaching now a landscape built of silicon.

Impure.
       Doped with phosphorus or boron
A semi-conducting wilderness in which
an empty city stands supreme.

It's guarded by a flight of logic gates
NAND
EiTHER/OR
and AND

I am admitted.
             Once inside,
it boasts a huge expanse of memory blocks
I circle them
repeatedly
the pin addresses do not match the one I have.
Could this be journey's end?

17 comments:

Isabel Doyle said...

a tour de force Maestro King! the only thing I missed was a wheatstone bridge ... very clever

Jenny Woolf said...

Amazing, well done! I found it frightening and disturbing, though.

jabblog said...

Open-mouthed . . .

Elisabeth said...

This one is so powerful Dave. Bravo.

Mary said...

This poem really transported me. Strong, imaginative, frightening.

120 Socks said...

You certainly know how to take us on a ride!

Adrian L. said...

Very powerful Dave!

Hannah Stephenson said...

Wow--look at this! I love all the switches in voice, all fragmenty....

Other Mary said...

I don't believe we are nothing more than electrical impulses... I don't know or understand quite what, but unknown is not the same as oblivion, I don't think. That aside, this is a remarkable poem David, as so many of yours are. Thank you.

Two Tigers said...

Not written with a poetry app I trust? Good, strong stuff.

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

Another powerful, and powerfully ghostly, work. It's remarkable the "poetic" intensity you put in your blog, it must require a tremendous energy.

Madame DeFarge said...

Excellent stuff. Glad to be back and reading your work again.

Amber said...

I have to agree with Tommaso you have an incredible style, you're a brilliant writer this was fascinating and

mindlovemisery said...

I didn't mean to send half a comment geez. And a how put it disorienting in a good way. My name is Candice not Amber

Windsmoke. said...

A very long journey through the matrix on the back of sheep, very quaint and powerful indeed :-).

SG said...

Wow! what a rhythmic journey.

Dave King said...

Isabel
Too kind! Many thanks.

Jenny
Sorry I frightened you. That was not the intention.

jabblog
Wow!

Elisabeth
That's kind of you. Thanks.

Mary
Hope it was a pleasant transportation.

120 Socks
Well, as long as you enjoyed it...

Adrian
Thanks for that.

Hannah
That's good to know. Much appreciated.

Other Mary
I agree, I wasn't saying that's what we are, just what it might be like to be a pulse of electricity. The sort of thing you're asked to write in school - or were - the journey of a postage stamp etc.

Two Tigers
Hi and welome friend. Thanks for the comment. My phone wont have anything to do with apps!

Tommaso
Very appreciative of your comment. Doesn't always seem that way to me, but it's good to know that it does to others.

Madame DeFarge
Really good to have you back. Thanks for the comment.

Amber
Good to have you visiting. Thanks for the very generous comment.

mindlovemisery
Well, a very warm welcome to you under any name. Thanks for coming and for commenting. V ery much appreciated.

Windsmoke
Thanks again. The feedback is valuable.

SG
Glad you thought so. Thank you.