They insert their hands in my mouth,
these passerby pedestrians in the in-between
electric places that simultaneously
exist but do not exist,
(much like a deceased living cat in a physics experiment),
and with errant fingers feel my tongue
reading my words like braille
chiseled on electric, hovering
boards of keys.
These strangers, bathed in
blue white light,
wade next to me
in pools of infinite connectivity.
And they like me,
and they share me,
and they give me plenitudes of hearts, thumbs, and
winking yellow faces,
never before seen in other realms
but the face of us now.
These are the coins
they flip casually into my digitally open
case, begging for money,
so as to receive art and wisdom.
Another cyber pamphleteer asks
if I think this is the end?
What, with our digital apocalypse
What about HUMAN CONNECTION!
He asks me, as we stand in those imagined stations,
What about THE COFFEE HOUSES!
What about THE PUBLIC SPHERE!
Where people used to,
supposedly it was supposed,
I reply that such a place had never existed,
or at least
did not exist in the existentialist crises
he now describes in
derision to the denizens of this digital
No. We were still connected.
Children still laughed
Lovers still loved
Oh, you get the idea.
I turn back to my audience, the
busy people in busy businesses bustling by at
speeds that are achieved only via
advanced telephone technology stuff.
I’m not really sure how it works.
Like the newspaper
boys or pamphleteer
of other centuries previous
who could not tell you the
first thing about Gutenberg
yet nonetheless screamed and yelled
at a world on fire with activity.
I am no different.
A direct descendant of writers who wrote
in a way that was never quite right
yelling, hollering, raising a ruckus
in places in-between there
hoping to attract a small enough audience
to gain some noble notoriety.
An ideas salesman,
tacky clothed, going door to door,
into the minds of some stranger
knocking on their skull, and asking
if I could sit in their brains, beside
memories of loved ones,
and fears of untold horrible deeds.
Could, I? Trouble, them? Please?
And some did, momentarily,
allow my words to assimilate to their thoughts
changing them in chain link emails
with “!” points to get my “!” across.
A regular customer of my pamphlets
walks by in this digital place in-between
and I say hello,
and I see me
walking around in their heads
and quickly I begin to work.
I snip a part of my soul and graft
it onto a digital set
of information that begins
to bounce about in
electric excitement. HELLO!
My severed piece of soul says to me.
HELLO, I respond.
I stare at me and it stares back,
this marvelous technology of
writing inhabiting nothing
free floating electricity.
WHAT NOW? My soul shard asks.
I explain. It is no longer me,
but a reflection of me.
Assuming it is not erased or
destroyed, as pamphlets often sometimes are, it will live on after I am dead.
WHOA… my soul shard says.
WHAT IF I AM ASKED QUESTIONS?
I tell it that I have tried to anticipate that,
but unfortunately it
will eventually be asked something
it cannot answer.
At which point it is to say,
politely of course,
WE DO NOT HAVE THE INFORMATION TO THAT.
They are a just a soul shard,
really only a verbally written hologram
of an organic being that will soon be dead.
They are a technology I have infused myself into.
DOES THAT MAKE SENSE? I ask.
YES, the soul shard responds, BUT ONLY BECAUSE YOU WROTE IT.
I reason their reason is reasonable,
and before the soul shard can share
another thought I hit “SEND”
and off it goes.
Living but dead,
a zombie cyborg.
And it burrows into the heads
of those passerby pedestrians
and I see it light up certain skulls,
like XMAS lights or NEON sale signs.
Some readers quickly throw the pamphlet away.
Others mull it over
for a moment and play with my soul.
A few tuck it away into the archives of their being.
Me, a member of their ontology,
adding a layer of new to their growing
in our shared carbon conscious silicon existence.
Did you enjoy this article? Thanks! Support our writers by subscribing to TERSE. for as little as $1 a month: https://www.patreon.com/TERSE