Before I even think about this I
Not an exact copy, a representation,
selection, distortion and interpolation
meat and drink to me, meat and drink.

Bundles of rays rose
from the surrounding valley of housing estate 
the lines of which had run into bluish mist.
Or a hundred billion bits per second crossed my eye,
the contents of a public library,
each book stuffed with codes, relentlessly deciding
where to put the dot on the screen,
with no effort whatsoever on my part.

Did I remember my heart
sharp as a berry under a skim of frost
working four months before
I even got started on a face
and no arms really, just two floppers
sticking out of me like turkey wattles?
Or was it that I found myself
holding a photo
of myself holding a photo
of myself holding 

As into my ear came
a hundred million bits
and through my skin
thirty million

and I heard the trees moan
and corpses scrabble on the inside of the bark.
"Watch your step", they said,
as if I had caught sight
in mid-construction.

My vibrant senses
my information implosion,
where do you leave the,
I don't know, what would you call it,
the ego, the conscious mind, 
the suburbia of the psyche,
the just-a-few-words me ticking away
at a hundred bits per second?
I might as well take a spoon to a swamp
while a new one lands in front of me 
every second.

An eye detects a single photon against
a background of complete darkness:
ten to the power of minus nineteen joules.
An impulse makes it across a synapse:
ten to the power of minus nineteen joules.
Or adenosine tri-phosphate is converted
to ADP, underwriting everything we are,
conjugation of every living thing on Earth:
ten to the power of minus nineteen joules.

Hot, sticky mess.

Taking that excess of brain energy
over and above cellular subsistence
the scale of the subconscious is such
that it moves in a data space
ten to the power of twenty b.p.s.
Which is to say that even should every sense enlarge
and the smallest gesture overspill with self,
still transmission, reception,
is less than one part in a hundred million.
You might as well try to send the Complete Shakespeare
by Morse while never getting further than dot

All that consciousness
locked in separate underworlds
with only Professor Peanut or ectoplasm as go between.

Yet here we are
ocean, cathedral, thimble,
self, sense and ego,
ridges of sunlight folding toward the sea wall
(the older the graffiti the neater)
where even a body hardly seems enough
to guarantee any contact,
never mind intimacy!
A universe empty except for hot gases
and a whisper;
each mind and its little light a graph
of that shape maintained by flickering lives,
unfolding beyond all prediction
bracketed here between cooling Earth
and sunspore's bursting.


The Earth's crust dimples imperceptibly
under human feet
in a universe once smaller than a proton.
Open subset of a continuum
of  four or eleven or who knows how many dimensions:
roller-coasting kaleidoscope
of interpenetrating absurdities:
colossal infinitesimal:
bonded complexity:
who is it that reflects these rays
igniting my retina, translating into electricity
whatever is left after translation into light,
now breaking, crashing, imagining
a web which imagines them?

Bobbin' up and down in my little red wagon ...

That man who is about to solve
the Star crossword with random letters
took over three billion years to evolve.
As did I, living matter, sensitive
to change as fine as that of an electron's orbital,
a gloria to any maker.
O vast and subtle congregation,
the single photon which touches the mind
is faint as the sound of a drop of water
falling at a distance of over a thousand miles.
Finger brushes against finger in the water,
world upon world ready for rising.

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