P  a  s  s  a  g  e   s   
                a technopoetics journal

			"Mind comes into this language as if into an Abyss"

  V o l u m e  2
  = = = = = =
  3 - 1 9 - 9 5 


			Doctor P. Semiconductor 
				[ line 34 ]

		The Myrmidons Of Oblivion
			Will Alexander
				[ line 139 ]

			P.D.Q. Bacharach
				[ line 423 ]



Doctor P. Semiconductor
Department of Media Transition, DIU


Poetry is conservative.  It grudgingly adapted to print.  As signs, 
the poetic line and the conventional typography used in printing 
poetry mean that the words are to be read in a voice of 
exaggerated gravity and with attentions to such regularities as 
the reader can manage to create the appearance of timelessness.  
The quantitative lines of the classical poets marked time to be 
filled; modern accentual-syllabic verse creates a sense of 
timelessness.  Poetry was required to deny its own nature.  Even 
the typographcial conventions of Robert Duncan's "Passages"--
perhaps the most successful attempt to 'score' poetry-- do not 
adequately  register the information that one needs to perform 
the poems.

With the widespread availability of electronic recording, the poet 
can now compose directly in time--the medium of consciousness 
itself.  Consciousness catches itself and gives way, catches itself 
and gives way: one, two, three, four, five, six....  The time, 
generously allowed, to be filled.

Composing directly to tape is not a new possibility.  Henri Chopin 
did brilliant work with a tape recorder in 1950's.  But with the 
appearance of affordable digital recording and random access 
editing, the medium has matured.  The potential content is the 
entire range of recorded voices and sounds, processed sounds, 
and synthesized sounds.  Now there is again a possibility of an 
oral poetry, a poetry drafted, edited, processed, and distributed by 
electronic means--poetry for the Walkman, the car tape player, 
the cd player.


Time is a concrete medium.  Its horizons are forgetfulness and 
expectation.  How much is remembered, how many possibilities 
can be actively entertained?  Electronic media are more time than 
space.  The Imaginary University has a campus only in time; it 
is wherever someone remembers it and expects it.

The muses confer the "power to sing the story of things of the 
future, and things past," but these stories are like other temporal 
things contingent.  They address Hesiod and his colleagues 
rather roughly:

You shepherds of the wilderness, poor fools,
   nothing but bellies,
we know how to say many false things
   that seem like true sayings,
but we know also how to speak the truth
   when we wish to.

	There are considerations that sometimes take precedence 
over merely telling the truth. One is also responsible to just 
measure and to the production of useful forms.  A fiction might 
not only please the human mind more than the mere truth but 
also the divine mind.  The generations of gods and humans are 
driven not only by  crass prior conditions, which bespeak some 
ultimate prior condition,  but also by judgment and creative 

	In _Laws of Form_ , George Spencer-Brown provides an 
account of the origin of forms in the flow, a theogony.  

He does not promise the transcendence of our present confusion 
by return to an orginal order that clears our troubled minds: 
"What is encompassed, in mathematics, is a transcendence from 
a given state of vision to a new, and hitherto unapparent, vision 
beyond it."  The interest and excitement of knowing has to do 
with moving from where one is (confused) where the form is 
evident.  There is not certainty of propositions.

To mark a now against a not-now, it is not enough merely to be in 
the present, it is necessary to reenter the space of the distinction 
as a whole. This might be known as the recursive shuffle. It is 
blatantly circular, but it is as near fundamental ground as one 
gets.  Whatever still unturning point does not belong to logic. 
Working in logic, however, may put a person in a position to 

With reentry, with taking responsibility for the distinction as 
such, life is indicated. Operator and operand collapse into one 
another, time and the assymetry of action are revealed.  This is 
not the space of the true and the false, but the self-referential 
space that in called "imaginary,"  in the sense of the square root 
of a negative one: multiplied by itself it produces not itself but its 
opposite.  Like the statement of the liar in the famous paradox, if 
it is false it is true, and if it is true it is false. There is a minimal 
wash of time, the base-line of consciousness catching and giving 
way; the memory of that, the expectation of this.  The time that is 
marked is not the time that is reentered.

                                      The Myrmidons of Oblivion
                                          by Will Alexander

                                   alienation - a withdrawing or estrangement


                                          New Twentieth Century



       The "Internet", its realia beclouded by loss of imaginal plasma.
It is discourse by debris, by a random wave of artificial sullage, from
which, at unsuspected moments icily smouldering gold is obtained. 
Perhaps an obscure society of "Sun Ra" watchers, or, an anomalous 
scholarly appraisal of Cela. One might also find a fragment concerning 
colours in the landscapes of Vlaminck, or observations concerning 
damaged vocal fields in the world of deafened songbirds. The latter 
figments and their cast represent a level of high rapture for the 
medium, but its overwhelming concern seems to dwell within the 
data of the strictly quotidian. Generic refuse, invasive cortical poison. 
The general user is infused with a passive fascination for codes of the 
inert, so deeper levels of insight remain virgin, or go fallow, or 
subconsciously stagnate under the gregarious tutelage of electrical 

       There exists a hollow prestige which accompanies "on line"
immersion. Then there begins a rational casting of dice for this or
that figment, so that one piles up a cornucopia of zeal flameless with
non-sequiturs. True, there exists an absolute foliage of technical
preciseness, generally going no higher than accessing a statesman's
schedule on some inadvertent afternoon, or breaking the security of
an "Air Defense" computer by necessity of pointless compulsion. So
one sits in a grove of flattened cerebrums combining in one's mental
frame the endangered movements of some exotic wading bird, with 
some heinous debate pertaining to Mississippi caning procedures. 
Nothing but drift from waking levels of boredom and death. Static 
replies, hollow scattering urns. One sits, not like the author of 
Quixote, conjuring battles and rescues, splendiferously stated, far 
removed from the "commonsensical" of the "multitude", but waiting 
for a reply from the already created, from a deadening glossary of 
chatter. The extreme result of this reality is in Japan called the 
"Otaku", enslaved within barren ink, void to the realm of intrinsic 
social relation. They embody the pinnacle of mesmeric data devoted 
to the dark engulfing inches of "modems" and "faxes." For instance, 
an "Otaku may collect the names of various actors who were 
costumed to portray 'Ultraman'", or discover "the blood type of the 
comic book artist Osamu Tezuka", or "the age of the pop star Miho 

        The "Otaku", "on line" addicts committed to deadening 
replication. First of all, there is a loss of resonance in the speech, 
which is followed by the existential truth of negative social dioramas, 
the clefts which loom in their weakened sexual ambits. In a word, 
sterility, not like the "Yanguesan carriers"*, or "Maritornes", the 
Quixotean "Asturian maid" burning with "bodily allurements." One is 
concerned in the present with those who lack the power of leaking 
blood into a soil of intensive needle makers.

        Cervantes, with his molten integers of ruin, his figments spun
around a frenetic concentration, as if he were burning a vat of eels 
in his slumber, or obstructing the slaughter of doves at the 
motionless apex of star rise. And all the while behind this in-dubious 
epic, we feel in Quixote's missions, the life which abounds beyond the 
purity of the morgue. In contrast, we see the "Otaku" Snix "obsessed 
with Chisato Moritaka", a benumbed singing "idol." He wants to know 
her "likes", her "dislikes", "her bra size", her "medical history." But 
Maritornes invades us, her redolent breath, capable or stinging for 
millennia, yet Chisato, whatever be the size of her anatomy, cannot 
draw us, cannot make us dwell over time, as we sometimes glimpse 
the voluptuous filth of Fortunata.

    The concern here addressed, is paralysis upon the kingdom, 
enshrouded by a treacherous jaundice. True power is effaced. 
Signorelli, or the Bantu carver, no longer covers a trace within these 
efforts of retraction. For the "Otaku" and their planetary equivalents 
there is no more than the frozen salt of a dire re-construction.

     But the argument abounds, what about quantity, what about the
assortment of people the "Internet" connects. Ah, but only a 
superficial contact, the artificial soul which communally darts about a
musical android grave, untranslatable, to any avalanche, or any 
snow, or the periodic mind of insatiable volcanoes. The "Internet" 
and its ilk implants a fundamental lassitude, but a lassitude akin to 
an infernal tenseness. One probes for keys, for fragments, for lone 
groups of literati, their secrecy condoned by a suffocating anonymity. 
The retinal sun is thus scarred, ritual abolished, motion is spurred by
treeless anti-hymnals. Modes of life become infused by emaciation,
its subtraction expressed by feckless strontium foundries.

     Those who constantly feed on this incessant larval wattage,
have lost the reality of a book, expressed by its dimension and 
weight. I take at random Cesaire's Collected Poetry, Segalen's Rene 
Leys, and Great Russian Short Stories in which Turgenev's Bezhin 
Meadows appears. Cesaire enunciates in his intensive Debris, that 
"the sea" is "without" "an allemorph opening its fans and rustling its 
nuts it is the sea laying downs its entire chromosian hand it is the 
sea imprinting a river of herds and tongues way under the palm of 
lethal lands and the wind its pocket full of shipwrecks with its mouth 
a source as fresh as your thought which I lose and which I hunt 
down between sleeping and waking..." The Segalen tells us that the 
"narrator" is handed by Rene Leys "a slip of paper covered with 
characters of such cursive abbreviation that they simply lay there in 
my hand, powerless to clarify in any way what he had just been 
saying... In the last light of my flickering lamp I stared
at them, but they were much of a mystery to me as a piece of 
Egyptian stenography swathed in Hittite arabesques, studded with 
cuneiforms and scraped for a living by twenty archaeologists." Then 
Turgenev follows with his "picture" about a fire, as its "red ring of 
light quivered and seemed to swoon away in the embrace of a 
background of darkness; the flame flaring up from time to time cast 
swift flashes of light beyond the boundary of this circle; a fine tongue 
of light licked the dry twigs and died away at once; long thin 
shadows, in their turn breaking in for an instant, danced right up to 
the very fires; darkness was struggling with light." Bodies of verbal 
beauty extracted from books of varying physical measurement. 
Cesaire's "Collection" measures 7" by 10 1/8th", Segalen's "Leys" 
measures 5 1/4" by 8 1/4", and the Russian volume measures 4" by 
6 1/4". Saying such, I am not abstracting, or presenting the size of 
each book as nostalgic vocation. What I am seeking is the palpable 
difference which expresses itself in the different weight and 
colouring of a book. The Cesaire being hardbound with a somewhat 
ochre colouration. The Segalen cover being white inset surrounded 
by red, black and gray solids. The Russian volume being compact and 
the colour or canary. As for the print I notice the Cesaire text set in 
lO pt Electra, the Segalen I surmise as being closer to a larger l2 pt, 
whereas, the formatters would perceive the Russian volume falling 
somewhere in between the two. All such detail carries resonance like 
a homeopathic field to which a reader's psycho-physical adaptability 
is adjusted. This being the ritual of the book, the feel of the book, 
even the particular smell of the book.

   When I peruse the length of a book shelf electricity crosses my
fingers, as if I were set to engage in the manual carving of totems.
Knowing the particular angle of my electricity I am drawn to this 
or that volume. Certain books are honed by the sensation of quality,
drawing about themselves a subtle monsoon, recondite with aura. 
Certain books seem lured by the alchemical, by uncontestable purity. 
Not perusal assigned as a group of deadened bottle fish, but living 
organisms thriving as would a river of immutable swans. Of course I 
can say without second thinking, that the "Internet" is void of such 
equivalence. It optically mesmerizes the willfully stunted with brute 
production of raw data. An addicted "on-line" user becomes self-
classified by the pseudo mathematic of inverse surges. A strange 
bottomless clockwork by which forgettable encounters are decided, 
by which the daily repetition of a monarch can be deciphered.

    I go back to the "Otaku", with their life of maniacal erasure,
with their gales of bloodless subsets, beholden to "circuit boards,
battered decks" and "burned out hard drives." Concentration 
reduced to mockery, to ironical folly. So the human curve is 
thwarted, is slanted towards an oblivious simulation, void of any 
alchemical dossier. Not even the whimsical can be attended to such 
action, only necrotic metaphor seems sustainable. As if micro-film 
smouldered inside their teeth, and they like minimal brush fire 
lizards swarming, across acres and acres of x-rays. The "Otaku", then 
lace up their boots and evaporate like ghosts in cathedrals of 
oblivious spying. As if their limbs were brewed in a neutered anti-
rain, their eyes deprived of ozone, staring through a funnel of 
vultures, their birth gaze poisoned by a famished reticularity. I am 
speaking of beings who have thrown away their life threat on a raft 
of clinical integers and neurons.

    These are beings who will never know the burning spillage of 
Campana, of the mimed oasis of Beckett, of the engorged soliloquies 
of Schwitters. Such pervasive stultification seems to be the present 
posture of the current living norms as nations now endure the risks 
of a struggling post-industrial death ship. It is now in the interest of
captains to keep their reign on the meter of global suicide. These
bank lenders, these monstrous Wall Street merchants attempting to
sculpt a whole populace of pariahs. Beings who have lost their 
touch with kindling, who have lost the fire of the natural sexual 
inferno. Beings who equate with a kind of colloquial refuse. So if the 
general populace falls into such gregarious benumbing, it is all the 
better for that bleak percent of humanity who kills by unnatural 
demand, and controls the living by numbing arbitrary law. 
Therefore, if whole areas of the global population are concentrated 
within a controlled rectangular wizardry, larger vision is annulled, 
and destiny wizens, and no longer invades the aura as thirst.

     Could Aeschylus be properly portrayed upon such a screen? 
Absolutely not, because he is too much of the living. The same could 
be applied to Artaud, with his dizzying drills of marrow through the 
soul. In contradistinction, the Americans, with their technocratic 
crosses, deny the living of the soul, insidiously whispering that the 
natural world is despicable, and that they have the keys to settling 
one's personal unrest, and that main key is data. The sheer mass of it 
capable of staggering legions of the gullable, and bestows upon the 
maimed a simulation of self-importance. The cleansed machine, the 
plentiful abstract contacts, as particles, as cold forces, as tenacious 
codes of inter-action. Wrath no longer singes, the nerves never blind 
with eruption. The "Otaku" and their Euro-American counterparts 
represent to the ruthless, a horde of controllable beasts, sedated with 
a powder of willfull nightmare pollens. So therefore there must exist 
generic lateral obstruction, the peripheral focus excluded in lieu of an
insistent insular centralization. This means that the "Otaku" remain
braced at amorphic anatomical pitch, being the "IDEAL 
INFORMATION WORK FORCE." Take, the Gainix Corporation in the 
suburbs of Tokyo, a computer foundry which has all "50" of its 
"employees" as core "Otaku." Its offices "are a mass of empty pizza 
boxes" of "piles of floppy disks", as the workers intently bathe "in the 
glow of their terminals." Saying this I am not singularly obsessed 
with the "Otaku" on their one small combative isle, but concerned 
with their data condoned ideal as universal praxis, as unquestioned 
bondage. According to the Times of Los Angeles "the global network 
is being traveled by electronic impersonators, sophisticated hackers 
and pornographers, almost all of whom operate anonymously, or 
under the cover of code names." This being said in the wake of the 
Kevin Mitnick capture. The latter being a person more in tune with 
"objects and data" "than people." Which translates to a mentally 
subverted suburbia, in which the newly withdrawn are tainted by 
the lure of a well wrought techno-agoraphobia. Its constant intensity 
being the very mockery of acceleration, its wariness, like a scale of 
mechanical eyes dividing the invisible smoke of a moth path.

     Because of the still existent surplus dollar there increasingly
proliferates a catalogue of items. In one "dimly lit study" there
exists a "a Macintosh IIvx with a built-in CD-ROM (a souped-up 
drive that holds staggering amounts of information, like an 
unabridged Oxford English Dictionary); a high-resolution color 
monitor, two laser printers, a scanner, a modem, plus more than 100 
softwares programs." According to the above quoted witness this 
equipment was capable of "balancing checkbook", playing a "riff on a 
snare drum", barking, turning "an image into a fresco", making "an 
interactive journey through the Australian Outback." Such novelty is 
carried further when "Morphing" occurs, "a special-effects program to 
turn a man into a woman and back" to his original form "without 
surgery." It is "cleaner, safer...more efficient than reality..." Up to 
"40,000" messages are sent across the bulletins of the "Internet" on a 
daily basis by up to "15 million" bureaucrats, combined with global
academia. In a phrase, the combined forgery of the shut in.

     This is so unlike Nietzsche, or Borges "in situ", with their 
implosive imaginal grains on fire. Is the cyberspace capable of the
instinctive bravura and insight extolled in "Ecce Homo" or the 
insomnious vertigo of Borges' "Funes, the Memorious." Such writing 
exists in vivid contrast to the generic cyberspace adherent, tainted 
by brutality and boredom. When an empire inwardly falters there is 
rife amongst the populace a rabid juggling for services, such as 
"Prodigy, GEnie, and CompuServe. One becomes existentially 
benumbed by the ease in "checking stockquotes", in "ordering office 
supplies." Even if serious fragments of literature or politics appear, 
they are authored by beings with "handles", with code names, 
dastardly in comparison to those anonymous authors of compound 
graffiti. In the latter endeavor the body is enlivened by the powerful 
jubilation of risk, by the multiple concentration of warfare. In 
contrast, the anger of the "Internet" is expressed by the use of capital 
letters, which conveys the equivalent of shouting. And the neutering 
has gone so far that a San Francisco based firm has created 
computerized material for sexual simulation. But when I read Cora 
Pearl's "Grand Horizontal", or delve into Lawner's "Lives Of The 
Courtesans", I am exposed to a full range of beings who loved and 
were erotic, and have now crossed into legend.

   What I am scorning via the "Internet" is its lack of palpable risk,
its absence of blood, its negation of pure chance. Give me, the
singular autograph of Lamantia, the malefic squanderings of a thirst 
crazed Nero, or teeming graphite from the blazing lagoons of Lorca.
And if it is one thing we can say for the millennial charisma of 
Breton, is that his writings continue to writhe like a spark from an 
eternal monsoon tree, exploding and re-igniting across the living 
currency of the future. Unlike the wretched "Macintosh" wizard, his 
writings contain the precipitous health of one who had risen above 
the drone of an extinct, but popular Drachma. In the wake of his 
protean coloratura there remains the ferocious value of 
transgression, of vehement fervour against this pervasive ruse of 
mechanical hygienics.


  *- "Yanguesan carriers" beat up Don Quixote on one of his adventures.


      presented with an introductory note by P.D.Q. Bacharach

The following document would appear to confirm the conjecture (put forward 
by Hecuba Whimsy at last year's Passages Conference) that the info-collapse 
of '95 was a trans-historical counter-revolution.  Comment on this 
discovery is most welcome.

> You were right.
> Ping! -- Intercept!
> --J.S.
> > From:	DIU VAX: BCASEY      21-MAR-1999 01:52
> > To:	        KPHILBEE
> > Subj:	Mole
> > 
> > Kimberly -- we caught the bitch in the time terminal, playing mind games 
> > again, & after a warning too -- the whole "real names" thing was a dodge 
> > to try to draw the other cells out of the shadows.  What should we do with 
> > this? -- I don't think anyone else knows that "Chris" is a girl, but 
> > she should definitely be more careful.  Or be shut up for good.  Bill
> > 
> > > $ finger ahpfunk
> > > 
> > > DIU VAX, 21-Mar-1999 01:00
> > > 
> > > Username       Personal name        Program   Login   Location         
> > > AHPFUNK     Christine Funkhouser    MndFck    23:20   Amerikka Online
> > >   
> > >  
> > >  Default directory: LISP$USERLISP7:[U$A.AHPFUNK]
> > >  Logged in since: 20-Mar-1999 23:00
> > >  Mail is forwarded to: IN%"CF2785@csc.albany.edu.1995"
> > >  Plan: 
> > > LISTEN JERKY... Fingering me huh?? Quite UNHYGENIC....Don't you think???
> > > well...everyone has their own little quotage and favorite things going on 
> > > in these things...so here it goes...
> > >  If you love something...set it free...
> > > If it returns to you...it is yours FOREVER...
> > > If it doesn't...hunt it down with a sawed-off shotgun...
> > >  MEN...can't live with them...  Can't shoot them...
> > >  How many MEN does it take to screw in a lightbulb?? Just one, men will 
> > > screw ANYTHING!!!
> > >  Of all the things ive lost...i miss my mind the most...
> > >  Just a few tidbits For your sick and inquisitive minds...
> > >  51% of the population of the United States is in the majority... 
> > >  98% of all constipated people Really don't give a shit...
> > >  Well...if you ARE fingering me, i am assuming (NEVER assume, it makes an 
> > > ass out of
> > > you...) that i am not here, or you are wondering if i AM here, or if 
> > > 
> > > i WAS here...so here it goes...i am either...
> > >  A...Bungee Jumping off Goodyear... B...Skinny Dipping in Lake Lasalle
> > >  C...Sunbathing in Founder's Plaza... D...In class...(what IS class?)
> > >  E...Volunteering... F...SLEEPING!!!...G...logic of snowflakes!!!...
> > >  Take your pick...and make it snappy...i don't have ALL day you know...
> > >  I'm getting high tonight, and it isnt on illegal drugs, im getting high
> > >  on NYQUIL and SUDAFED!!! ... It shouldnt say may cause drowsiness...it 
> > > should say
> > > DONT MAKE ANY FUCKING PLANS...Capital N...Little Y...BIG FUCKING Q...Life 
> > > is 
> > > hard..get a FUCKING helmet...life's little pleasures - a cookie, a 
> > > cigarette,
> > > a 5 second orgasm... -Dennis Leary
> > >  Have a DAY...not a GOOD day...not a BAD day... who the HELL am i to tell
> > > you that ANYWAY???
> > >  I DID IT... I MEANT IT... AND I LIKED IT!!!...C. 
> > >  Thank you...thank you...and FUCK YOU... - Dennis Leary
> > >  Love, hugs, and kisses...
> > >  The cuddly elf... (ps...a note to belle and ben...DONT MESS WITH SANTA 
> > > CRUZ)
> > >  I feel like a million tonight....just one at a time... - Mae West
> > >  
> > > 

			=			=

 Passages invites writings on mergings & mixings between poetry and technology

        Editorial Advisors      Belle Gironda (Happy Birthday!)
				Benjamin Friedlander
			        Donald J. Byrd

	ConceptEditor		Chris Funkhouser

             correspond / subscribe -> cf2785@cnsvax.albany.edu