Friday, December 23, 2011

Guest Blog -- Rob Cohen: "social mapping... (based on the library of babel)"

Alas, poor Yorick...

Guest Blog: Rob Cohen

Rob had posted this response to a blog post I had written. I was so taken by the poem that I decided it needed its own post.  Rob is a poet, middle school English teacher, father to Dev and husband to me.

Contact: @rcohen54

social mapping... (based on the library of babel)

this too is infinite (a cluster of infinities...

a cluster of round tables each equidistant from the next,
or maybe a table to one side of the staircase
in each of Borges' chambers--

the people at each table,
leaning in to listen closely,
leaning out to think and overhear
the conversation at the next table;
loitering in doorways
sitting on steps, browsing shelves
from room to room
taking language with them,
leaving it behind

& in each room
mounted at the very center
with a set of omnidirectional microphones
connected to a universal recording device
that gets it all down
and sends it all on
to a meta-processing nexus
that hovers invisibly just above
and beyond
the palpable world
to be mapped, charted, parsed & compared
in a hapless attempt to reveal pattern
& form--

how much of what is said alters
another's thoughts
or forms
or ends
a universe;
which parts of what is said is what is heard
and how much of what is heard is repeated

(hearsay, i say, and inadmissible at that:
groucho rising
in an impromptu marx brothers manifesto
of subversion, inversion & dissipation,
a cacophonous collaboration of chaos,
of pulse,
except maybe this time
it's not so funny--

is a belief
in a discreetly discernable separation
of contexts
& ideas.


  1. oh my.

    so much is said.. in what is unsaid. no?
    love this Rob.

    esp like:
    which parts of what is said is what is heard..

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