[easy-media med=”7938″ mark=”gallery-oT8SQw”]by Christopher Robinson
People of The Future,
It is my hope that someone among you is able to identify this string of symbols as script and feed it into a machine that translates it into the no-doubt purely aural language of your time. Perhaps I underestimate your technology. It may be that a “friend” twatted this to your face-feed and the idea-chain encoded in these words was shunted directly into your consciousness!
I would like to tell you something about words, and about the art of writing, how it flourished before the world moved on, leaving it to die a beggar’s death. Not that I advocate its return, no, that’s a fool’s game. Culture must have its dead ends if it is to be dynamic and sustainable. But what a failed experiment it was!
Forgive the clumsiness of my examples, for as you have no knowledge of the written word (or perhaps you have eschewed words altogether,) my task will be as difficult as describing a cube to a stickman—that’s not right—a Van Gogh to a bat? You get the idea.
Imagine if you will that a romantic partner sends you a communiqué: Want. You. Mexico. Eat. Mango. Cayenne. This is the content. But in our time, it was encoded in words that allowed for endless unique variation. It may have been a text-message that read: “I want to be in Mexico with you again, eating a mango with cayenne.” How volatile that chain! Shake it up: “I want to be eating you again, a mango with cayenne in Mexico.”
Nostalgia becomes concupiscence. A woman becomes a spiced mango! Do you still have mangoes? Or Mexico? It was precision that gave the written word power, but imprecision gave it beauty. Do you still have beauty?
Some of us spent so much time writing that we caved to recursion, writing only about writing about writing about writing. Others became inured to its tricks and so devised new tricks and stripped away the old tools of grammar and punctuation and sense-making.
I tried so hard once, to get it right, to write it the way that it felt in my head, for that girl, the mango girl in Mexico. I couldn’t decide which sense to make, and that was wonderful.
I love you. I love, you? I? Love you? You I love. You, I, love. Love you: I. You, love, I love. I, you. I:love:you.