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on paper in the post-human world

Tuesday, 23 January 2024  | Sean Feeney

the broken english of a google search evades me

and i escape it in favour of printed glossy paper

unrefined and dull, seemingly beyond the favor of mathematics

no algorithm can claim my habit worth your time or subliminally insignificant

thus, i write with the quill of the precision of knowing my audience

and without the megaphone of reaching the full potential of an infinite crowd of onlookers

not as though the apt metaphor of monkeys at typewriters as algorithms — machinery imitating mind

might take interest in my language for they contain an adoration for anything resembling attractive noise

and that is the game i play displayed on paper

one scan away from remaining unchanged, or as so it appears to me

one transcription and submission away from falling into a sea

of words endlessly trailing on beneath a long sequence of 'o's

my lack of belief in an audience for small artists' gibberish feelings and expressions

rebuked by the eyes caught alight by the reflective quality of a magazine in the limelight

and that is the game i play displayed on paper

small though magnified by the spirit of articulate sportsmanship

small thought magnified by the spirit of articulate wordplay

infinitesimal in a bountiful sea of bustling livelihood

experiences defined by their play until done away with by mechanisms of finding the most immediately fulfilling play

the most immediate way to escape the day with no effort expended on being humane to ourselves and our love for meaningful creation

where the feelings of an audience become infinitesimal because the appeal of a shape is enough to entrance and entertain

and that is the game the algorithm plays

and that is the game that i escape

that's the game i play displayed on paper today


Sean Feeney is studying Year 12 Literature and VET Music at Bayside Christian College. He enjoys poetry analysis and interpolating uncommon time signatures into music composition.


Image credit: Jasmine Coates, a graduate of Bayside Christian College.


This poem was first published in The Overcoat, Issue 14 (Winter 2023), p.4. Republished with permission.

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