Category Archives: Literature

Conversations With Young i0S8

When first settled in for a long bus trip to a familiar land long abandoned, after crushing a bag under the seat and quaffing off some liquid, standard operating procedure dictates (in contemporary times) that you get on the texting machine and start seeing who’s up to what this weekend in the old haunts.

Society, since crowdfunding began or so, appears to frown on getting to town, then calling everyone you know to ask for a 10-spot.

So you text, text, text – hello, everyone! A host of eloquent queries, their tonality tailored to the recipient. Abrasive, if it’s a yelling and drinking buddy. Self-deprecating, for those who expect your worst. Most, though, it’s a simple “Hello, how you doing? Gonna be in town this weekend?”

There are the yeses and the noes; the “what do you want to do?” and “where will you be?” Sometimes one that wasn’t contacted catches scent of your impending presence and says hello, which can be a very good or bad thing; sometimes one who was depended on for a couch, for a drink, falls through.

No matter the content, that rush of messages that comes back at you in the dark of a Megabus rumbling west on I-80 become absurd. If for no other reason than in comfortable, day-to-day life, there are about four people who might send you a text and one of them is your mother. This onrush of interaction with people unheard from for months tears up your local routine, reminds you, again, this seat is taking you somewhere you’ve not been for some time.

Now, in the artificially semi-intelligent age, we shall be contending with not only the absurdity of time and space and relationships that ebb and flow – we shall be conversing with machines, which bring their own quirks to the party. Not only have the machines made it harder for you to start talking with your neighbor on the bus, and erased the long stretches of Midwestern cornfield ennui that must have birthed all the skeezy interactions that served as so much material for the Beats; the machines, they now speak for your friends.

In response to a message asking the whereabouts of a friend whom I know to be intelligent and sober, I received this reply:

The fact that I don’t think Schatsiek ever had to go back and I don’t think Schatsiek ever had to go back and I have a great time with the best of the year of

OK. Perhaps, a message sent wrongly to me, if a bit cryptic, or mistyped. I’m familiar that messages get funky these days, with the talk-to-text and the swipe and everything. A minute later, then, this comes in:

I don’t know what to do with the same time I see you in the morning and I don’t know what to do with the same time I see you in the morning and I don’t know

That I do not know what to do about. Perhaps the issue was resolved when Sona came along:

I’m at work for a long way in which a woman with Sona in Eckhart for sg in IV for sg in IV for Tirsit to be in IV with European-American to play in IV with European-American

But, no, sadly, the depth of Not Knowing here was revealed by our protagonist:

I don’t know what to do with the same time I see you in the morning and I don’t know what to do with the same time I see you in the morning and I don’t know

Perhaps Schatsiek is at the root of all this:

The fact that I don’t think Schatsiek is the only thing that made you feel better soon and I’m still not sure what I do you think I can do is get to the beach

And Tirsit may be at the center of it all.

I’m at work for a long way in which a woman with Sona in Eckhart for Tirsit to be in IV and the same as you love them and then the rest is up for Tirsit after all

The messages stop. I wonder what’s wrong, or, perhaps, I’ve just been sent my friend’s prospectus for a Bulgarian TV pilot. It’s explained later, in the usual syntax, that the iOS8 beta has been installed by my friend, and the suggested words option on the keyboard eventually makes up “these strange, Joycean sentences.”

Without getting into the aesthetic merits of Found Art or Spam Poetics, let us take a full read of the iOS8’s song. Jim Morrison can eat his heart out, wherever he’s living in Central Asia.

This editor calls it “The Fact I Don’t Know (Stuck In Eckhart With Schatsiek On My Trail)”

I’m at work for a long way
In Eckhart for SG
A woman with Sona in IV
I have a great time with the best of the year of
With European-American

I don’t know what to do with the same time I see you in the morning
and I don’t know what to do with the same time I see you in the morning
and I don’t know

The fact that I don’t think
Schatsiek ever had to go back
For sg in IV, in which
With European-American to play in IV
For Tirsit to be in IV

I don’t know what to do with the same time I see you in the morning
and I don’t know what to do with the same time I see you in the morning
and I don’t know

And I don’t think Schatsiek ever had to go back and
And I don’t think Schatsiek ever had to go back and
And I don’t think Schatsiek ever had to go back and
The fact that I don’t think.

Portage, Indiana.
Portage, Indiana.