In a swarm it is not impossible to say “no.” It’s irrelevant. You can express your refusal, your rebellion and your nonalignment, but this is not going to change the direction of the swarm, nor is it going to affect the way in which the swarm’s brain is elaborating information.
Franco Berardi, from The Uprising: on Poetry and Finance
And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.
Genesis 5:24 (KJV)
What you know about time. How it and space, of a fabric, stretch, all directions at once. How up and down, back and forth depend on your situation. What’s distant to one is central to another. What’s backward to some is forward to others. How time doesn’t move. We move through it, in it, our little lights shining, haloed, making a moment one with all the others. How memory, too, is relative, even when recorded. How the messages can hide until their time to resurface.
You wonder if you’ve had enough of it yet. The standardized days. The collective emotive, outbursts companies shepherd into rituals of consumption. The tautologies, artifacts circling themselves ad infinitum, persons turned things and loving it, changing what it means to love. Love turned pure desire, abstracted past flesh. Flesh perfected in plastic, material synthesis. You wonder how much is too much to say, a hundred and forty characters, fifteen seconds, chats contracted to a snap. If it’s just you or is it easier to snap these days, burled brain gone beastmode, a generation prone to berserk. You see a black boy’s perfect mimic of a conservative talk radio pundit and wonder if it’s a survival mechanism, or if meaning itself has again shifted on your watch, before your eyes invisible as who he might have been otherwise. You wonder how much is too much, race talk, or the talk of its absence, or what not talking about it avoids, makes convenient for a norm of excess. If you have had enough of excess, or if that is even possible. Certainly you’ve heard about the limits of a body. But look anywhere today and see how excess aggregates, see the gospel of beyond. If there are parts of the body that cannot yet be augmented, transplanted, eclipsed, their time is coming. Advent the manufactured, irreversible arc.
You wonder if that feeling you have, a feeling of the holy being outdated, is blasphemy. If blasphemy is possible. You yearn for prophecy. For a secret made for one with two ears. That the secret is heard will be the only proof ears exist.
A new zeitgeist, or another spark from the machinery? You don’t know, you can’t tell. You know a spark can set the world on fire. If it has enough fuel to burn, it may burn long enough to singe the caul from tired birthing eyes.
In an article you read:
“Young men have been slipping away to join the terror group.”
And it evokes in your mind an unfortunate image, this slipping away, of the wet and oiled smooth, of balance disintegrating in an instant. You imagine a sidewalk covered in ice, along which the men walk, their hard-bottomed shoes unwieldy in the sluicing dark, their wary footing failing. You tumble over a series of questions.
Who named the terror? Who made the terrorist?
Can a man be evil? Would God make a man evil, simply for good to destroy that man, his child, that woman, her child, their faces shadow-cast and ashen, their endeavors ever-opposing?
If terror is manmade, Who made the man who made the terror?
And who made the fear we sleep with, wake up to, its miasma burning in the backs of our throats, making particle of our vision?
On CNN, tabloid frantic. NEW THREAT. Your eye follows serif-less black letters through a background cast in white. Somali terrorists have threatened to bomb the Mall of America. They will do it through their immigrants.
Oh great, you think. Another group to add to a long list. You wonder if one day soon everyone in the world will be on that list, either With or Against. If there’ll be no time left, then, to think about it.
“Go and see Idlib, how all the ancient hills have been destroyed and looted, how bulldozers are digging,” he said. “The feeling of sickness is growing more and more, day after day, against these imperialist Muslims. Daesh wants people with no memory, with no history, with no culture, no past, no future.”
He said that while human lives were worth more than statues, erasing history and civilization was “killing them not physically but because of their thoughts.”
In the beginning eternal, the All descended. Its age contracted like a womb in space, tinier and heavier until no more than a point in an imaginary plane. Then, BANG. Now, eternal again, who’s to say? Times change. Maybe story is all that matters. Maybe the story of matter is just an echo in whose reverberations history spins. Maybe history is just a coin with a man’s face on it. Matter and antimatter. Two warring ideals, trapped. And the universe one dark body, dogged strength. ‘Dark’ meaning a relationship between. Like black. Like dog. Relative. Maybe the mirror is no more than a funhouse for light. Who made the man who makes the men? Beyond this man there are more men. On and on down the line till you get to Primordial Man, and you lose your lunch. Back and forth between the parables he leaps. His legs spread parabolic.
How, in a world of everything, to choose?
Is it the everything that gets us
or the emptiness it proves?
Do we die because death is
You know that in time, everything happens,
even death, even resurrection, even insurrection.
You know that your time is a time of speculations.
You consider the horizon of your own understanding and it makes you feel small.
Is there no end, you wonder, To expansion, to wandering?
What can’t be imagined in this world?
What evades earnest investigation?
What powers the mechanisms that power the mind,
that power the structures mind creates?
Is creation mere mimicry?
From where does the prototype come?
Are the questions a man can ask matter? Do they matter?
Or are they shadows, proof of light in their lightlessness?
In a time in which everything is happening, has happened, will happen, is imagination innocuous as a series of bulbs in a screen, capable of any configuration of light, a rapid shifting of frame in a time of money that changes its value with the rise and fall of day?
Is it the listless and unending drama
of a story being told against its own resolution?
 Al Diaz is best know for his collaboration with Jean Michel Basquiat on SAMO©, graffiti that appeared in lower Manhattan from 1977 to 1979. SAMO© initially became known because of its wit and sarcastic humor; but became a globally recognized graffito after Basquiat’s rise to fame. A prolific and influential first-generation NYC subway graffiti artist, who later became a text-oriented street artist, Al Diaz’s career spans 5 decades. He currently works with WET PAINT signs used throughout the New York City subway system.
 from “Isis Attacks a Major Archaeological Site in Iraq,” NYT 5 March 2015.