“There are only seven kinds of people.”
That’s the type of thing you will hear
if you listen to the oscillographic media.
Maria, whom I rarely listened to, continued.
In truth, people are entropy:
disorder and information. The closer
you look, the more you see.
We all seek the simple way, I replied,
the perfect answers to indifferent questions
from Google, to resolve life’s unwanted
happiness, and to fix the dishwasher,
the repair of which we cannot pay.
The day before, she’d hung a naïve
artwork over the light switch, and painted
the kitchen ceiling a shade of blue-bag blue,
A falling star caught my eye, and I wished
I’d made a wish. Maria made a wish once.
She’d wished for someone else,
but I came true.
There’s a stranger at the window,
watching us. We have an audience.
The owner of the house, perhaps.
He’s shaking his head.
He might be lonely, no-one to talk to.
Maria passed a piece of paper across the window sill.
I’m sure he has a pen.
Its ink is clearly visible, although my pen
is supernatural. Once I was an actual
fictional character, so busy working
I had no time for breakfast, but things
went wrong when I met myself
coming back from reality.
If I were a writer, I would write
for serious worldly humans.
Maria stifled a laugh.
You must take care with recursion,
acknowledging that characters are not real
degrades the emotional link with the audience.
“An emotional link.”
That’s the sweetest thing
you’ve ever said to me.
That’s not what I said.
I noticed that the incorporeal writer had been replaced
by a red-bearded phantasm, mono-eared,
with a shade of blue insanity in his eyes.
I erased my magic slate, and tried again.
But it turned out I was the ghost.
Maria clapped in slow time.
On the ceiling, a sunflower had risen,
and unable to resist, I peered into a later chapter
—our cloudy future—where its coupled spirals met.
From scrutable-and-less-so personal events.
The difficulty with computer optimisation algorithms is knowing what you want to optimise. So it is with life, the computers tell me.
Planetary martiaforming. Deija’s army has undertaken martiaforming of the earth. They’ve remodelled the kitchen too.
Martiaforming is made with VEE, the Visual Evolution Engine.