Does Cloud Make You Think of Data or Sky?, Rikki Santer

Dale Champlin, Mermaid, Collage, 2021

Does Cloud Make You Think of Data or Sky?

            Prada advertisement in The New York Times Style Magazine
            February 21, 2021


Every click, tap and swipe turn
into restless bytes then seasoned
to taste by hungry harvesters—
transient moments measured
and mined.  Strap me instead
to moonlight, catapult me
into a rumspringa among
night clouds lofty and
pinnacled, whorling like
spiral staircases—fleeting
breathwork in the sky.

Rikki Santer


Review by Massimo Fantuzzi

We should be hidden from their eyes,
Being but holy shows
And bodies broken like a thorn
Whereon the bleak north blows, (W.B. Yeats, His memories)          

To moonlight, night clouds, breathwork in the sky: a psalm from a different scripture; prayer to a different priesthood; votive appeal for a different kind of salvation.

We feel the stalking and surveillance of hungry harvesters that eat bytes of information and urinate coolant for data-storage citadels. We hear the algorithms scanning the ether, dusting for our precious, marketable and monetizable fingerprints. Indeed, they take every click, tap and swipe. From “a more personalized shopping experience” to “national security” or “public health concerns”, the legal formulas and the legislative texts that give way to their poking into our lives in and out the web are endless. Crypto butlers that read us like open books x-rayed and categorized, set to serve us with the task of anticipating our needs and instilling new ones.

To this refrain, the poet won’t bow, and spiral staircases are the verses she sends out, and breathwork in the sky is the voice of her composition. To disappear inside the sacral anonymity and indistinctness of night clouds is possible – is called hiding in plain sight, is called writing.

And keep counting down the days until the big power cut is coming to wake everybody up. Signed, UR4//qR@CNC=bot

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