Friday, December 16, 2022

Rearranging Plot Device

Let’s move some electrical
Charges around, as life does,
As life is wont to do, as

The extended phenotypes
Of various living things,
Including those who read, do.

A story involves people
Trying to anticipate
What other beings will do.

Sometimes others are people,
Sometimes animals, sometimes
Aliens, monsters, machines,

Spirits, ghosts, gods. Even then,
They mostly act like people.
If storytelling’s practice

For anything, predicting
What’s going on with people,
How people move things around,

How people can solve people,
Is most of what gets practiced.
People, however, don’t move

In the ways other life forms
Move—not necessarily.
And lives don’t move as rocks do.

So what if what people make,
From poems to algorithms
For creating deep-fake poems,

End up not really moving
Any more like people than
People move like the seasons,

The nights and days, the earthquakes?
What if information moves
Electrical charges more

Or less like galaxies do,
Or like nothing so far known?
Then how will stories help you?

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