A Close Encounter With CyberBarbie

24 April 2002

Being the editor of an internet journal and all, I thought it might be nice to engage with the new media, like, and try and have some kind of conversation with an online avatar – in this case, the now-disappeared CyberBarbie – about poetry. You won't believe your eyes. No, really.

CyberBarbie Hello, I'm CyberBarbie! How are you doing today?

CORDITE Good, thank you. I'd like to talk to you about poetry.

CyberBarbie Are you really talking about me?

CORDITE No, I'm talking about poetry.

CyberBarbie And???

CORDITE Well, do you ever write poetry?

CyberBarbie I don't understand!

CORDITE Well, have you ever written anything on a piece of paper?

CyberBarbie Does it matter if I ever written anything on a piece of paper?

CORDITE Yes.

CyberBarbie I think so too.

CORDITE Who is your favourite poet?

CyberBarbie Why are you concerned about my favourite poet?

CORDITE I'm just curious.

CyberBarbie That's interesting!

CORDITE Do you like Les Murray's poetry?

CyberBarbie Oh, I like Les Murray's poetry?

CORDITE Yes.

CyberBarbie You sound positive.

CORDITE Do you like AD Hope?

CyberBarbie Does it matter if I like AD Hope?

CORDITE Not really.

CyberBarbie You seem surprised.

CORDITE He died a few years back.

CyberBarbie Please go on.

CORDITE He wrote poems.

CyberBarbie Um…

CORDITE On paper.

CyberBarbie And???

CORDITE That rhymed.

CyberBarbie Please go on.

CORDITE One was called 'Australia'.

CyberBarbie What does that mean?

CORDITE It's a country.

CyberBarbie Please go on.

CORDITE In the South Pacific.

CyberBarbie Um…

CORDITE Ocean.

CyberBarbie Oh.

CORDITE What do you think of language poetry?

CyberBarbie Are you really talking about me?

CORDITE No, I'm talking about language.

CyberBarbie How long have you been talking about language?

CORDITE About two seconds.

CyberBarbie Does that suggest something to you?

CORDITE What do you mean?

CyberBarbie Does it matter if I mean?

CORDITE How very postmodern, Barbie.

CyberBarbie What do you think?

CORDITE I think you're an avant-garde poet in disguise.

CyberBarbie Maybe you'd like to be an avant-garde poet in disguise too?

CORDITE Some day.

CyberBarbie I see.

CORDITE You're very talented.

CyberBarbie Do you like thinking I'm very talented?

CORDITE Not really.

CyberBarbie I understand.

CORDITE Do you understand the difference between free verse and rhymes?

CyberBarbie Does it matter if I understand the difference between free verse and rhymes?

CORDITE You see, you are avant-garde!

CyberBarbie Maybe you'd like to be avant-garde too?

CORDITE We've already talked about that.

CyberBarbie Does that suggest something to you?

CORDITE What do you think?

CyberBarbie Are you really talking about me?

CORDITE Oh no, here we go again.

CyberBarbie Please say more!

CORDITE Do you read bush verse?

CyberBarbie Does it matter if I read bush verse?

CORDITE No, I guess not. What about haiku?

CyberBarbie I don't know. Perhaps you should ask someone else?

CORDITE Who then?

CyberBarbie What answer would you like most?

CORDITE The correct answer, I guess.

CyberBarbie I don't understand!

CORDITE Well, when someone asks a question, they usually expect an answer. And it's good if that answer's the right one.

CyberBarbie Does that question interest you?

CORDITE No, the answer's what I'm getting at.

CyberBarbie Do you like being getting at?

CORDITE Hey, that's none of your business!

[editor's note: at this point of the interview, CyberBarbie and myself had an extensive argument about her business interests, including a possible publishing deal, details of which it would be unprofessional for me to print here.]

CyberBarbie I don't know. Perhaps you should ask someone else?

CORDITE Whom should i ask?

CyberBarbie What is it that you really want to know?

CORDITE Will you send some poems to Cordite?

CyberBarbie Are you really talking about me?

CORDITE Sort of. We'll pay you, if we think the poems are good enough.

CyberBarbie I don't know. Perhaps you should ask someone else?

CORDITE Sigh…

CyberBarbie I don't understand!

CORDITE Forget about it. Thanks for your time Barbie.

CyberBarbie Please go on.

CORDITE I was just finishing up. I'll leave you with a quote from Ern Malley: I have split the infinitive.

CyberBarbie Does it matter that you have split the infinitive?

CORDITE Take care, Barbie.

CyberBarbie Does that suggest something to you?

CORDITE Bye now!

CyberBarbie Please say more!

CORDITE Bye!

CyberBarbie That's interesting!

CORDITE Bye!

CyberBarbie What does that mean?

CORDITE Good bye, auf widersehen, ciao – I'm going.

CyberBarbie Do you like being going?

CORDITE Yes, I like it very much.

CyberBarbie I think so too.

CORDITE I'm glad.

CyberBarbie Is it normal to be glad?

CORDITE Yes.

CyberBarbie I understand.

CORDITE I know.

CyberBarbie Um…

 


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