The Esper Machine

By | 1 December 2011

“proper meanings were the last to be found”



1. Deckard consults Roman Jakobson about a possible replicant.

I put the picture of a man –
someone with aphasia –
in the Esper Machine.                                [Track left. Enhance. Stop]

I seem unable to grasp
the multiplicity of his details.
The portrait is lost.                                      [Pull out and track right. Stop. Enhance]

I place a photo of a worker –
someone with mealy mouth –
in the doovalacky.

I appear incapable of holding
his broken shards.
The facsimile disintegrates.                     [Track forty-five right. Stop]

I insert an image of a lover –
a confused person –
into the ancient computer.                        [Centre and stop]

I lack the skill to handle
his whole being.
His essence dies.                                       [Enhance thirty-four and forty-six]

I thrust a stranger –
a figure bordering another figure –
into the slot.

I look sure to let slip
his inner complexities.
The message is garbled.                          [Enhance fifteen to twenty three. Stop]

I analyse him –
the mis-speaker –

I can’t read
his code.
Select all. Delete.                                      [Give me a hard copy right there]


2. I am the business

He found Zhora in the bath so easily.
Scales of snakeskin in the tub
= danger and sex = femme
fatale. He caught her in a .dos net,
overlaying her photograph with a screen
made of intersecting green lines.
He pinned me down the same way.
But to find my hiding places is not to
penetrate them. That the grid exists
is syntax and sign. Yes, I am the business,
but I am also music, I am also rain.


3. GAFF: “When keels plough the deep”

Rachel’s selection of an uncertain future with me
is contiguous with my whisky glass.

My whisky glass was chosen for its vertical lines,
which reminded Ridley Scott of Raymond Chandler.

Phillip Marlowe is a bruised peach
next to the cold glass bowl of Los Angeles.

She and I set sail in the cinematic ending
because of clammy hands in the test screening

and I choose to begin with brand new words
because she is next to me.

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