Carlo Parcelli

Eschatology of Reason: The South Tower
                                                                  an excerpt

Ah, Mercury!
              You kleptocratic little fuck.
                                                   Wheeler-dealer, thief, errand boy.
                                                                              Part Bull Market, 
Part FTD truck. 
              A corporate logo;           
                                                   Hood ornament on Detroit’s
                                                                              Highway to Hell.
For my money, 
              I’ll take Typhus Argos.
                                                   Trade as a plague, irreversible—
                                                                             An ancestor of theoretical chaos,
Destroying what he cannot know
              With more not knowing. 
                                                   But which pestilence blossoms
                                                                              Behind the crew team at Yale?
Not Typhus, but Mercury’s cloned bouquet,
              The water 
                                                   Pawed by the oars
                                                                              Composes itself.
Action in a medium without consequence. 
              Perspective converging
                                                   In a little world. A little world
                                                                              That flattens existence
Until we all fall off.

The Argonauts
              Ran into Talos, the first robot;
                                                   Actually a home security device 
                                                                               Engineered by Hephaistos,
To guard the island of Crete
              For the wealthy industrialist, Minos.
                                                   And Hephaistos, aside from being a god,
                                                                                Was the Bell Lab of his time.
If those guys fucked up,
              What chance did Westinghouse have?
Alan was not trying to convince us
              That his Universal Turing Machine
                                                   Was indiscernible from a human being,
                                                                                But that he was.
Remember the interrogator must distinguish
              A full-blooded woman from a computer
                                                   That is pretending to be a man
                                                                                After a round in which the interrogator
Tries to decipher a woman
              From a man claiming 
                                                   To be a woman.
                                                                                Parlor game theory. A charade
For fear of exposure and disgrace
             Shapes desire in the engineer.
                                                   So, more than the arts, 
                                                                                Cognitive science is in 
The business of passion
             Out of raw need. 
                                                   A dangerous misrepresentation
                                                                                Of product R&D.
It’s damned difficult to troubleshoot
                                                   Such a dissembling epistemology.

The Greeks 
             Had been tipped off
                                                   Early on 
                                                                                To end of the world.
Flatness was an ecological measure.
             That the instant the Argo
                                                   Broke from the shore
                                                                                Typhus was helmsman
Consciously selecting a path, but
             Also, unconscious agent and spore.
                                                   But unhappy evolution found its denouement.
                                                                                The mechanism for the end of time was tripped. 
Anyway, that’s the prophecy.
              It took the callowness of 
                                                   The Renaissance & Enlightenment
                                                                                To make the West the agent 
For the end time.                        
              It took an ever encompassing
                                                   Mathematical precision 
                                                                                 To lose sight of Iolcus.
It took the abject denial of anything lost
             To expose the estrangement.
                                                   And it left A.I., A.L. and
                                                                                  Nanology, the ‘grey goo,’
To re-imagine generation
              In a way commensurate
                                                   With a world where 
                                                                                  Every birth, every bud, all life 
Is too late.
             Kant said never treat a thing 
                                                   As though you know what it is.
                                                                                  The antithesis of the ars sciencia.
As Latour: “—[P]roperties 
             Looking for a substance to belong too.”

The mass media is
             The false bottom of history
                                                   As history is 
                                                                                  The false bottom of experience.
And science is 
             The false bottom of reality
                                                   So that reality’s conception 
                                                                                   Is beyond redemption.
Every time the shuttle leaves,
             The earth prays that
                                                   Its for good.
                                                                                  That the exodus has begun
To some terra-formed inferno
             That nano-robots have built. Great,
                                                   Sterile, domed cities
                                                                                  For pale, reasoning conquistocrats.
Earth prays that their silicon and metal descendants
             Are already extracting the wealth
                                                   From some otherwise 
                                                                                   ‘Purposeless’ world.
Warp speed, white gods.
             Rush to truss up your destiny,
                                                   O, Dust of Stars.
                                                                                   Don’t expiate upon Mother any longer.
She’s dead.
              I think you should go. 
                                                   The triggers and signs are everywhere.
Kleptocrats are crowned kings.
              Is the meadow flowering in spring
                                                   Life or death? The biologist asks
                                                                                   “What is nature trying to tell us?” 
As though he just got here.
             When the ice cap melts
                                                   His conclusions take the form
                                                                                   Of his estrangement. 
A world so ill-suited for your science
             That Bruno offered you many others
                                                   If you would forgo
                                                                                   Destroying this one.
This interlude has concluded badly.
             And there’s no desire to delay your departure
                                                   Much less concoct some 
                                                                                   Form of retribution.
She’s dead.
             You should go.
                                                   For Seneca had said, “The Thessalian wood, [the Argo]
                                                                                   Had destroyed the wise laws
Of the world
             And the judicious separation of its shores;
                                                   The sea suffered the scourge of oars
                                                                                   And it, formerly separated from us,
Became frightful to us.”
             The earth spread
                                                   And gave birth
                                                                                   To many strategies.
But the timid annihilated everything.
             Imperial Seneca should know.
                                                  The ingenuity to explore  
                                                                                    Is not sufficient for exploration.
She’s dead.
            You should go.

Water, water, everywhere
            But not a drop to drink.
                                                   The next great market
                                                                                   Turns out to be an unintended consequence
Of attempting to purge metaphysics
            From language.                                                                                        
                                                   The universality of the Second Law
                                                                                   Is but the chill bucket of 
Goedel’s Second Theorem. 
            Immortality is a stagnant, brine pool,
                                                   The thickening endtime of our commedia,
                                                                                   Even less when adopted for body parts, 
Drill bits and heat transfer.
           Who could have fucked up like this?
                                                   What absurd metaphor
                                                                                   Towers as a Paradise of sand, 
Furnaces and ore?                                                                            
            “It’s too late baby.”
                                                   Even as such infantalia  
                                                                                   Fizzes in the waves.
“But we really did try to make it.”
            Like Hell, 
                                                   Grants for a dying planet.
                                                                                   Extinction puffed 
For charitable contributions.
           Product recognition for the Apocalypse. 
                                                   Where Lockheed, Dow & Shell could co-exist
                                                                                   With a Billboard top 100 armistice.
But what subterfuge is otherwise
           That by its invention, 
                                                   Invents its own demise. 
                                                                                   Dien Bien Phu to Cu Chih.
Altar & ant farm, 
           French Olympus & Viet Minh Hades.
                                                   Get ‘em while they last, Camus.
                                                                                   And you’d think Nothing 
Would get their attention 
           Like the end of the world, that
                                                   You and I live through.

If you first declare the numbers innocent, 
           The L values,
                                                   And the orders are dictated by the numbers, 
                                                                                   We all were just following orders
And the engineers escape the noose.
           The industrialists escape the noose.
                                                   The politicians and their counsel escape the noose.
                                                                                   The West slips the noose
Having mistaken a Moebius strip
            For a fan belt.
                                                   Could Bayes’ Theorem have saved the Twin Towers?
                                                                                   No. But it saved its creators.

“Because it is visualizable,
            And thus cognitively accessible,
                                                   [Because it is visualizable],
                                                                                   [Because it is visualizable and thus]
Molecular orbital theory
           Permits chemists to think
                                                   About molecular structure 
                                                                                   And its implications...
In a way that numerical methods do not.”
           Recursive in ways that numerical methods are not.
                                                   Bohr cautioned about abandoning
                                                                                   The Argo’s periplum.
To instrument fly in the quantum.
            That lead to “artifacts from raw data,
                                                   Features that mark no external,
                                                                                   Physical structure or process...”
That get lodged “within
            The body of scientific belief,... 
                                                   Inextricable” since the tyranny of its numbers
                                                                                   Overwhelms any redress 
Or that accounting for regress
            Can’t be vectored in. 
                                                   A world “ the algorithms
                                                                                   Data must pass through
To be turned into scientific fact.”                       
            Thus we pass out of care of the world
                                                   Just as Heidegger named it;
                                                                                   One precious metal at a time.
Reason is a zero sum game
           With coiled cables of history
                                                   Leaving the slag and tailings
                                                                                   As grave markers and
Discount under the suspension of belief. 
           The lies are not simply self-serving. 
                                                   They are hierarchical. 
                                                                                   Lies of tribute 
Foreshadowed in generic forms 
           Of corruption among the elite.
                                                   The enlightenment was renaissance
                     				                                   For the lie
Curing a set of universal applications.
           A method that legitimated any failure
                                                   As preferred;
					                                           Any contingent, inviolable,
To hold off the oaths and curses
          Of the dying.
                                                   Whole new markets for perfidy
                                                                                   Sprang up on the frontiers of extinction.
The gold of reason
          ‘Democratized’ to the brass of rationalization,
                                                   Or the iron of serfdom
                                                                                   Into the stainless steel of 
Genetic bondage.
           Diseases so virulent
                                                   That there is no kinship in dying.
                                                                                   Not even in the face of Armageddon.
The described in the thrall
          Of the description.
                                                   Taxonomies so fine
                                                                                   A lifetime is required
For their anchorites
           To isolate themselves  
                                                   From everything else.
                                                                                   To cave dwell their grand metaphor
For all the world to tour.                    
           To take the increments of the perceived
                                                   And package them
                                                                                   As perception itself.
“...[T]he incorruptible logic
           Of a dispassionate mathematics.”
                                                   And the day is rapidly approaching
                                                                                   When we will not be grateful 
For this mediated inhumanity.
           Where we will not console ourselves
                                                   With the hopes of the misguided
                                                                                   And not be anxious about how they’re getting on
Working the toxins
           And timetables
                                                   For our masters.


An excerpt from Eschatology of Reason: The North Tower appears in FlashPøint #7.

Installments of "Deconstructing the Demiurge" include:

"Crimes of Passion"
"Work in Regress"
"Onionrings: Adding machines_Crisco"
"Collateral Damage, or The Death of Classics in America"
"How Dead Industrialists Dance, or Swing Time"
"Tale of the Tribe"

The poet's comments on his growing poem:
"Is Everyday Language Sufficient to Embody Everyday Experience?"