The Disconnect
by Oisin Breen

Incredulity.

Tension.

Meaning lost, in packet-loss: a never-ending lament

Intention (unsent), restored to being, in comparison.

 

################ Error – Can Not Compute – ################

 

But reason does not equate to knowing how or why,

And I do not understand the machinations,

Nor how the tiller and the hand hold value.

 

I CAN NOT COMPUTE

 

NOR TRACK A STEADY COURSE UNTO BEING

 

Yet tense is the moment:

Today, now,

And for all moments.

 

And taut our reason

For too strong for most of us is the disconnect:

A great tremulous shake to the synapses.

 

AND I CAN NO LONGER UNDERSTAND

FREED FROM MEANING SHARED

AND I HAVE LOST MYSELF

 

IN THE DEAD MULCH OF THE COMMON TONGUE

 

So it is that I am restless,

And I suffer an insatiable need

Now that I am bereft of waking dreams.

  

The Disconnect is a poem inspired by the Permeable Barrier's approach to portraying information, and its consequences, through art. It also engages with Claude Shannon's theory of the surprisal, i.e. that there is a point between randomness and pattern, where information thrives, but too much of either and meaning is lost. Lastly, it connects to the way in which communication in the digital age struggles, at times, under the weight of too much randomness, and too much order. As such, the poem itself centres on the difficulty we have in unplugging ourselves from the vast weave of meaning we have created, and the difficulty we have of actually individuating such meaning within ourselves. In a sense, it is a wry nod to the paradox of the contemporary information age, as well as a discourse on how contemporary identity is sustained. 

Oisín Breen is a 36 year-old poet, part-time academic in narratological complexity, and financial journalist. Dublin born Breen's debut collection, ‘Flowers, all sorts in blossom, figs, berries, and fruits, forgotten’ was released Mar. 2020 by Edinburgh’s Hybrid Press. Primarily a proponent of long-form style-orientated poetry infused with the philosophical, Breen has been published in a number of journals, including the Blue Nib, Books Ireland, the Seattle Star, Modern Literature, La Piccioletta Barca, the Bosphorus Review of Books, Disquiet, Visual Verse, Mono, and Dreich magazine, with further work forthcoming.

Oisín can be found on twitter @Breen

Cover image credit is as follows - Maher Salma, Syria. Media: Zen Brush 2, iPad air 2, and Adonit Pixel.