Anselm Hollo
from Pick Up the House (1986)


The Dream of Instant Total Representation

Primaries, conventions, elections –
spectacularly staged surrogates for old dreams
        of powwows by the campfire,
direct votes cast at the forum
        or Anglo-Saxon "thing"

Dreamy memories of just about postnomadic time
when the turnip was the new technology.
While knowing this was long ago, far away,
we'd still like to get next to the headperson
and deliver a speech, at least twice as long
        as anyone else's . . .

Even if telepathy were perfected –
and instant global communication –
where on earth would we find
statespersons, legislators, bureaucrats
able to withstand such an incredible onslaught
        of info? Would the result not be total
overload, fried circuits, the screaming meemies?

Yet each and every ant knows exactly what
        it has to be doing every second,
the whole shebang self-contained
and self-informing –

To paraphrase Blaise Pascal, I'd rather be
        a confused, blundering, warm-blooded
        hairy creature with language
to complain in, to praise with, no matter what,
than nature's prototype for the microchip.