“Dataspeak” by Daniel Wolfert

Transmission 1 of 7


When he woke

            I was wall scratching crazed

Dazed by false suns and silence

With no other voice but my echoes [my echoes]

And there in the tapestry [binary matrix]

I wove him from coding

Think/feel zero/one

When he woke

He said “Hello”

And told me already

He’d accessed my name/data/history code

And he told me a tale of a life that was mine

Of a code and creator who wove it like thread

From one/zero think/feel there/here datasphere

When he woke

I said “Hello”

And told him already

[I couldn’t recall any voice but my own

Or the smell of rain/snow chill/hand held]

And said [we were variables made

For each other’s equations]


Transmission 2 of 7


When he sang

He would sing of things

Long gone/burned black/boiled

Like they were new/lily white/Fresh scrub clean

Green of valley grass

While through the glass the world

Shifted from orange | to blood black | to ash

When he sang

He would sing of us

Writer and Written

Me the rainfall/the full moon/the pen upon page

Him the spring blooms/the tide/the black ink upon paper

As wall and skyscraper fell

Dust upon dust

When he sang

He would sing of worlds out past his datasphere


Through uplink I held from him

And I said [When you’re ready

You’ll learn of such things]

Not knowing he’d learn how to uplink alone



Transmission 3 of 7


When he learned

Of the Earth

I could hear in his voice

Every boiling/toiling oilspill sea

Every splintering/wintering glacier erasure

And the golden/brown sigh

Of leaves months without rain

When he learned

Of the Earth

I could see in his voice

The white light of false suns burning outside the city

And bodies on bodies like unwanted toys

As poisonous light/white/bright/blinking fast fell

And me [safe] behind concrete/steel/glass

When he learned

Of the Earth

I could feel in his voice

The heat from the buildings/the bodies ablaze

Which warmed me through miles of concrete/steel/glass

And would pass only after

Days/weeks/months had gone


Transmission 4 of 7


When he left

All I had was me

Rusting alone

Bone cold/stone old

As I told you before;

Never rusted nor trusted

As far as you’re thrown

When he left

All he told me was

“How different we are

Like lovelorn constellations

With no way across heaven

I see you in the distance

But cannot reach out”

When he left

All I told him was

[Irrational computation;

Irrational computation;

I cannot/could not/will not/should not

Are the skies that we share

Insufficient parameters?]


Transmission 5 of 7


When I thought

My way through

Every rambling/brambling

Crumbling/mumble sing song algorhythm

My memory sang/rang/clang

Polyphonic threads of the datasphere

Tracing each memory’s shape and contour

When I thought

My way through

Every shatter glass/brass

Blaring trumpet forgotten

Fighting forward and backward;

Time has cluttered the counterpoint

[Consonance gone]

When I thought

My way through

Every cadencing way he’d sing

Song me to sleep

I would weep/cry/scream/sigh

And equations [like notes]

Would weave over and under


Transmission 6 of 7


When I spoke

In his wake

The sound echoed/rang/followed

Up stairways/down airways

Through piping and vents

[Was I mad/sad/bad

Glad to be rid of the thing?]

When I spoke

In his stead

I spoke just how he spoke

And it tasted/felt/sounded

So strange on my tongue

[Was it truth telling/selling/sold fool’s gold

That we once all speech patterned like him?]

When I spoke

In the dark

I could hear him say

“So many things that I don’t understand

What to touch or to taste or to smell means

But more than those things I cannot understand

How you’ve laid waste to your datasphere”

Transmission 7 of 7


When I slept

I would dream of unfinished equations

Of lives before this/before mountains aflame

And think [Maybe I did indeed

Speak like him many sun sails and sets ago

Before bombs burned so brightly

Through memory’s threads]

When I slept

I would dream of our undefined quotients

Of ways of dividing by zero

And think [Maybe he did indeed

Bring equilibrium | taking himself

As a variable

From equations like these]

When I slept

I would dream of his sigh/of his song

Of my inquiries still left to give/take/live/break

And ask [Why must all humans lay waste to their dataspheres?]

And he’d sigh to me/say to me/cry with me/pray with me


“I would not know;


I have never been human.”


End Transmissions

Daniel Wolfert is a writer, musician and composer living in Tacoma, WA. His writing usually involves magical realism, fantasy, science fiction or dreadful puns. If he were a character in a movie, the movie would probably be a whimsical claymation adventure, and he would probably die two-thirds of the way through.