My day 26 poem for National Poetry Writing Month sort of uses the prompt on Napowrimo.net—to write a poem about ‘a particular object or place from the point of view of some far-off, future scientist’…
FILE NO. Z-166.5
Classification: Artefact Cluster Z
Group: Indefinite Use
The following is extracted from an early report (date unknown) on the artefact retrieved from Sector 11-A9, and saved under file no. Z-166.5:
We managed to extract it
from a deposit of ash
surrounded by a thin layer of clay.
It took years to regenerate in this form.
Even so, we are having difficulty determining
whether our modeling program has rendered it accurately,
as its form is constantly shifting:
one moment, it is extremely fragile,
its structure apparently on the verge of collapse;
the next, it exhibits properties that indicate a substance
stronger than any material known to humanity.
We did just find a way to translate the signals
it has been producing since regeneration.
However, we are uncertain how to interpret them.
They consist of what appear to be chains of words,
varying in form, length, and complexity;
we observe these variables to be fairly consistent.
We have observed an important difference
between the two states mentioned above:
In the weakened, fragile state,
the output becomes much greater,
and with fewer rest periods.
In addition, the output is highly repetitive,
with only minor changes observed between iterations.
Compare this to the impervious state,
in which the output decreases significantly,
with much longer rest periods.
Here there is little repetition in the output,
with significant differences observed between iterations—
almost as though it is a completely different signal.
Apart from the qualities mentioned earlier,
the only common element observed
is a particularly idiosyncratic form of logic—
that is, logic that is highly variable,
often self-contradictory, and which does not conform
to accepted standards of what constitutes logical construction.
This observed idiosyncrasy
is further complicating our efforts at interpretation.
So far, we have assigned twelve different examiners
to review the material captured;
no two have reached the same conclusion
as to what its possible meaning (or meanings) may be—
except that much of it appears to be self-referential…
(26 April 2017)