If you summon a demon with brute material objects that are an affront to the Lord—if you are animal blood and grotesque candles in a geometry of horns—what happens to free and unsaleable prayer in the market world—if I am an open-source design and a book in the public domain for an altar—my edition of Shakespeare printed from a PDF at home an affront to commerce—who are the devils opposite the gods of capital to summon?
A moment of suspense in The Merchant of Venice: Bassanio—financed by Antonio’s gamble upon the mercantile ocean—gambles for the life and love of Portia—she would delay and distend his time between now and the bet and wait and draw out and yet forbear until routing around choice altogether—but being kept from a wager is
—in this world—torture…
Away, then! I am enmeshed in it all:
If there is hope, it will appear very dark.
Freedom and the rest, stand all aloof.
Let rain fall while we make our every choice;
Then, if we lose, we make a cinematic end,
Fading drop by drop: that there’s some measure
Of our sick heavens stirred into the waters
That rise to meet us. We may win;
What is rain then? Then rain is
Even as the overwhelming redistribution
We must have killed for: such it is
As the calm you feel wading into long grass
Knowing there are no snakes. Here we go,
With no less venom but much more breath
Than smoke, when the technocrats did command
Sovereign individuals shield them from
Their own storms: you stand for sacrifice;
The rest are the boards of directors,
With nebulous charts, armed to proclaim
Your world does not exist. Go, assembly!
Live that you live: it’s true numbers do not
Exist in the world beyond our thought.
Oh lines wrested from a text I didn’t pay for—as incomprehensible as any incantation—if you’re without a cost are you anything at all—our lives’ work but a little more entropy caused—priceless our very deepest and most productive contradiction?
A moment of resignation in The Tempest: Prospero reluctantly shelves his powers—in the end chiefly outsourcing and labour exploitation over wizardry—already a world where sufficiently great leaps in efficiency are indistinguishable from magic—a world that isn’t quite
there when we’re not looking…
You sprites of arcades, life, flash games, and fields;
And you that on the deepest sands lay down
Your colossal electricity, and do remove
The tops from mountains; you free thinkers that
By night shift fill the rivers with metals,
Until they turn to gold; and you whose sport
Is that the world hallucinates, swallowing whole
Your rules like their own blood; by whose example—
Though incredulous as kin—I have dimmed
The lights in my eyes, opened my heart to air,
And with deep joy in both pixels and ink
Written careless words: to the church of derivatives
I have admitted, and rent out my whole self
From the nib down; the fount and foundation
Is in crisis, broken by the trees that
Buckle footpaths: graves of capital
Have become my breath, clipped, and so forced
I have fuel for now. But this rough magic
Is only now forever; and, though I may evaporate
Without afflictions,—which even now I fear,—
To turn power into just a dream, that
Spell we all admit reality, I’ll blind myself,
Never again take in a majestic panorama,
And letting go the forces that bind all physics
I’ll drown my book.