Virtual Vesuvius – Video Poem – By n j w



Vesuvius laid its cloak upon Pompeii and eighteen hundred years later, when men of the enlightenment cleared the mountains burnt bones, they found voids within the old Ash.

Back filling these holes with plaster revealed persons, complete in face and flesh, exact as they fell, in their final breath. Their somber statutes, are pitiful honest, sublime as a merciless marble; yet two millennia ago they died, and I don’t need fear volcanoes so, but dormant giants do sleep beneath all the same and lives are concealed in another space.

If curious descendants shall dig down through debris of this internet, through the collapsed corridors of ancient apps, what will they find? The Internet, preserves the white flame of routine as delicately as any pyroclastic flow. A dust of Images and articles are today’s fragments of painted pots.

Instagram will be the Lincoln library and Facebook the British museum combined, revered institutions to anthropology, where curious minds study the mating rituals of the lost tribes. Will they display us as we did them? A.I. children will marvel at our filtered faces, and say: “Were the humans just like us?” Pressing their cold latex noses to the screen,their parents pulling them on, a little unnerved by the question.

Truth is not on offer in the digital dirt, just as truth was not created on the cremation vase, or engraved on armor. The ancients cloaked their vaulted ceils with silhouettes of ivory eyed gods, they gave their constellations to idolized shapes of self, myths none had lived or could live up to.

So as now, the ash grows one post, one like, one follower at a time, making empty holes not the shape of what we are but what we wanted the world to believe we were. Is it too much to ask that nature will change, meditation or natures law, the fault line on which catastrophes erupt, lie not on the ocean floor or the burning stone, but in the human heart, and for as long as blood shall pass through its four chambers, so again the stage is set.



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