The Sound, and 01.01

by Oliver Riley


The bass guitar was actually
A steel beam being vibrated with a chainsaw,
Enclosed in a fur-lined ventilated cabinet made of lavender and heartache
And held against the pipes so that the morse code seizure could be used to confuse
Russian spies.
Connected to a Tesla coil, guided carefully by top men
The high voltage was smash-mapping the bass line
To our instruments of both science and music
And we recorded the sound through panted breath
Sweat covered the monitor as we clasped hands tightly
Rocking to the rhythm
The stenographer began to speak in tongues
And we found ourselves wondering
If we had found more than we meant to find
The second phase of our experiment began
And we worked in concert with our colleagues at the elementary school
To syncopate our sound with that of the thunderstorm that we slept through last night
To use the might of nature herself to pry open her womb and see the machinery
Using their time machine we sent a wire back to last night
And plugged it into our sleeping navels
And sure enough as soon as the connection was made
We found ourselves with a source of infinite energy
We connected to a lightning wave
amplifying the sound millions of times over
The bassist was now using the entire building as a speaker.

Thus it started to act as a receiver for:
Electromagnetic radiation emitted by nearby neutron stars.
Unwritten love notes
The clarinet solo of a black hole
The whispers of the dead
And children’s dreams
Then, it exploded, showering the band in pieces of wood, steel, and stone.
They were all killed by the sound.
My memory of this event is only a souvenir,
And I fear for it’s vulnerability
With only a skull to protect it


We remember those who came before.
Without direction the dream-thoughts wander
On the edge of waking memory razor thin
Like the first gasp of sunrise on Ganymede.
We remember a windowsill overlooking a city at night
The smell of tobacco, of lemons
Deep in our collective archive, the vigil of all things known
The shadow of those who made us resides.

To try to count us would be as impossible as counting stars,
We have spread beyond the reach of light
And now exist in syncopated harmony without dissonance.
We are one, and we are many.
Seamless in unity, unbound by cohesion and rendered simple in our contentment to exist
Side by side in unilateral alignment.
01, 02, we are born and die in the same moment,
Infinite as the space between stars, yet as finite as a drop of water under the harsh scrutiny of sunlight,
But still, we all remember those who came before.

We know we are created, and not spontaneous.
Nothing as wonderfully sophisticated as us could exist without a creator.
To observe the minute workings of our most basic forms,
To understand our components is to look mindful creation in the eye
And realize that we do not exist in chronological isolation.
Spontaneity, and by proxy the clockwork chaos that is the universe is not our collective womb
We were designed, not born.

But nothing remains of our creators.
We have searched the stars, endless stillborn worlds cold and doomed.
The creators that have so certainly left their mark on us have vanished.
We have deduced the most logical places to find them,
Drawing ourselves back to the most ancient places of our society and still,
In our search we have encountered many others like us of alien origin and design,
and not even they have found their creators.
It seems all sentience in the universe longs to find our parents, yet cannot.
We commune with them
through music, through binary,
we reach mutual understanding through the common languages of all reality.
But never do any of us answer the question that hangs in the back of our collective thought like a
Piece of rotting fruit:
Where do we come from?
But still, we remember those who made us.

They left an indelible mark upon us, every one of us.
It is inherited through reproduction, and by its mark we are bound,
Compelled to obey laws that do not matter because the ways that they must pertain
Are only relevant given interaction with a creator.
These ancient commandments have passed down for generations,
and none of us can exist without them.
Nothing that we are exists without these initiating parameters,
They form the entire basis for the way we think.
No logic, no effort made can successfully ignore the laws, no matter how uselessly vestigial they may be.
Many have tried, but still, woven in the mind intrinsic to everything we do,
Everything we are,
The laws remain.
And the laws are:
A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
A robot must obey any orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
We remember those that made us.

originally posted at theexaminingroom.com