The future poem will be—indeed is already being—genetically modified to include sound and moving image, locative media, interactivity and new interfaces. I’m not yet enough of a codger to bemoan these changes, though the condensed and lyrical stanza seems to me a perfect technology, a zen bomb born in a word bud, dense enough to disrupt the waves of textual white noise that pass through our brains at any given moment. The fragmenting of aesthetic schools we see now will only intensify in the coming decades and the big bang of MFA programs in poetry will begin its big crunch, the proliferation of writing workshops slowly moldering into ruin. Poems will still make no money and therefore will continue to exist on the margins of society, flaring up now and again into the public consciousness but settling back more often to its hermetic life, sharpening the tools of perception, carving out the dugouts that will float from the visible to invisible world and back again, laden with antitoxins for accelerated and increasingly cybernetic contemporary life, full of notations for musical incantations that will call divinity back to the organic and interior world, a landscape that will seem more and more foreign to us as the horizon of the 22nd century approaches.
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