Scott Rettberg teaches digital culture in the department of linguistic, literary, and aesthetic studies at the University of Bergen. Rettberg is the author or coauthor of novel-length works of electronic literature including The Unknown, Kind of Blue, and Implementation. Rettberg is the cofounder and served as the first executive director of the nonprofit Electronic Literature Organization, and is currently the project leader of the HERA-funded research project, ELMCIP: Electronic Literature as a Model of Creativity and Innovation in Practice (http://elmcip.net). 


Remix the Dead

I seem to remember promising you a tweet.
I have completely forgotten the constraint involved in this.
 
There was something about letters.
 
I seem to have forgotten to write you a letter.
I remember some of the constraints involved in this.
 
It was something about handwriting.
 
I seem to have acquired a few of your ghosts.
I have to complain about the vicissitudes of their behavior.
 
They are digging things up all over the property.
 
I seem to be hoping that you will replace my voice.
I remember that yours could fill an orchestra hall quite comfortably.
 
One would wager that we are betting on horses at the racetrack.
 
I seem to remember an argument about wheatgrass.
I have completely forgotten the context of the dispute or the medium.
 
They are squeezing a pomegranate of its juices.
 
I seem to have left my keys in the automobile.
I remember that your name was on the insurance papers.
  
JG Ballard was the one who wrote about that sort of crash.
 
I seem to have been tracking your travels.
I cannot remember who paid me to pay such assiduous attention.
 
The kimchi is no good here.
 
I wanted to have a conversation about our dead.
I remember that I reserved a place for them in our memory.
 
You will gradually lose all of your terminology for birds and yet still watch them.
 
I wanted to say something about cognition.
I have to complain about the fallibility of neurons, which seem to slip.
 
In the bar they discussed variously semicolons surgeries and old videogames.
 
I wanted to say something timeless about language.
I recall that you were almost completely obsessed with transcriptions.
 
The performers refer to it as the Scottish play.
 
I was hoping that you would be more responsive.
I recall that you were once quite loquacious on the social networks.
 
She was a revolutionary in her time.
 
I was hoping that there would eventually be a return to the desktop.
I mean that time when our bodies were actually distinct from our machines.
 
It was disturbing the first time my IKEA catalog arrived in a dream.
 
I don’t mean to discredit the convenience of this style of furnishing a home.
I was just hoping that it would lead to new forms of storytelling other than this.
 
When I could actually feel my close friends’ death pangs I began to fall apart.
 
I seem to remember eating at that restaurant.
I recall the volcano trick as being quite spectacular quite a floorshow.
 
How could you not want an implant?
 
I seem to know an old friend who read that, years ago.
I was hoping that his reading would have been more attentive.
 
We have a debate about whether the bodies are cargo.
 
I was hoping to reread that before I died.
I seem to remember the author dancing in a Lithuanian sunset.
 
Misery loves.
 
I appear to have lost the thread.
I remember we were talking about remix.