This conceptual video poem takes the idea of scheduled presentation to a mind-boggling scale. It consists of 19 lines from the @georgelazenby Twitter feed presented in 5-second loops times its factorial factorial, so upon launching, the first line will play right away (5×0), the second will play after 5 seconds (5×1), the third after 10 seconds (5×2), the fourth after 30 seconds (5×6), the fifth after 2 minutes (5×24), the sixth after 10 minutes (5×120), the seventh after 1 hour (5×720), the eighth after 7 hours (5×5040), the eighth after 2 days and 8 hours (5×40320), the ninth after 21 days (5×362880), and… you get the idea. It not only becomes impractical but humanly impossible, since the time scale continues to grow line by line until it is longer than the age of the universe. Can you keep the computer running continuously for more than the 6 years it takes to reach line 11? How about the 75 years after that to reach line 12?
So the trick is knowing when to stop and to reflect on the experience of the work. The image captured above is of the seventh line, which appears a little after an hour of launching the poem (and will probably be beyond most casual readers). So how do I feel right now? Will I feel the same seven hours from now? How will the haunting music by Bogdan Dullsky and psychedelic visual patterns created by Poundstone shape that mood? How will the next line affect it? To spend seven hours in contemplation of one’s feelings is a powerful act of introspection. Or to just walk away and check in on the poem as it runs— I could come back in a couple of days to read the 8th line— is a way of shaping one’s life experience around a literary work.
As always, Poundstone’s poem is well researched and connected to other works in the genre. Explore the brief, very informative hypertext built around this poem to enjoy some of the intellectual and artistic contexts that inform this piece.