Karla Linn Merrifield
Dyptych: Ultimate Connectivity
I swear by my intel® Centrino® Inside™,
she’s got the hots for me. I can feel it in her nimble fingers
as they tap dance across my shiny quiet keyboard.
And I, a sleek new Dell Inspiron® 1520, feel likewise.
She turns me on and murmurs Bertie, my Bertie, let’s do it…
Imagine humanity disappearing from the earth. Our computers, smartphones, and audio-visual relics would last to echo our past. Poet Karla Linn Merrifield tells us about the intimate connection to our technological gizmos. All with a sagacious and unforgettable irony.
Numerous writers have investigated our almost addictive link with the technology of our hyperconnected world. In particular, the digital world has been a huge source of inspiration in this historic moment of emergency. Well, forget what you have read so far. How Karla talks about technology and our relationship with it is another story.
Technological devices in her poems come to life in a rhythmic and hilarious dialogue. Cyberspace becomes a terrain to be explored, to understand how we inhabit it. Karla shows what impact physical connections made of wired cables and virtual ones made of e-mail exchanges and socials have on our daily lives. And so, it happens in Diptych: Ultimate Connectivity – Wired that we can experience a real love affair with our personal computer.
A surreal and funny liaison passes through the ticking of fingers on the keyboard, in the nights spent writing before the screen. Karla wittily gives her computer the power to deliver an amorous monologue. The lovesick protagonist is in the geek dreamland now. And the computer is aware of its charm, of the compulsive addiction it creates in its user. It is not a mere connection but cyberlove. The result is a grotesque vow of love: I swear to be your sole user, your one and only named.
Karla’s writing style is striking because of its freedom of expression. Like her computer, which has a life of its own, the words she types seem to be independent. Her poems take unexpected directions, arising at the exact moment of her creative writing. The poet uses every poetic form in her writings, and her vocabulary is also extremely free. Karla uses registered trademarks, brands name, URLs and technological neologisms, such as Wired and The Shit We Go Through for Our Gizmos. It is a new and hybrid language. Hybrid as our bodies, where gizmos are like prostheses. A language as complex as our lives that are navigating in what Karla calls a techno crapola.
As Karla’s language is eclectic, she draws inspiration from equally eclectic sources. Contemporary American poets such as William Heyen, with whom she shares a passion for dialogue poems, or authors of prose-poem books such as Jericho Brown or Scot John Gerard Fagan are a reference for her, while she maintains a very strong personal identity.
Karla Linn Merrifield has 14 books to her credit and several contributions. She is currently working on a poetry collection inspired by famous guitarists and their instruments. Her poetry is connected to the world, to human beings, to their objects. It is internal to life.
Karla Linn Merrifield is the Gold Writer of the ArtAscent Connections call for writers. To see the full body of work and profile, get a copy of the ArtAscent Art & Literature Journal Connections issue.