By Carly Stone
28 August, 2020
Carly Stone is Running Dog’s poet in residence for August and September.
Each month, a poet produces new work, which is distributed via Running Dog’s monthly newsletter—Stray. If you haven’t already, sign up to our newsletter.
• • •
— On Thu, 15/08/20, Carly <carly-stone> wrote:
From: Carly <carly-stone>
Subject: FW: “ “im falling out of the sky please respond””
To: “Running Dog” <running-dog>
——– Forwarded Message ——–
:- ) are you READY for… ……
and TURNING in PLACE
<< CALL ME BACK O.K >>
Sent from my iPad
your body on tge SURFACE
of the OCEAN looking down
at STRANGERS in the ELEVATOR
Begin forwarded message:
—– Wednesday, 12 August, 2020, 10:52 AM
Fw: : did you lose your connection?
Subject: FW: FW: FW:
<< MISS YOU >>
Sent from my iPhone
—– Monday, 11 August, 2020, 5:18 PM
i missed my connecting flight……
good luck tonifht
—– Sunday, 10 August, 2020, 3:57 AM
i haven’t slept since
you threw m[e into the sky
and i was raised by BIRDS
> Sat, Aug 9, 2020 at 10:00 AM
> the sky is
> surface of the ocean again
> a plane or a boat fishing up the meat
> your cloudy brain
> the moon is a DIVER
> there is a message scrolling
> my eye
> it says
> GET OUT OF THE SKY
> are you still up?
> > Mon, Aug 11, 2020 at 8:15 PM
> > i changed my seat to a window seat so i can watch you
> > fall
> > we’llbe divided by three separate panes.
> > the OUTER PANE which accommodates the drop in air
> > pressure. the INNER PANE with littlw holes. for balance.
> > and the SCRATCH PANE that i will lean my head against
> > and look out
> > i hope things are good with
> > you. the COUNT DOWN must
> > be
> > starting soon.
—– Original Message —–
Sent: Sun, Aug 10, 2020 at 8:54 AM
Subject: “”STILL FALLING””
can you see me?
>>> *Subject:* Subject: FW: FW: Space Debris On Feb 15
>>> *Space Debris On Feb 15*
>>> [image: cid:7CAB025B-A092-4C20-8E96-73F37ADB3E55]
>>> tomorrow night they will fall to the Earth………….
>>> Carly Stone will descend from the Night Sky
>>> they will look as large as the full moon to the naked eye. They will be
>>> naked too because they are being born
>>> Feb. 15 when Mars comes within 50 Million miles of earth. Be sure to
>>> sky on Feb. 15 3:03pm. It will look like a Shooting Star
>>> This will never happen again. *
— On 20/08/2020:
I mixed up my dates.
Now the moon is not the moon.
It is the moon reflected on the surface of the ocean.
Nothing rotates beneath because we are all suspended in it.
You are suspended in the ozone and I am suspended in the thought of you.
> Groups of no more than two / two to account for those who double / double themselves by accident
> > Printing copies of my hand / hand in the shadow of the / the sssssupermoon
> > > I see my reflection superimposed / superimposed on the face of a / a driver full moon is / is mitosis
<< THIMKING OF U >>
–— On 23/8/20, Carly <carly-stone> wrote:
Everything is connected to MEMORY which is connected to NOTHING
Through the EDGES of the nothing I can feel the CONTOURS of th thing
Two substances grip together and then there is VELCRO
and then there is STATIC
and then there is the OUTLINE OF MY BODY
formed in the negative space
of tiny spinning OBJECTS
of BUGS in the skin of the SWIMMING POOL
see you monday
—— End of Forwarded Message
• • •
The thing about chain emails is that you never see them coming. Someone you’ve never met is sending a message to another person you’ve never met. Hello, they’re saying. Did you know that the moon will collide with the earth tomorrow? Share this with your friends! And before you know it, the other person is forwarding the email to another person, and then another, and your six degrees of separation have fallen in on you. Exponential growth is near impossible to stop. Because everyone in the world is just a little bit too close to each other. A forwarded message is an epidemiological problem.
But chain mail isn’t all bad. Maybe you’re dressing up for a medieval party or maybe you’re looking down at the bottom of your inbox. This poem, “FW: FW: “im falling out of the sky please respond””, is scaffolded by bits and pieces of the chain emails Nana sent me between 2006 and 2009. These were wonderful emails. Surprising animal friendships, mostly. Only some apocalypses.
It’s a shame chain emails went out of vogue so long ago because I think they speak to a very contemporary anxiety. Now we know a single biological glitch can wobble around the planet. This is how interconnectedness makes us vulnerable, how soldiers died from the heat of their own chainmail. A chain email maps these interconnections. Every sender is embedded in the form. I also embedded gifs from earlier this year, like pre-pandemic memories that loop forever in the mind with no new memories to flow into. Chain emails usually come with a temporal loop. The writer depicts catastrophic events as having already happened. As in, the whole world is about to explode, here’s a picture of what it looked like. As in, I’m falling out of the sky, please respond.