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Sat Nav Savant

The first thing he noticed was satan hidden in the decal with a v left over and, the second, scree where a suspension bridge should be. No voice blurs the attent of steering brain – compare the effect with incoming text, or mobile call on spatial accuity.  There’s a code for it and error probability graph no doubt and the Met have them both by heart. He wondered after the refraction of  bytes and whether that was right. East of the early evening city, dirt fields and frontages, irradiated chip-shops like frontiers of and in something recurring.

II

Why is that degree always the nth and all emphasis on abbreviating beginnings. Why not Litegate or litigate? One hand scrabbling an unruly spider. Alone car. Remembered  the woman who habitually warned: ‘Mind the Gap’, sacked for dishing dirt on the Tube is now the voice for street maps; wondered after her job satisfaction and audible tone of vindication in all her late-night sibillines.  Do they audition ? Are there Sat Nav recording sessions, celebrities, bootlegs? Put  face to the verbals. How big is BIG in that shadowy enclave, the blind alley of having made it on the speaking dash. Thinking that way is void remaindered when the streetlights are down.

III

Which laws govern the myriad types of misdirection, those feints and bluffs of legerdemain? Which notional wave-lengths quiver to take in these errors? The road that runs to cobbles under peeling asphalt. The non-existent sister estate. The tunnel flooded under Victoria. The office engorged by by-pass. Are they nugatory or bigger than we know, these territories evading pin-point triangulation, a kind of dark matter dwarfing our powers to direct.  Do certain errors enjoy a vogue, their Warholesque moment of iteration before orientation resumes in a railway cutting with an ad for FAME. Are there places all round us on no map or voice?

IV

Satellites guiding vehicular satellites to satellite towns. Location, echolocation lallation. That marrooned queue passed three times, thinking I’m cruising. What’s the average frustration time before the phantom guide is over-ruled? Is this cut-off point more common in certain municipalities, on certain lay-bys? Take note: start a grill. We are all Dantes to their vigil. Is gender not central? Can an invisible instructor be an entity? Galilileo took off from Kazakhstan. That’s way, way out of an orbis circumscribed as i. Are signals prone to viruses and what would be the motives? Massage parlours. The car-phone warehouse jammed to the gills. E.g. The crackhouse. Bands of marauding techno-wreckers waiting at lane-ends.

Infer a matrix of flaring streets inside the voice ‘The validity of the inference depends on the form of the inference’: tell that to the cabbie stranded at the derelict executor’s villa. The satellite’s atomic clock loses max one second every three hundred thousand years. Look out for the sign: [We Install, Test, Service, Dry Risers & Sprinkler Systems], take the second left then right. Don’t fixate on random spates of alliteration; never conclude that the voice is evolving its twists to your tastes. Run past me that again. Do you aim? Is satisfaction of the opened main or subordinate clausal or claustral? Lost on the Leeds Ring, it’s easy to realise the orbital velocities of background objects and, as for voices, the movement of the peaks between two instances establishes the difference in their values on the pitch contour. Who called the Tom-Tom totem?

VI

Is there a code of practice. Can two voices counsel the driver together,  stopping only to hector and harangue? With multivoicedness, how can hearers anticipate completion?  Is it legal for satnav speakers to collude openly in a pre-ordained public space? Can work inflections be used instrumentally at home? Do they ever slip subliminal political statements in with subsonic clicks of their throat? Is there a word for the link that develops between a driver and their sidereal guide? Are there two or three minds fused in this symbiosis, if we count tin asteroids? As above so below.

VII 

Above our heads consortia wrangle. An eye called satan in the triangulation. The Pentagon fears your automata degrades incoming data in their theatre of war. There’s a code & types of misdirection, engorged, nugatory. Do the dead live amongst us on a different suspension frequency dwarfing our powers and are they on our side? Never conclude these territories. Never question spirit-guides. What would be the motives of choosing your VoiceSkin is a registered trademark. Galileo is a community of 30. Don’t fixate. Take note. Take a left, swing a right, avoid the toll, do a u, watch the speed, average speed you have reached on the reach out of reach over-reached retch rich rat roan rack ratchet ra-ra racker knacker slacker satin toned I ads intone it iotas tinned nation sited a distention dissertation.

 

 

[David Annwn is a poet and critic who lives in Wakefield, Yorkshire, UK. He lectures for the Open University in Manchester. He is a recipient of the Cardiff International Poetry Award and a Ferguson Centre award for African and Asian Studies. Most recent amongst his books are the collaborations: It Means Nothing To Me (with Geraldine Monk), and The Last Hunting of the Lizopard (with Alan Halsey.) ]

Copyright © 2008 by David Annwn, all rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of Copyright law. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the notification of the journal and consent of the author.