A Murmuration of Drones, new poem published

Adam Rothstein and Olivia Rosane have organized a festival of literature and art of the drone for June. To my surprise, the festival opened with one my poems. Be sure to read Nathan Jurgenson‘s smart piece on The Fiction of the Autonomous Drone. And you can visit the latest at Murmuration.

A Murmuration of Drones” is a loosely narrative poem threading the twin phenomena of collective behavior in natural creatures, specifically starlings, and the mediated, distributed responsibility for action that animates drone ethics. Throughout the poem, the speaker describes various interpretations of drones and the phenomenon of murmurations from a distant, removed point of view. Only in later stanzas does the speaker self-refer, and then only to the collective “we,” suggesting that drone culture is a culture of dispersed responsibility. Through references to viral videos and the classic theory of fetishizing Middle Eastern and east Asian cultures (Edward Said’s Orientalism), the speaker stays close to the surface of analysis, hinting at but not engaging in any analysis.

Visualize murmurations here

Murmuration from Islands & Rivers on Vimeo.

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