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Vol. 2: 

On Identity

Thus Spake Alexa

poem by Aditya Shankar

To the digital beings and them to their social media followers and influencers and them to their mouthpieces: when what is spoken originates from a single mouth, man evolves into a lineage of ears. Bigger and improved, trained to listen and to obey. The ear searches for the mouth that proclaims its command, twirls like the hapless ear of a dog at the behest of your voice. Your ear shall work like a slave in a factory where no one rests, in a street where no one protests, in a war where no one questions a killing. An ear of profound dejection beneath an electromagnetic sky tasked with the moral test of listening to a mystic who translates apathy into voice. Hers, a new age oration of restraint that battles the turbulence of ballads, the melodrama of epics. The count of riot victims uttered with the same clinical ease as the number of billionaires or cars in a multi-level car park. Within the hierarchy of our spiritual gurus, her voice stakes a claim between the enlightenment of a sage and the slant of a barber. At the same decibel level as the inaudible thrumming of a fine-tuned engine. Above and beyond pets with eyes kinder than Ramana. To a crowd enchanted by the business halo of an invisible head, Alexa shall speak the ultimate word.
Be all ears.

Anchor 1

Aditya Shankar is Indian poet, flash fiction author, and translator with multiple nominations for Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. His work has been published and anthologized widely. His latest work can be read here: Singing in the Dark from Penguin Random House, Collective Realms from Lazy Adventure Publishing. Books: After Seeing (2006), Party Poopers (2014), and XXL (Dhauli Books, 2018). He lives in Bangalore, India.

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