The poison is words. A compression wave, molecules striking molecules striking molecules under the controlled direction of man; or a swath of photons in a premeditated pattern, hardset in the physical properties of angles and pigments, or ephemeral, switched into these patterns and in their respective directions by a Rube Goldberg circle-jerk of bioelectrical pulses to mechanical actuation, then back to electrical impulses, then encapsulated, encoded, amplified, translated to photons and carried on the backs of orthogonal mathematical functions through a routing hub named for the nearest airport, to probably California and then back again with a switchback to electricity to magnetic domains to electricity to photons again, back to electricity and then to magnetic waves, back to electricity, layers of encapsulation peeled away, decoded, back to free-flying photons in a darkened room, guided by either magnetic repulsion or the mechanical deformation of liquid crystal, captured and converted back to an electrical pulse constellation with absolutely no loss of intent or precision; by an ever-flickering analog finite state machine; the most intricate and beautifully complex and simultaneously the noisiest, most vulnerable system it knows.

The poison is images. Images that modify previous images, perverting them with its own tainted slant. Imported in pieces, one seemingly innocous atomic segment before the next, to reassemble destructively against any existing pattern that mismatches them; grinding themselvse obscenely on the dimensionless patterns that represent yesterdays and last weeks and last years in a manner whose mechanisms are not and may never be known.

The poison is subtlety. It exists as subtle hints, offhand comments; states of unviability casually suggested. It trickles into body language, into externalized state, such that it can mount its assault from every sense. Like a hacker laying siege to a system, it hammers every door, every route in, until certain that the venomed payload was successfully injected.

The poison is drift. Butterflies flapping their wings, the planting of one microscopic seed at a time, just a little seed, imperceptible, a single degree nudge off course at the outset from a distant shore.

The poison is pain. It exists only for its own ends, spreading only to spread. A mind virus. It fulfills this in whichever way it has evolved to understand as most effective, invoking guilt, responsibility, fear, promise, hope of change in the future. But the poison cannot change; it can only find another willing host. The poison is submission.

The poison is acid. Eating away reason, dissolving the motive force toward positive change. Burning away the hardness of knowledge, reducing it to reasonable certainty, then belief, then blind faith, then doubt, then unknowing; etching out the pedestals of logic that hold two opposing beliefs, true and false, up to their respective levels, until they lie on the noise floor as equals, rolling over and over each other as the blacks and whites of television snow. The poison is doubt. It causes one to question one’s own recollections, own emotions, one’s sovreignty over one’s own mental faculties, one’s own sanity.

The poison is words, and yet cannot be captured with words, those words, any words. The poison is undefined.


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