Jeff Latosik's collection of poems is inventive and unexpectedly relatable. It's life as we know it, but with a twist.
How do we consume information? What impact does technology have on our existence? Who is responsible for creating this byzantine labyrinth of infrastructure and software that keep us interconnected -- to the point of addiction for many. Where will this end? Will it be technological super intelligence as envisioned by von Neumann, Vinge, and Kurzweil or something more sinister (à la Terminator's Skynet)?
The recent popularity of voice assistants in our homes has been adopted nation-wide with alarming ignorance. In Jeff Latosik's poem THERE IS A DELIVERY SPECIALIST he alludes to the fact of innocence being lost. We can't just chill and just listen to music like we used to. Our music is now spying on us. Conveniences he feels are being "gushed in until they were unintelligible".
It used to be we could go a generation
and still know where your music was kept.
Now my music seems to spy on me
and hide every time I turn around.
As reality shifts we are pushed into digital spaces that aim to pull our thoughts and behaviours into a unified purposeful course of action, one that is not completely of our choice.
Can you pinpoint the moment when you first discovered the world wide web? Jeff Latosik can. He was bussing tables at a Burger King. In his poem THE INTERNET, he speaks of the early stages, when its aim seemed "as elusive as the stock ticker".
But then people started to get it. Suddenly it seemed, that "everyone was looking down a cabled conduit".
birdsong calling up from basements,
the pink noise, hiss, and crackle of a connection made.
What a waste of time it was (and is). Everyone can relate to how "weeks disappeared as if dragged into a bin"
Jeff Latosik's poetry is like nothing you've ever read.
It's a reflection of what's going on in the world at the moment. It's about how we are processing that world. It's understanding how technology is impacting our lives.
It's hopeful. It illustrates our need to be connected and our resilience to adapt. Jeff Latosik's poems in Dreampad are about both introspection, and reflection. They inspire, as easily as they allow for reflection of a world that seems to be in a constant state of flux.
Blog Post by Shilpa Raikar, who believes in the power of storytelling to connect readers, and strives for diversity and inclusivity.
Dreampad by Jeff Latosik is published by McClelland & Stewart, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited, a Penguin Random House Company.