Entry - MAG Poetry Prize 2011

Mixed Realities

by Gabrielle Lockwood

Which reality do we live in?
The one where our minds are,
where our dreams, our fantasies, our fears and our worries roam,
where it's difficult to detect who people really are, but identities may be leaked out,
in words or art, or whispers to a loved one in the quiet hours of the night.
"I think therefore I am," asserted Descartes,
I am therefore I must think.

Which reality do we live in?
The one made of concrete and cement,
of real time and watches, of work and job titles, of ipads and designer labels,
where who you are is derived from what you have and how much you have,
a society consisting of the "Haves and Have-Nots" declared Marx.
I have therefore I am,
I am therefore I must have.

Which society do we live in?
The secret one of soul and spirit,
where who you are may be reflected in the way you spontaneously move to music,
connected to the physical and yet detached,
you sense something but can't make sense of it.
I feel therefore I am,
I am therefore I must feel.

Which reality do we live in?
The virtual one, www.mylife.co.uk,
where a "Second Life" actually "exists",
and who you are is depicted by characters in a box and the number of on-line friends you have,
you're here physically but you're half way across the world,
communicating with people who have no faces; faces but no voices; or voices but no presence.
I click therefore I am,
I am therefore I must click.

When two people unite,
what are the chances of minds, bodies, souls and virtual lives corresponding?
We think, possess, do, touch, feel, are moved and click,
but in what proportions and in what time?
Is the nature of reality "pure subjective fantasy" like Oasis is singing out on the radio?
In essence, if I am "here" ... where are you?

Added: 13.03.2011