Queen's Quarterly

Queen's Quarterly
Queen's Quarterly

Paul Vermeersch


We Are the Algorithm Made of Habits

How we will persist! Too soon | in CyberDeath™.

In the last text | we persist. In the avatar | ongoing.

This isn’t expiry. It’s sending. How I will recur

in your timeline. Then as now. And you will persist,

as pre-designed. Your profile archived. Transcending

formats | platforms | bit rot. Our numbers reassigned.

We do not simply vanish from the Earth. It’s technical.

This day. As was. Is now. Ever shall. Resend. The current

holder of my reassigned number will dial one day

one digit imperfectly and your phone will play its

teensy bit of song, and shake, and glow | announcing

my resurrection as vaporwraith. We are the algorithm

made of habits. The souvenir of the souvenir on a loop.

We will persist in this equation | in the final text. Do

what you must to summon me. Hit resend. Hit resend again.

This piece first appeared in Queen’s Quarterly 119/1 (Spring 2012).


Paul Vermeersch is a poet, multimedia artist, creative writing professor, and literary editor. He teaches at Sheridan College and is the senior editor of Wolsak & Wynn Publishing. His next book, Shared Universe: New and Selected Poems 1995–2020, will be published this fall.