Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Doppelgangers

Dale pointed the way to Kathleen, and this.

Kathleen writes, poetry and other things, on her blog to a very high level, very often, and seems to do a lot more besides.  Something I like is that she, like many, picks up Rilke's exhortation :You must change your life, and adds to it 'so that's what I keep doing', which is salutary.  Epiphanies, enlightenments, revelations, lights on the road to Damascus, we can be in danger of hoping they'll happen and that'll be that, we'll be changed and fixed for good and all and never have to do it again.  Which can lead to disappointment, not least when no archaic torsos of Apollo seem to speak quite like that to you.  But changing is becoming, and you have to keep doing it.

Also on her blog was this. We all Google ourselves, now don't we? ( Or rather we Google our names, there is an ontological difference, I guess) But Kathleen's I Googled Myself prompted me to steal her idea and go into it a little further.  As she found, it's ends up being quite a memento mori exercise.  I heard somewhere that the dead no longer outnumber the living on the earth (which is fairly mind-boggling if true), but they still seem to on the internet, with the plethora of genealogy and related sites.

It's kind of variation on found poetry, I suppose.  I like found poetry; it has something of the same appeal as land art and theatre of objects, of using what's there already and just arranging and presenting it in a new and interesting way, or decontextualising things so that they surprise us afresh.  Perhaps it's in a spirit of reuse and recycle, a sense that already we have so much, too much, we don't need to clutter up the world making new things, but just play and make with what we have already, then let it wash away with the tide.  Only of course that's what  we do with language anyway.

It could become a meme, but nobody does memes these days, which  I can't say I'm all that sorry about. I'm not sure I've got the blogging motivation for them any more, and they were sometimes a bit of a drag, and it always irked me a little that meme was a misnomer in the context, as well as being a concept of dubious scientific validity in the first place, from which the originator has, I gather, somewhat distanced himself.  Furthermore I was never quite sure how to say the word.  Mind you,being tagged in memes (which I did to others plenty of times) wasn't as irritating as those little awards you were supposed to cluttter up your sidebar with and pass on ...

I am turning into a grumpy old blogger.  Here's my version of I Googled Myself.

~~~

I am not a school librarian in Illinois
(though if I were, I'd have been proud, to win that prize
for the medieval narrative project...)
I am not 93 years old and living in New Mexico.
I am not 20 years old in Arizona either,
nor am I really called Lucille,
though sometimes people heareabouts assume I am.
I don't live anywhere near Beverly Hills, and anyway
it isn't Compton with a C but Kempton with a K.

I am not and never was nor do I want to be
on Facebook, thank you.

The one in Cornwall is about my age
and lived with one man then two women,
(according to the electoral roll)
I wonder what's the story there,
and if the mining and construction company
in Brisbane, who employs the other as PA,
and also as the TMS controller (whatever that may be...)
has any links with Moly mines?

(The librarian, it seems, has not yet tweeted...)

I was not born in 1829,
I did not have a son on Christmas Day in 1830
who died, in infancy, on date unknown.

Mylife is happy to assist you on the quest...

(The libriaran does not do well in students' ratings, sad to say
but then only ten out of nearly two thousand kids turned up to vote,
and they were probably the ones she kicked out of the library for some good reason.
I wouldn't pay much heed to that if I were you, librarian!
Which, of course, I'm not...)

I am not a restaurant with a saucy name, at a race track in South Africa,
I am not a race track anywhere, in fact, although I sometimes say 'as in'
to help with spelling on the phone (this only works in English...)

I am not a member of Find a Grave but still I got distracted
browsing the yearly necrologies and posthumous reunions, 
and strolling through the online cemetery.

I did not die in 1866.
I did not die in 1910,
I did not die in Wellington, New Zealand in 1931
beloved wife to Walter...

Find everything you need to know...
... if you have any information please e-mail...
... 13 birth records...
... join for just $12.95...
... 1 marriage  record...
... has not joined any groups...
... 14 divorce records...
... full names, including maiden...
... 5 death records....
... wagon wheels carry me home.

Nearly a million and a half results, in point one seven of a second.

Everything you need to know...

(...Not gone from memory not gone from love but gone
to the heavenly home above...)

Everything you need to know
everything you need
everything ...

~~~

 (Moly mines is a company in Australia.  Somehow or other people searching for it sometime fetch up on my Out with Mol blog, along with some who are looking for Malaysia On-line...) 

9 comments:

Zhoen said...

Well done. I've come across some similar, although my original last name is so rare, and my current one relatively common, I mostly just fish up links with the wrong name.

HLiza said...

Oh that's a fun poem you did..your names sound famous in the cyberworld it seems..I haven't googled mine yet..I did once or twice just to find out if people can find the real me but I didn't look up the 'other' me..maybe I'll do that! But I doubt I will come up with some nice words you arranged here in your poem!

Kathleen said...

This is so much fun, Lucy! (And I am so honored to have helped inspire it!) I first heard about Googling oneself a few years back from one of my college students, who had Googled herself ("You did what?" I asked) and, as she was an art student, had used Google Images to do so, and then she did a painting based on that, called, of course, I Googled Myself. I bought it from her at the student art show!! Round-headed colorful androgynous creatures...and so was she, having shaved her head that year...and soon after that she had a round baby in her belly. Oh, my, what a set of memories you've set off in me!

the polish chick said...

well, what with my polish first name and the unusual polish last name (but with the male ending to make my north american legal existence simpler (in poland men's and women's last names have different endings, much like french adjectives, to differentiate between the masculine and the feminine, just so you know)) i didn't find much excitement, except for the fact that i am a financial supporter for the best radio on the planet (www.ckua.com), have a google profile and am a member of my mindnumbingly dull professional organisation, which brings me to the whole process of changing your life, something i have failed to do in the last 16 years, what with being too busy moving every 2 years and not having the faintest clue as to what i wanted to change my life into.

oh, by the way, do i win an award for the longest sentence of the day?

Barrett Bonden said...

Hey wait for me. A beautiful idea but I've got to go out and buy a cordless phone that has a number-blocking feature. What, you may ask, is my problem? Alas I cannot elaborate. But I will elaborate on this. Later.

Barrett Bonden said...

I have bought my cordless phone with number-barring (and caller ID) and am free at last both to breathe easier and to examine your post. Doing the latter has reminded me of a definition from Johnson's dictionary and creates an opportunity for me to use a favourite abbreviation, viz: (though I'd prefer to write it in full because of the euphony.)

Network: Any thing reticulated or decussated, at equal distances, with interstices between the intersections. (leading to "Reticulated: Made of network; formed with interstitial vacuities.")

I feel justified in dragging this in because it describes exactly what you are doing: creating an image of yourself through the integration of interstitial vacuities. Or, to put it more demotically, arriving at an entity by tying together a lot of holes. Holes in this case being the things you are not. Enough holes and you are defined by what's left in the universe. This isn't working out as wittily as I had hoped and so I'll pass on by handing out the following compliment: you would never be confused with an interstitial vacuity.

I never saw you as a Lucille which is far too frightfully. Lucifer, on the other hand, sounds more likely. The name fits what I know of you until I actually say it aloud: then it lumbers, the two syllables attracting equal stress and thus coming apart through the deadening force of my regional accent. I have daringly shortened it to Luce in various comments and this retains the necessary quicksilver.

Kempton is beyond me. As I mentioned it is the surname of my chiropodist who is a great conversationalist but shares little else with you. TMS could be time-and-motion-study but you are better off not knowing that. As an industrial practice it is hopelessly passé.

zephyr said...

Googling my given, earthly name yields only boring results. And i'm dismayed at these results, which i will share over in the garden rather than fill up your comment box....in the next hour or so...after the very threatening thunder storm passes (i confess i always disconnect during these electrical storms)

marly youmans said...

While I liked yours and liked Kathleen's, I do not find that I am much else but myself when I google myself.

If I take off the quotes that demand both names together, I immediately fall in with people who cannot spell "Bob Marley."

Sheila said...

Alas, my name when googled brings up only references to the real me, as far as I can tell. Well, some sites have the wrong work address, so in a way I guess that's not the real me, but it was not too long ago.

I never dreamed in the pre-Internet world that marrying the person I did would make me so conspicuous. It's a little bit unsettling at times.

Enjoyed your poem!