Like Magic

by Freeman Ng

"Did you tell
the computer to do that?"
We follow
the blip richocheting
about the screen.

I want to say,
"Behind the ball
is no human juggler
who comprehends its path, sees
in the mind the unbroken
line it travels, feels
the weight and soft
elasticity of rubber.

: velocity, x-y
coordinates, pseudo-
random number generator,
conditionals that step
control exactly
where it needs to be
for every combination
of parameters: the magician's

hand, flipping
a playing card out of
and into existence: no flash,
no sudden intuition, merely
a series of practiced moves
that get the job done."

	the magician raps
	his knuckles against, feels
	and hears the wholeness of
	the curtained box, wonders
	at his knowledge of the subtleties
	that are the walls, that make
	the solid wood magic

	but here is only
	silicon, as unaware
	in this machine as when
	it wound (organic
	in yielding undulation,
	yet always cold and hard
	or hot and hard to soles or back)
	along some coast, between
	the rocks and the water

I say, "It
was nothing."

Copyright © 1994 Freeman Ng
Enterzone Copyright © 1995
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