This poetic narrative examines the contradictory desires for transparency and opacity in human relationships. Each of its four parts examines different aspects of this idea with its own distinctive interfaces, all smoothly implemented using the canvas tag in HTML 5. The sections of the poem look at the inside of a computer, the speaker’s wife’s body, the language of relationships and knowing one another, and the opacity of a shower door. In each of them we are led to reflect on what lies beneath the surface of something or someone and whether having that knowledge leads to a more understanding or a better relationship. The final part leads us to think about how opacity, a little mystery even, is good for marriage, and enhances desire.
This elegantly understated work of generative poetry takes the words in a phrase and substitutes its nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs with synonyms from an online dictionary. Its stylish interface blends the worlds of paper and digital media: a messy ink blot serves as background for white words, Internet icons, and switches that control the display of the text. The simplicity of the interactivity is inviting: readers can simply click on words to have them replaced, click on the refresh icon to change all the words, explore sets of sentences or adages, and write their own— which can have the most impact because the writer is invested in what they write, and can see it transformed away from their intended message.