My spine is broken.
My ribs are splayed open like wings.
A long poem at the fringes of the Canadian tradition, EX MACHINA is a latticework of poetic and philosophical statements concerning the symbiosis of humans, books, and machines — entwined in a choose-your-own-adventure-style format.
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A series of three intertwining sequences, the reader is encouraged to move back and forth from statement to statement. The reader thus becomes a larval sta1ge in the poem’s development, forging connections between its disparate parts during the course of this mental processing, as the text evolves over multiple readings.
“[Ball is] one of our most exciting young poets.” — Robert Kroetsch
“Ex Machina is not only a celebration of broken hyperlinks and 404 error messages but also a fascinating exploration of the multisequential and nonlinear process of textual production. Ball demonstrates how intertwined textuality is with our lives even when it reads as nonsense or manifests as an asignifying rupture, a corruption of meaning … this is how poetry might look like if (or perhaps, when) written and read by a distributed subjectivity.” —Theodoros Chiotis
“With each page, the text becomes a labyrinth in which the reader’s breadcrumbs are devoured by mice as fast as they can be placed. Ex Machina is a predator … [it] articulates the nature of the parasitic relationship between book, text and reader. While Phyllis Webb famously stated ‘[t]he proper response to a poem is another poem,' Ball makes the generative quality that Webb desired fraught with the sinister overtones of mutation” — derek beaulieu