Individual Work
The Stalking Tongue

Jayne’s poetic works collectively share a similar theme of feeling lost or alone in the world. One example is called “Postcards from the Edge” where the text speaks of random strangers in a daze-like state walking along a street. In addition, the characters in this piece are shown to be somewhat brain-fried where they do not engage their mind to its full capacity but instead her characters behave in a trans-like state with one character, “2” simply reading a wall each day. The characters provide a mirror to reflect how modern society is beginning to become lost or crowded in by ever-growing digital societies. The listener is able to distinguish the zombie-like state that the characters are in and acknowledge that technology causes almost a trance against the human mind, yet most of society continues to ignore these issues. This piece “Postcards from the Edge” specifically acts as a mirror to society and raises the question how problematic will technology, sexuality and alienation that in today’s world often all go in hand together, become? The poem states the lines, “Save the planet, save the homeless, save the koalas, save the trees, feed the starving, we are the world. Save the dolphins, save the whales, save the oceans, protect the children. Save him, save her, save me.” This line suggests that the world is in a state of pain and suffering but the solutions are quite possible. This poem actively demonstrates how humans cause destruction and ultimately humans are the ones responsible and capable of resolving the issues existing on earth. The text points the finger of blame back at society’s individual’s who recognize the world needs a savior but each choose not to be that hero. In addition to her audio poems the site page provides a collection of written poems as well, a few being written by Keaton herself. Jayne collected these poems and the viewer is able to draw similarities between the poems she added to the list in addition to her audio poems. The repeating and reoccurring themes of alienation, technology and sexuality can be found in the written poems provided as well. For instance, a parallel message is conveyed in the written poem “We are the people with sad eyes, at the edge of the road”(Taufiq Ismail, the republic is ours) which centers on the same theme of recognizing the issues humans cause that harm earth and humanity have simple solutions but humans choose to ignore it. This is found in the lines, “There is always a choice. We can’t, Accept. Or fear losing, when we have already lost courage. And wisdom and security. We are no longer in control. Of anything except our struggle and own survival” this line represents how humans have lost control through their corrupt ways and ultimately know that they could fix the problems made but choose not to. The theme in all of the poems found largely is about humanity as a whole being taken over by callous things and causing harm in the meanwhile instead of simply correcting bad decisions and creating solutions.
The written poems are easily accessible as they are on the front page of the poetry site. Keaton’s audio poems were also highly easy to access as the site offered two options of download or stream the content. Although the layout is simple enough to navigate and the material easy to access, there seems to be a link broken between the site and Keaton’s audio poems. The link to the audio poems appears broken directly on the The poems can be accessed online though are much trickier to find. The Stalking Tongue was published in 1999 as a CD and as a result is difficult to find in-tact online. This is an aspect of electronic literature that is precarious as technology continues to evolve and develop which leaves the possibility for technology to advance and make previous inventions, like CD’s obsolete. In order for electronic literature to be readable it must be updated along with the newest forms of technology in order for the current technology to process it. For example, the links provided on the PoetryPoetry site certainly worked at the time they were implemented on the site. However, software updates among other technological updates ultimately make it so that the link is not compatible with current software. This is a reoccurring element of electronic literature as it must be up to date with current technology and software in order to continue to work.