Transitions: Audi, Somerville, Myles, and Technology

On December 22nd, 2015 / By

Transitions: Audi, Somerville, Myles, and Technology

Transitions: Audi, Somerville, Myles, and Technology

During the summer of 2013, I spent a few months “between places.” Luckily for me, I have a friend who, at the time, lived in Somerville, MA. Whether out of kindness or pity, she let me stay at her place for a couple weeks.

I recall very little about those weeks, but a few things still stand out. First, I vividly remember reading and falling in love with Eileen Myles’ books Snowflake / different streets (Wave Books, 2012). Since Myles was born in Boston and spent time in Somerville, randomly picking up the books and reading them while in the city seemed fortuitous. These two collections, which Wave Books compiled into a single tête-bêche artifact, are a tour-de-force of contemporary, poetic minimalism. For example, here is a small excerpt from the poem “Transitions,” which opens the book Snowflake:

In my car
so long ago
I loved someone
who read me a poem
on the phone
about the car
of the day

you mean the
one I’m driving

and the fact that
she left it
on the phone
and that was new

Time frames collapse within these stanzas, so it’s difficult to parse out definitively what nouns or actions occurred “so long ago” and which ones are “new” (i.e. in the present). Was the poem recorded and sent on a smartphone, or was the speaker listening on a telephone in another location to the lover recite the poem? Likewise, is the “car / of the day” contemporaneous with the speaker’s present or past or both? The progression of words over line breaks, convoluted syntax, and absent punctuation don’t offer readers precise answers; but the poem’s ambiguous, temporal relationships are the very aspect of the poem that I find most appealing. What is clear, though, is that technology moves through time, constantly transitioning and leaving old forms and mediums to the past and, thus, memory. Anyway, I highly recommend reading Snowflake / different streets (and all of Myles’ work, for that matter).

The other memory I retain from my time in Somerville was the dearth of parking. I mean, there was, like, no parking whatsoever. In fact, I have several hundred dollars in parking fines–which I’m pretty sure have now been sent to creditors–to prove that this statement is not an exaggeration. I’m seriously confused about where residents of Somerville actually put their vehicles when they’re not driving them.

What does any of this have to do with luxury cars, you may ask? Well, Audi recently created a hype video that addresses their vision for tomorrow’s “car / of the day,” which should help to drastically reduce the traffic problems that Somerville currently experiences. As you will discover in the video below, studies conducted by researchers claim that 30% of congestion during Somerville’s rush hour directly relates to drivers looking for available parking spaces (although, I would argue, given my anecdotal evidence, that this already lofty figure seems rather low). In order to alleviate these problems, Audi engineers and designers are using Somerville as a testing ground for new technological “Transitions”: self-parking cars, automated garages, and fully-integrated traffic monitoring systems.

43% of Somerville’s population is between the ages of 18 and 34? Boston and its surrounding neighborhoods are the second fastest growing city in the country? The current infrastructure and vehicles are not equipped to handle these conditions? Well, if that’s the case, Somerville is primed for both self-parking cars and more Eileen Myles poems.

For more information on the new technological advances that Audi has (and will) integrate into their vehicles, stop by Prestige Imports, which is located at 9201 West Colfax Avenue. You can also schedule an appointment with someone in our Sales Department by calling (833) 825-5423. Also, click-through to Wave Books’ website to find more poem books by Myles and other wonderful, contemporary poets.

Image by Vladislav Bezrukov, courtesy of Creative Commons.

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