2021-04-18

NaPoWriMo - 2021 - XI - An ontology of everything (excerpt)

 An ontology of everything (excerpt)


the wind; the wind in rushes; the wind in rushes
at low to moderate speed;
the wind; the wind in corn; the wind in corn in fields
where rabbits were born;
the wind in burrows; the wind in earth-dug tunnels in general;
the wind past irregular entryways, heard from within;
similar, but felt; similar, but seen (c.f. leaves; litter);
the wind; the wind when breezy;
the breeze in willow trees; willow trees in spring;
willow trees in autumn;
the breeze across water; the breeze through trees
onto the water; ditto but in reverse;
places beside water; docks, boathouses and jetties;
the wind on water when it is more than a breeze;
the wind making ripples on water;
large bodies of fresh water,
where the wind leaves a long still wavy stripe 
along the whole length;
similar at sunset; similar under moonlight;
or when any sort of light source aligns with the stripe;
subset of this when alone; when in a crowd;
with one person; 
with a particular person; 
with you.





2021-04-17

NaPoWriMo - 2021 - X - Dierdre Frank, writing as Bernard Mane...

Dierdre Frank, writing as Bernard Mane

reviewed by

Edmund Drake, writing as Elizabeth Loften



A book-like book of wordy lines I read
it on the train in Leicester signalling
my great cerebral worthiness to all
newspaper readers in my view.  I will review
this for the TLS because I know
it's a pseudonym of the Prof who supervised
my Ph.D. and he will broadly blow
his gasket the moment that he reads
the words I'll write.
I have already listed certain phrases
not damning in themselves but from which
certain words -- "commonplace", "quotidian" -- will jam
right in his unswallowable craw, or more like
caltrops beneath his -- there's another
"pedestrian"...

...but really this is wasted effort here
spending my time to damn a new-wrought book
which before I pick it up already spends
longer on

"About the typeface"

than on
the author's
bio. 





2021-04-16

NoPoWriMo - 2021 - IX - Reasons not to kill everything...

Reasons not to kill everything...



There have been mass extinctions before. They're not even that rare: moments in the fossil record where everything disappears, one Friday afternoon, and mostly never comes back. And yet here we are. Living. So life may not be that easy to kill. It may not even lie within our power, not a thing we can actually do: to crash the world so hard not even bacteria in the bedrock survive. Which is not to say we can't lose everything we care about: elephants and parrots and squid; not to say it cannot only be in one billion years, when the bedrock bacteria finally invent palaeontology, that they look at our particular stratum and say "Bloody hell! That was a harsh one..."

NaPoWriMo - 2021 - VIII - Girl with degenerate matter earring

Girl with degenerate matter earring



She doesn't sleep with anyone these days
sleeping is for the baseline flock.
She doesn't sleep, she rocks
every second the universe sends,

always a quorum of self-engines humming.
You don't know what business you might miss
if you take your cool eye off the ball, off the cityscape,
the world...  that's what she tells herself;

but really it's women whose muscled backs cantilever
into sportswear, older men with that curve of jaw
-- so many possibilities -- extreme augments
with branch-law manipulator arms,
fingers fading into fractal haze,

whom she knows have ways
of caressing you at the molecular level.
She hates the idea she might miss someone,
some unique experience of modern love.
And here's today's brand new obsession:

an Art Deco elf: brushed aluminium,
demigendered, ornate
in a restrained sort of way, and doesn't she want
to stroke those lapis lazuli inlays,

and stroll beside that sway that speaks
such fundamental things?  Those artfully
engineered limbs could be wrapped around
her own, plugs seeking sockets

for harder connections.  Panels flowering open...
Her earring pings servers, reads public profile info,
finds common protocols for sexing/romancing,
and, progressively advancing--in machine time--

finds overlaps
in orientations,
proclivities,
kinks, thinks...
--for half a millisecond--
negotiates a date.

***

If turns out that they're a she/they called Oona
and in the mood for a man right now.
Well no problem, the earring spins,
floats off the side--if you'd looked
you would have seen there never was a chain--

and now it emits lasers and coherent matter
streams and prints our protagonist
a new incarnation, fresh from the shelves
in her library of plans: a man

--the muscular one with six arms--
she(1) smiles to see, and he(2)
without a backward glance strolls off
to meet the woman he was made for.



2021-04-14

NaPoWriMo - 2021 - VII - The fog being what it is...

The fog being what it is...



...the bellman comes and tolls his bell.
His creaks tread up the outside stairs.
The last few drunks lurch up from chairs
and stumble off to bunks and lashings
of blustery words from bosun's lips
on ships which may not sail in the morning
the fog being what it is.

Between the chimes the sailors' feet
are fading flatly down the street
as the bellman tolls his mournful bell
but whether to summon or to dispel
some troubled spirit of mists and seas
is quite beyond my power to tell
the fog being what it is.

I too had better rise and leave.
My tiny garret coldly waits
and I have tangled threads to weave
into tattered nets by the whale-oil's flicker
which only I shall light in my window --
but first I'll walk the bellman to the dock
the fog being what it is.

We walk in silent whitewashed haze.
Familiar streets are strangely mazed
and the fog-horn shudders the vapour
wound around the cast-iron lamppost
and if neither of us tells a ghost story
it is only because we are living one
the fog being what it is.

And see we've come down to the dock.
A fresher onshore breeze here blowing
vessels that rock and creak on dark water,
the bellman turns towards his light
and I ought to turn for home, except for
my empty window where the white sheets curl
the fog being what it is.

Fog vapours and the mists compete
to drive me from the sodden town
drag me along the strip of salt-wet concrete,
bollards, mouldering rope, and ships
where a man can put his name down for the tropics
—tell the bellman he can have my nets—
the fog being what it is.



2021-04-13

NaPoWriMo - 2021 - VI - Artifice

 Artifice


"According to our view,
the creation of a genuine evolutionary artificial artist
requires the development
of an Artificial Art Critic" --

Adaptive Critics for Evolutionary Artists --
Penousal Machado, Juan Romero, María Luisa Santos,
Amílcar Cardoso, Bill Manaris


This piece is quite, quite exquisite
in its notion of being without a being
a sense of moments recorded
from a life or otherwise but recording
all the same with its implication of recorder
and medium and the conscious or unconscious
(peri-conscious, if you will) selection
from a greater whole and even the sly suggestion
of an audience, while at the same time
those elements explicitly omitted
from the framing and presentation.  Delightful
and I would certainly <%= adjective_clause(choose_recommend, "gush") %>




2021-04-12

NaPoWriMo - 2021 - V - Environmental factors

 Environmental factors


Terroir (French pronunciation: ​[tɛʁwaʁ] from terre, "land") is the set of all
environmental factors that affect a crop's epigenetic qualities, when the crop
is grown in a specific habitat. Collectively, these environmental characteristics
are said to have a character; terroir also refers to this character.
-- Wikipedia


The metal mesh waste bin on Creely Street
has overflowed, some years ago
and the spill of fast food cartons, papers, napkins,
bones, expectorated gristle, apple cores, newspapers, cigarette butts,
small plastic bags from shops around the corner,
drinks cans; weird plastic/paper coffee cups
and pointless wooden stirrers for the same
has formed a mound, here in the angle
between the bench and the 
raised
civic flower planter
of contaminated earth

--and time has gone to work:
bleached then mulched the paper down,
drifted dust and grit and tiny specks of earth
around and into all the hollow places
in the pile, deposited spores and other replicators
--bacteria, fungi, moss and lichens moving in--
to do their thing
with the fundamental building blocks of life,
until now
this morning for the first time
a shoot, a tiny leaf.








NaPoWriMo - 2021 - IV - Fifty

Fifty



Fifty shades of electric diamanté
Forty-nine velleities, in Thursday yellow cloud windowscape
Forty-eight multiples of zero, of naught, of nothing to see here, beyond the naked woman
Forty-seven scares of depleted Uranium nerve-agent contrail bliss
Forty-six postcards from Europa, come in, the methane's lovely
Forty-five unique ideas you've somehow heard before
Forty-four of this
Forty-three pages of advanced technological lifestyle enhancement
Forty-two answers, we need more answers
Forty-one disease vector asymptomatic typhoid Mary Christmas
Forty nights in the some other wilderness than this
Thirty-nine degrees of freedom
Thirty-eight degrees of Canadian bacon
Thirty-seven openly prime numbers
Thirty-six sets of thirty-six six-sided dice
Thirty-five brand new ways to stay post-apocalyptically alive
Thirty-four seconds, and counting
Thirty-three revolutions
Thirty-two nice round powers of two, for that one computer in your life
Thirty-one genders, plus or minus one
Thirty something comedy drama
Twenty-nine pots of kalamata olives, with garlic and sage
Twenty-eight years in a state of mind that's not Tibet
Twenty-seven games for one to three players
Twenty-six player pianos, fighting in a basement
Twenty-five gold rings
Twenty-four paths from your door to certain or uncertain doom
Twenty-three shades of tortured innocence
Twenty-two shades of Berger Eggshell Silk
Twenty-one resistance organisations, that don't add up to one opposing force
Twenty days of rain, low cloud obsessive
Nineteen again, if youth isn't pointless now
Eighteen and never been beaten with rubber truncheons, but there's time
Seventeen percent, of people who expressed a preference, said...
Sixteen seconds and counting
Fifteen young men playing a game with oddly shaped balls
Fourteen memories of things that never were and mother's madeleines
Thirteen crows, black cats, ladders and horseshoes
Twelve disciples, one of each and three of some
Eleven ways to be yourself, in simple lessons
Ten voices arguing on the mission control Tannoy
Nine to form a fellowship and ring round everyone they know
Eight exquisite fetishes we cannot quite admit to yet
Seven percent solution and Holmes understanding far too well, when it's
Six seconds and counting
Five for the symbols on your control interface
Four Kelvin and stable for a while
Three musketeers, all for one and one four seven point six oh nine
Two seconds and counting
One and only one and that's not you
Zero... where we've been going all along.





2021-04-11

NaPoWriMo - 2021 - III - A brief future history of dooms ironically unforetold

A brief future history of dooms ironically unforetold


"I was from my mother's womb / Untimely ripped"

-- Macduff to Macbeth,
immediately before killing him.

"I am no man!"

-- Eowin to the Witch King of Angmar,
immediately before killing him.


And this is why we have not faith
in prophesy or prophets, mystic devices,
special pools of water lost in buried caves.
We do not stare into the waves
of quantum bollocks yet-to-be.
I don't listen to you.  You should not listen to me

because it isn't that prophecy lies
although the powers know it's false it's true
and ambiguous beyond all that, no
the problem is that prophecy has to go
into the future of a whole world
and that's so unwieldy and complex

not to mention rich with things undreamed
in any philosophy you understand
or care to name but beyond all that,
I shall win this game and soon:
I am an ungendered, polymorphic, weapons delivery framework,
and this is a banana;

prepare to meet your doom!




2021-04-04

NaPoWriMo - 2021 - II - Case Studies in Elementary Time Travel

Case Studies in Elementary Time Travel



time-core initiation in 5

elapsed duration can only be subjective
Norsemen screaming down the hill
everybody you see will die or be enslaved
there is a balance point
a hundred years gone
I need
we inject a year prior to the election
and this time Kennedy wins
temporal coordinates can have no single form

time-core initiation in 4

I need to reach
everybody you saw died or was enslaved
chronology mapping underway
as you enter the interconnect you make a choice
we inject two years prior to the election
this time Nixon wins so Kennedy lives and can
Norsemen
the genes of the defeated living on
not so hypothetical when you can step out of the core

time-core initiation in 3

and see familiar faces in the street
a hundred years gone
I need to reach a point
we always set up two or more drives
towards the outcome we desire
this building where we're talking lost to fire
dug up and mapped
sometimes the feedback loop destabilises
switching: Kennedy Nixon Kennedy Nixon

time-core initiation in 2

faster than we can map
Kennedy Nixon Kennedy Nixon
a hundred years gone
yesterday
Kennedy Nixon Kennedy Nixon
I need to reach a point with
until some alter-chance explodes
Kennedy Nixon Martha Thorogood
but as one present branches into future threads

time-core initiation in 1

so just as many pasts converge on now
as has to be
if probability flow is conserved
which it is as surely as we know
lamdba(p)/t = dp/td . Rho*
I just need to reach a point with
a future again containing
I just need to reach a point with
us kissing

time-core initiated - enter



*pronunciation guide: lambda of p by t is equal to dp by dt all into rho



2021-04-02

NaPoWriMo - 2021 - I - Across the Universe

 Across the Universe



"Even light, which travels so fast that it takes most races thousands of years to realise that it travels at all, takes time to journey between the stars."  -- Douglas Adams

And you should take the time
to travel, really travel I mean
not just down the road to the chemist
but look at the light,
the light!  Tunnelling
through the black, so fast
that it has no time in which to travel
no time to experience the journey
no time at all
as it hurtles through the frozen universe
because the speed of light
which can be considered the rate of propagation of events
the rate at which the Universe Itself (tm)
carries information from place to place
the rate of recalculation
underpinning everything
but look at the light
watch it set off on a journey of a billion years
not fearing the reaper
or anything at all
light
born at the wall
at the edge of what is possible.




2021-03-05

We singing the body eclectic

Hallam has released videos for three of our songs now, so I think it is past time for me to start curating a playlist of them...







In here we already have:

Walking to Alpha Centauri - in which our hero, having given up their humanity in the cause of an epic mission, begins to doubt...

On End Times Boulevard - being a rumination on the end of the Universe and the possibility of running into an old flame there...

Soap Bubble - a poem about climate change and other economic-style bubbles we have built our fragile civilisation on...





2021-01-06

Reflections in the kitchen sink

Reflections in the kitchen sink

I fail to grip the knife
with any sort of skill
so it is left stuck out,
awkward, from the fist
of ill-assorted cutlery.
Have you ever kept shrimp?

Swiss-army invertebrates,
with a limb for every purpose --
one for sewing sails and another
that could pull used fuel rods
from a nuclear reactor.
Ready for anything

and reminiscent
of my hand with the knives
and forks projecting,
including that one
at the awkward angle.
But I twist my wrist and manage

to scrape the waste potato
from plate to bin, proving
I have a motor cortex.
Which, on a smaller scale,
is also true for shrimps
although more driven

by instinct, less by learning,
and maybe not at all by thought
of the sentient type.
They never do the washing up
and if they did, would never
think of me.