Fast Poem 39: No Profanity

If you would like me

to forgo profanity

reject your sleazy,

find some decency

and do not do

the things you do

that compel me to say

F you.

Nothing Thinking

Fasting. Drinking too much coffee. Noise – low roar shoulder to shoulder with soft music. I search imagination for interesting words to type. Nothing. I search intuition for a novel idea. Nothing.

More coffee. More edge. More searching for poetry, for phrases but no more thought than before emerges.

Seems to be the way these days; small effort, less thought.

Metaphor Breakdown (#edcmooc)

This is an essay for E-Learning and Digital Cultures (#edcmooc), a mooc offered by coursea.org. It loosely follows an initial essay written by my alter ego. The content seems inappropriate for the photograph blog, so the follow-on is here. The essay bungles together some thoughts evoked by source materials addressing technical determinism and whether digital culture is utopian or dystopian.

In Cryptonomicon, Neal Stephenson dumps Randy Waterhouse, a protocol level Internet technologist, into a cocktail party populated by business professionals and academics. Waterhouse struggles to listen without commenting while non-technical pundits discuss the Information Superhighway. Watching and reading the resources for E-Learning and Digital Cultures felt close to the scene Stephenson created: Intelligent people creating a metaphor representing something outside their knowledge then forming social-economic theories based on the vehicle rather than the tenor.

In fiction and life, metaphor appears to bring the Internet within reach by suggesting boundaries separating the Internet thing from other things. The isolation feels convenient but fails under close examination. By setting imaginary boundaries where none exist, metaphor fails. It becomes useless at best, misguiding at worst. Other popular metaphors for the Internet, like Digital Cultures suffer the same flaw.

The Internet resists the thingness of popular metaphors the way landmass resists the thingness defined by political maps. Maps outline countries with crisp, clear boundaries but the boundaries represent transient, artificial elements not found on the landmass. In a similar way, Internet theories based on metaphors address imagined attributes existing only in metaphor.

Analogies and metaphors used by those who understand to explain to those who do not understand often contribute to understanding. Analogies and metaphors created by those who do not understand because they do not understand often mislead and establish barriers to understanding. Popular metaphors of the Internet, including digtital culture feel like the second case. To provide a snarky analogy, theories addressing the utopian/dystopian paths of digital cultures resemble theories of love-making used by celibate disciples of the notion that sex has no biological or social purpose except breeding. The discussions feel meaningless, slightly entertaining but leading to conclusions unrelated to the topic and forcing people, like Randy Waterhouse, to bite their tongues or face conflicts with the emotionally involved.

Fast Poem 36: A Fetish of Troll

Just because I like you

does not mean

I like the opinions you spout.

That I like

what you say to me

does not guarantee I like you

anymore than being me guarantees

I like me.

And always,

please,

keep in mind,

that just because I

consider you full of it,

a crazy, crackpot,

conspiracy theory, laughable misfit

missing every point

in every pointless way,

does not mean I do not like you;

that I would not jump at the chance

to buy you a beer

or share the darkness

of damp exotic nights with you.

Think on and imagine,

whoever you are

cool anonymous fiend.

Blow my mind

sky high.

Parody me to smile.

Satire me to giggle,

and at the end

of adolescent diatribes

let us,

you and I,

at least try

a slice of like.

A New Look

I have a new look here, total redesign that should work with mobile – phones and pads.

The new design is a work in progress but mostly done for now. Time to start posting again.

 

Chrome

On Blow

Students[1] and student’s authority figure discuss Kerouac’s “Essentials of Spontaneous Prose” – wonder, they do, what does the man mean writing blow for writing, outblown in writing, blow deep to write – ? – consider, they do, jazzman breathes into mouthpiece blow means breath maybe what is breath to writing to spontaneous writing what -?- Dunno – change subject. Wait. Before we leave the subject, what does this mean? Mean? It means you can’t do it wrong.

Blow boys and girls is more than breath but breath yes but more.

Blow is where breath meets soul, afterhours backroom chit chat yakkity yak – walking talking personal history, progressions, secrets, deep, fatal honesty – blow life, blow death, blow the next score – blow the state of things – home state, on the road state, my state, your state, state of the union, state of affairs – blow yer trysts, yer breaks, yer fixes. Unthought calculation, gyrating, vagabond path tuning head to tail – syncopation spilling, rhythm chilling, harmonic thrilling – blow breath mind blow Soul – intentional, exploratory – blow man blow progressive gaps, high register changes – blow vibrating particulate air into Copenhagenian waves pulsing past predictable Zeitgeistian horizons wetting sands of cosmological surf bum shores – not so far from here to there to not be heard but far enough to baffle swingspectation, dancespectation – Blow Intellectual toe tap, head nod – sound wise exorcism expelling The Blues – amaranthine ancient InsectInvisible infernal imps wall siting, crevice creeping, chronic, ubiquitous, lingering approximately beyond peripheral vision, perpetually waiting to twist hands just wrong, sour songs, turn words mind-inverse making a mess of everything – for a breathless while. Blow blows mind, fingers, lips – ears – syncopation – pitch – pace – alliteration. Blow meets soul afterhours backroom.

Per Jack spontaneous prose harmonizes with Blow. Poet’s blow. Writer’s blow. Ain’t easy Blow – she said it means you cannot do it wrong – flinched but deep down knowing her blowing not wrong resembles right. Can’t blow wrong boys and girls but it’s hard to blow write. Spontaneous blows from center out or down or away – rapid association, not random, unrelated, lacking syntax – out and back. Resolution in association – head, theme, home, start and go, go out, phrase tied to phrase tied to phrase streaming, steaming, hypertext screaming, allusion, allegory, alliteration, assonance, audilic metaphor, magicimagae metaphor, conceited step-sister metaphor speed yap out and away Further – round third and take a taxi home, collect mail – feed cats – then out once more into the twisting cosmos – webweaving Theseusian threads, gossamer rainbows, one pixel pixies dancing relations – every man and woman is a star – Repeat. Spontaneous, honest blow -Intellect meet Soul: they dance – embrace – get naked in the coat room – not wrong but never right except feels write – not wrong works – not works wrong – mutual orgasm alone – with keyboard.

Blow deep below the superficial small talk everyday hypocrisy. Blow deep beneath illusion, delusion – socially programmed games – IMeMy games. Blow deep – shadow place. Honesty chair-tied, half-naked beneath naked bulb – honestly patient hostage – Self-deception and Reptile Mind watch from safe behind one-way mirrors. Blow there corners blue shadow edges. Blow deep beneath Mind’s I. Blow yer Blues ingenuous – synthesize the bastards lying to you, you yourself lying to you undim calignosic secrets all your relations relating it all back again – theme – center – unchill inquiet audience/reader – tension of too far wandering troubling subconscious desire: release. Stray deep Blow deep – undadarandom, unonger mane, walkabout unlost resolving to tonic, harmonic of tonic, prismatic bending of tonic, gin and tonic. Martini?

Breath and Soul melded, named blow – Thesuessian all-color thread draped star strung man to woman to woman to man to infinite connections there is no difference. Buddha in Dog. Dog in Buddha. Dharma Bums acme bent octave escalation – plummet possible but you cannot fall off a mountain. Bring it back – bring it home – center, a center, some center, any center before the 32nd bar.


  1. This is another set of notes made in response to the ModPo class at coursea.org.  ↩

Fast Poem 35: It Doesn’t Make Sense

“It just doesn’t make sense!”

Ah, but it does make sense.

It always makes sense.

It makes more sense than one.

We may not have access to the sense it makes.

We may refuse verity of the sense it makes.

We may sense the sense it makes

but choose

no pursuit 

of the sense we sense,

embracing for the moment no sense 

which, makes no sense

when later we sense

we need to squeeze out some sense                      

to sense some peace of mind,

to get some sense of closure,

to move on.

Sometimes lack of data makes impossible making sense.

Sometimes we lack capacity 

to ingest and condense complexity,

to sculpt cosmic chaos into information

etched with sense of sense.

Sometimes sense fills us: hate,

anger,

tragedy,

threat,

mortality,

letting no excess length width or depth to fit sense.

Sometimes sanity requires denying sense;

“It does not make sense.”

“God works in mysterious ways.”

“It is Satan’s work.”

so we can breath again.

There is no difference between denys

except in words.

Each finite,

valid until

sense illuminates the manuscript

or The End unmatters the matter.

Before,

after, 

neither trigger-event nor sense of event dissipates, bends, or mutates.

Beneath it all it makes the sense it makes.

It always makes sense.

It makes more sense than one,

but sometimes it feels better to cry,

to just to cry,

and that’s okay.

It makes sense

sometimes to cry 

just cry.

It makes sense.

It makes more sense than one.


Via an alter-ego I participate in online course offered by Coursea.org. The course, ModPo (Modern Poetry) is taught/led/guided/coached/illuminated by Al Filreis, Kelly Professor of English, University of Pennsylvania. This was my first encounter with his work. 

I experienced a spiritual weirdness watching the video introducing the course. Ten seconds in I felt that if I should see Al Filreis on the street I would approach, thank him, grab him by the shoulders and rub my beard against his beard, give him a high-five, thank him again, grab his hands and force him to dance an ad-hoc polka and finally grab his right-hand with both of mine and shake his arm off. His enthusiasm for poetry made me feel like I’d found my way home after years of wandering the wilderness, keeping the sun always at my back.

Yet, I disagree with at least 1/2 of what is said and taught in the class – disagree is probably too strong a word – let me say I have ideas below, beyond, sideways, or even above what is said and taught in the class – a condition I find inspiring, illuminating and wonderful.

The poem “It Doesn’t Make Sense” was written in response to a ModPo forum thread. During discussion of Gertrude Stein’s Let Us Describe someone said “Sometimes things don’t make sense.” This led to a quick discussion of “Life not always making sense.” linked to the language experiments of Stein and other Modernist poets. On the forums, for better or worse, my alter ego questioned what sense life does not make. In response, another ModPo participant offered a link to Joan Didion’s essay “White Album.” , generously suggesting it might help my alter-ego grok how life sometimes does not make sense. Several pages of the essay can be read here. I think pages 11 to 14 are those intended. To me, the essay validated the question “What sense does life not make?”, which means my alter-ego did a crappy job explaining himself. I wrote the poem so he maybe, might, sorta find a way to better articulate his resistance to the idea that life sometimes does not make sense.

Fast Poem 34: On Interpretation

What criteria do you use to determine right interpretation from wrong?

Who wrote the criteria down. Did they contemplate for long

before reaching consensus? Do they intend one day to tell us; 

down here in the trenches, we the lowly masses, 

how to think so that we comply? 

What rules we must apply

to determine should we deny 

or accept an interpretation 

as worthy of consideration –

wrong or right,

day or night,

black or white?

And if we find between lines a song

unwritten laws deem can not belong

do we bag and set it curbside

or self-thinking decide

which voice stands out –

the wrong, embryonic shout

or the mature murmur of right

safe but rutstuck tight.

-Note on the Poem-

An alter-ego is taking a class at coursea.org named Fantasy and Science Fiction: Our Modern World, The Human Mind. The professor delivered a video lecture proffering interpretations can be wrong. On a discussion forum, my alter-ego disagreed with the professor’s position. Another student disagreed with him and sided with the professor. The dialogue progressed a step or two before my alter-ego, better late than never, asked me for input. I offered this.

Pornography Again (I am so sorry)

I thought I was done with this drivel but voices inside my head said “No way little buckeroo!” So back to pornography, a subject I begin to find tres boring. The voices leave me no choice. Think of them as Demons who kidnapped my Muse and threaten to sell her to Arthur Fuddssen if I do not meet their demands.

Pornography and Society

Some People do not approve of pornography. Shocking but true. Ironically, the people responsible for pornography are the very people who do not approve of pornography.

Dig.

Pornography, by definition, refers to media found obscene or otherwise offensive to the senses. Look it up. People who do not approve of pornography do not approve of pornography because they find pornography obscene and offensive. Okay, taking some poetic license here. Eliminate the people who do not approve of pornography because they find pornography immorally obscene and pornography disappears. At least that’s my theory.

The media of pornography, erotic art, does not disappear, only the label, pornography. Erotic art thrived before Victorians decided factory workers would produce more if they spent less time thinking about sex. Erotic art will thrive after our current age of neurotic, sexual suppression.The misguided label for popular erotic art, especially erotic art embraced not for form and substance but for genital arousal: pornography will disappear. This does not mean exhibitionists and voyeurs will discontinue their eternal symbiotic relationships.

Dig friends.

Though unprovable, historical evidence suggests human nature would not seek out mediocre erotic art except for the sexual suppression and resulting social neurosis of our intentionally unnatural society. Eliminate the suppression and the all-too-human attraction to taboo disappears. Without the attraction of taboo, erotic art must provide value beyond something naughty. Taboo, as much as any other factor, provides an audience for bad erotic art.

Arguments Against Pornography

People who do not approve of pornography attempt to find practical, in contrast to moral, arguments against pornography. For example:

  • Pornography tears at the fabric of society
  • The pornography industry exploits workers, especially women
  • Pornography corrupts youth

The voices interject. Not enough to compose one, longish, globose, reeking pile of linguistic dung introducing and addressing the above, unsubstantiated arguments. They insist I scrape together a series addressing each of the above Arguments Against Pornography. To retrieve Muse and return to poetry I shall, over the next three or seven days, do as they demand – deliver three to the point albeit lackluster posts. I recognize additional arguments against pornography are made by opponents of pornography but the voices demand but the three listed here. Enuf for me.

The Incremental Hierarchy of Pornography

Having determined neither court nor dictionary provide clear definitions of pornography, I took the task to hand.

“What if,” I asked my humble self, “we change our position from made for to consumed for?”

Rather than define pornography as media created to evoke sexual response, invert the beast and consider pornography as media consumed to mentally pet the pubis?

Make the consumer responsible for defining what is and what is not pornography.

Make the consumer responsible, now there’s a thought.

If we consider all media capable of turning someone on qualifies as pornography, all media becomes pornography because, let’s face it kids, everything turns on someone. So now we know what is and what is not pornography. Everything is pornography and nothing is not. 

For the sake of compartmentalizing and finding a place to take a stand, I offer further divisions within the whole:  An Incremental Hierarchy of Pornography, grading the intensity of presentation from soup to nuts. So to speak.


The Incremental Hierarchy of Pornography.

We begin where consumers who cannot admit to libido go for groinal thawing. To provide context, consider this layer soft, soft, soft, soft soft-porn or S4 soft-porn. S4 covers same general ground as G-ratings in theaters and on TV. People do not restrain children from S4 soft-porn because to do so would admit to goings-on in the nether regions adults refuse to acknowledge. Most people would deny the pornographic effect of S4, but in doing so they lie to themselves and the rest of us.

S4 covers several acres of dirt. The I-Feel-Nothing crowd secretly squirm at the sight of beach volleyball and skin tight, strategically padded American football uniforms. Some sports offer more flights of pornographic fancy than others. How else can we explain the disproportionate Winter Olympic coverage dedicated to skating performances? And, of course, for those who like athletes in non-sport settings, let us not forget the ballet.

Advertisers saturate society with S4, using our reptilian response to sell us stuff we neither need nor really want.

S4 is the stuff of prime-time broadcast TV. Characters enjoy explicit sex lives, wake as lovers, but in a pattern that baffles, climb from between the sheets wearing clothes.

S4 pops up everywhere; advertising, news shows and the cubicle next door offer a quick fix.

In S4, the act is implied only. Or in the case of the cubicle, imagined only.

With S4 we lay a foundation for all that follows. Good because I already weary of writing this. On to incremental land. Each tier adds but a little. We are almost finished.

After S4 we have, you guessed it, S3. S3 roughly relates to PG-13 ratings. 

PG-13 deserves a bit of notice. Here we have a category of sexuality that should bore adults who have been there, done that. It is a category defined for and of most interest to hormone charged, masturbation obsessed adolescents. So good of us to let them know where to find it.

S3 adds nudity, sort of. Sort of because S3 limits nudity. S3 exposes skin but from the “Waist up only buster.”, and no female frontals. Breasts make an appearance, but arc from rib-cage to before the enhancement of aureole begins. Actresses move with adhesive skill, perpetually maintaing a barrier of linens, clothing and props between camera and flesh of intensified chroma. In S3, breasts have only beginnings, no ends.

S3 depicts the act but only under cover, cover usually in the form of sheet or counterpane.

In the pale between S3 and S2 lives a sub sub-genre of butt-no-nipple media. Obvious when encountered but to what purpose I fail to grok. Call it S2.5.

S2, roughly R-rated uncovers the nipple. That’s it. An entire category for thimbles of flesh displaying higher density of pigment. Woo hoo hey.

S2 depicts the act under cover, like S3, but with a bit less cover.

S1, or X-rated, exposes consumers to full frontal females and occasional penises. Not much more. S4 through S2 pretty much cover everything else.

S1 depicts the act but from a distance, partially covered or selectively off-camera.

Finally we arrive at soft-porn proper, a version of hard-core, XXX that avoids penetration and close ups of genitalia. Soft-porn is a rare beast found only on hotel movie channels. Soft-porn includes full-body, sexual activity with all traces of penetration removed in post-production.

Soft-porn depicts the act in naked  hilarity.

And then we have XXX. I assume most people refer to XXX when they use the label pornography. XXX shows everything soft-porn depicts plus explicit penetration at varied apertures and genitalia closeups.

Voi la, the Incremental Hierarchy of Pornography. Perhaps you may find it utile as you decide at what tiers you allow yourself to engage excitable media; to determine what tier marks the border which you refuse to cross.

The hierarchy does not, as the aficionado knows, cover all aspects of media consumed to stir linga and yoni. Sub-genres travel at the speed of thought to the far reaches of human imagination, going, indeed, where no man or woman have gone before. Most people remain unaware to what horizons this expanding universe reaches, and they should, in my humble opinion, be thankful to remain unaware. Without diving into the deep waters of the off-color pool, I give you three absurd, meretricious and imprudent words (so perhaps you may avoid them): Brazilian Fart Porn. It’s out there. It’s real. Someone, somewhere knows why. And it’s just the tip of the iceberg.

© 2008-2012 Chromia Poetics