Archive for the ‘Poem’ Category

If this were a poem

If this were a poem I’d use flowery language

and allusions and symbolism

and rhythms and rhyme

and alliteration

to convey how much I hate you—

but this is not a poem.

So when I say I hate you, it is not metaphor

for my inner demons;

There is no simile, no metonymy,

no post-modern code to decode.

There is just hatred.



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Turkey trots to water
As I wait,
Jim says to me
Seven horses seem
To be on the mark.
The first horse, hate;
The second, me.
The third, a daydream
Of encroaching dark.
The fourth is late
Or cannot be;
The fifth’s abaft the beam.
The sixth: a stark
Vision of fate.
And now, with the seventh, we
Have them all, a thundering stream
From a turgid roiling sky. Hark!
The world wonders

Halsey 2.jpg

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Here’s another Oulipo poem for you.  Can you determine its unusual construction?

Come eat!

There is hay.

Net says, “red dice”;

Dude hesitate, kills mate.

He pagan, I paid.

Without sin, leer to read!

Image result for tower of babel

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Huang Gongwang: Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains (Part)

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This is a follow-up to the last post, in which I “composed” three poems in some nefarious way.

All of these poems were “written” with the help of Google Translate.  I simply took the source material in English, cut-and-pasted into Google Translate and then cycled through 3 others languages before returning to English.  The result is just the original poem in English again, but twisted linguistically.

To illustrate the process, let’s take a single sentence from Poe’s “Conqueror Worm”:

And the angels, all haggard and wan,

Uprising, unveiling, affirm

That the play is the tragedy “Man,”

Its hero the Conqueror Worm.


Let’s go to German:

Und die Engel, die alle hager und blass,

Aufstand, Enthüllung, bekräftigen

Dass das Spiel der Tragödie ist “Mensch”

Sein Held, der Eroberer Wurm.


And now to Turkish:

Ve melekler, tüm bitkin ve solgun,

Ayaklanma, meydana çıkarma, teyit

Oyun trajedi “Adam” olduğunu

Onun kahraman, Fatih Worm.

And then to Greek:

Και οι άγγελοι , όλοι εξαντληθεί και χλωμό ,

Εξέγερση , αποκαλυπτήρια , επιβεβαίωσε

Τραγωδία παιχνίδι ” Man” είναι

Ήρωά του , Πορθητή Worm.

Finally we get back to English:

And the angels, all exhausted and pale,

Uprising, unveiling confirmed

Tragedy “Man” game is

Hero, Conqueror Worm.

This particular stanza is not much worse for the wear.  The only editorial choices I made were what languages to phase into, along with a bit of cleaning-up of the punctuation.  The process is much like the “telephone game” (“Chinese whispers” in other countries) where a phrase gets distorted gradually, like a Philip Glass melody, until it no longer resembles the original in any way.

I’d be interested to see other people’s attempts at Google Translate poetry.

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A poem

What are you?

The quaternions form a strictly skew field under addition and multiplication;

Let us say the quaternions are you.

To form is to have once been;

A strictly skew field is the stuff of stars;

Addition and multiplication are the pitiless gaze of the Milky Way.

The quaternions form a strictly skew field under addition and multiplication.

Sphinx of Giza--color 600wide

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A poem.

2 aspects of a Christ.


The hand goes hand in how?  Exacto.

An eye for an E, for E, five thoughts (but only with an app-le.)

And He asks: is your life limned or dimmed?

Hand in—hand in your chits held up in a metal sandbox.

Enumerate your friends? pain? fossils? eyeteeth?

breakfast? not-in-a-drop? spankers?

cask binders? 1-benzylhydryl-4-methyl-piperazine?

Two slashes to the banishment room!

Here sits my sphinx in desert sands and androids, lampreys, chitinous destinies, going:

Redacted.  Redacted.  Redacted.




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