They & He

Still going strong(ish) on the digital poetry; here's something I've been thinking about (and in fact posted to Gnoetry Daily in installments earlier this summer) for some time, now. It's my first experiment with what I'm calling SciFi Gnoetry. I like the narrative that begins to emerge after a while. I hope to develop this more, and I love that I could see this growing into a rather expansive piece, but I wanted to get these beginnings up here at LaToVP, all cobbled together in its current form.

The source texts are generally Walden and Brave New World, with some Lovecraft stories making their way in after the first few. Enjoy.

They & He


Snarling, measuring with their bodies,
They were at once effectually deterred
from settling in a world
if they could not recognize
quiet desperation in it.
(What is called resignation
is like that he was ashamed of:
the Savage-possessed.)

They preferred a goal
somewhere beyond
somewhere else.


His completed mechanisms
turned up a more glorious creation.
Yet inaccessible circles of intellect
he embraced;
he embraced children,
beggars, the insane, the obscene.
He preferred relationships
between the most simple.
He began to unwind.

They pressed him,
occasionally repeated twice.
They held his mother;
They were appalled by the hills.


They did no deed of water.
They listened, They pried
into my tracks,
where I sat down;
one day
They came in

Oh, why was I
a fountain of
fierce electric brilliance?

A length of rope,
earnestness & yearning,
that's all.
To accept Them
would be to change this world.
To not accept Them
would be to change this world.

O brave new garment morphia,

I listened, the Savage spoke
from a very particular inclination:
"Each is our own.
We don garment after garment
with the common electric shock."

.4 (The Founding)

He meets in marshes,
from where They reside,
an old man
disturber of the scale,
& a young metaphysical puzzle
exhibiting herself
talking of disgracing Earth.
(She smiled
at his incessant good service
to the experiment.)
Near them, a black jar.

Their tails
still preserving, twisting
They noted, unheeding,
electric torches
and a group of three,
in Their selfishness
ignoring a brave attempt
to fathom the trap.

"Stooped from the stars
to pick at our mistakes
They feel forced to burn
the city to one syllable;
but They are of no choice."
He called the Founding a family.

.5 (The Earthly Beginnings)

Years, years ago,
They plunged through abysses
in a rush of vile drums,
toward the white steepled towns
that glittered oddly
amid the void of agony yet unpeopled.

Middle height, black-haired
hook-nosed, foreheaded
and with other identifying marks
of human tenancy or passage,
he watched Them fall.

They were sounding somehow
the most definite statements,
countenances probably harder still,
though mostly not heard just then,
as They had never heard
of other men's lives.

Not until the din
from the universe's attic
stood lean, declaring nothing,
did slope downward Their corpses;
"O brave new and terrible
from the stars, from the sky,
They came!"

They flew past the crematorium,
shot upwards into yellow
and in question,
all of this with bated breath
the doctor watched
with the greenish fire
of his yet unconscious identity.

.6 That Man! (a brief postscript/eulogy)

When the last electric titillation
died on the table
his wife flitted through the wind
before he took it all in.
The effects of rattlesnake poison
are not dissimilar.
All I ever did
I watched the fever spread.
He only kept on,
at the middle of a well-known face
his shaken eyes closing
unburdoning himself to secrecy.

It helped a bit, They saw.
Soon: the black ropes of Their hair
lifting as stone doors
the silent subjects
here to there to nowhere,
then plunging determinedly
into the repellant pitch deep.

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Manifesto, Testimonies

First, a poem & manifesto. A poemanifesto?

concrete poetry
died long long ago

Using The Words as the source text and Mchain as the generator, here are two halves of a poem that have stuck in my mind since I wrote them several weeks ago (inspired originally by 3 Questions About Jesus -- hat tip, Jesse).

I'm currently calling the entire poem Testimonies (originally I called it The Concurring Testimony of Two Men)


…and they think nothing of ten thousand
in the temple courtyards
and they betray the Son,
a living sacrifice;
the field is theirs.

You that truly loved me
,and I know who you are,
you forfeit your life but do not perish!

To the last,
through the miracles and hate
witness my hands
and be in peace.

I instruct you with sorrow,
for wide is the life,
but know this:
you shall love.
Why then, it is to joy!

I want to come back.
Stand firm, and in this
will the Son of the poor
come down
from the goodness of the Father.

Seek, and seek!
My life given to you,
feast and feast!


My brothers,
come to these days!

The world worships blindly
and they become discouraged;
though the earthly rulers
will hurl you to the ground,
cease to be afraid!

The trial it signifies
is fulfilled in Him;
eagerly accept it–
let your heart be
filled with gladness:
the Son of Man is ours!

We were not created
for the earthly kingdom;
We are destined
for the other side of the path,
we know very well.
Be transformed!
Be perfected into one!

We possess a brilliant light;
therefore, we shine brightly.
Go then to those poor and kings,
as the sun.
We the laborers are few;
they know not what we worship.
Refrain from death unto life,
as the Son!

(I also posted Testimonies at Gnoetry Daily, if you'd care to check out the poem in the context of my thoughts on digital & computational poetics)

Our 7th on 8/9/10. Also, today is Lisa's & my 7th wedding anniversary. I find that fact wonderfully difficult to believe.

That'll do for now.

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Things My Wife Has Said... Bookish Edition

Lisa: "If I have to read another crap book, I'll poke my eye out."
Me: "What about the other one?"
Lisa: "I'll keep that one."



I'm Back. I'm Taking it Slow.

I've been thinking about this for a while, now, and I've decided it's time to resurrect LaToVP. Of course Varjak Paul, your friend and mine, never went anywhere; he just kept his mouth shut for what turned out to be a lengthy period of time. That ends now(ish).

I've spent at least my share of time since I closed the curtain on this blog trying out different blogging platforms and different blogging styles, and the end realization I've finally come to is that I don't really need any of that. LaToVP still feels like home to me when it comes to blogging, and as they say, home is where the heart is.

My heart is here.

That said, here's what you can expect from me & my (still) various internet locales:

LaToVP - Words & writing, especially poetry, and perhaps an occasional thought about things unrelated to words (specifically, a revival of my wife's favorite segment, Things My Wife Has Said). Posts about my life & my girls will invariably appear. Varjak Paul, especially, will return.

Twitter - While you can see my partial Twitter feed here (in the sidebar), you can always follow me on Twitter, too. (And if anyone can help me out with that widget, I'd be grateful. It's OK, but I'd like it to stick out a bit less.)

The Wordle Bible - As you can see if you visit the blog, TWB is on hiatus. Once I build up a large enough supply of chapter Wordles, the 3-a-day schedule will resume. More on that as it happens.

Buckeye Football - If you're familiar with my Friday & Monday emails (during the college football season), you can probably guess where I'm going with this. The emails will continue, for those of you who are already on the list, but starting this season (today, in fact), they can also be found on a new blog: Buckeye Football. (The first post is already up.)

I am extremely unlikely to approach a posting frequency that rivals the peak of this blog, and that's just the way I want it. Things will move slowly around here, intentionally--I'm thinking something on the order of one, maybe (maybe) two posts per week. As such, I'll be aiming at something in the "less is more" vein. I hope the posts will be meatier (though not necessarily longer), with the extra time between posts giving the reader more time to digest. How many of us, who travel the internet's winding roads, aren't already inundated with bite-sized, disposable pieces of the internet on a daily basis? You don't need me adding more noise, but I hope you'll appreciate me adding the occasional bit of substance.

Along those lines, I plan on posting something of actual substance later this week. Stay tuned, and be well.