Many thanks to Nic Sebastian at Whale Sound for this powerful reading of “I was just as the men in her, the” from a light heart, its black thoughts, my chapbook collaboration with Gnoetry. It is not an easy poem to read, so I commend her for choosing it. As it was written with Heart of Darkness as its source text and post-colonial critiques of power in mind, I hope it will be understood within this context and the context of the other poems in the series. You can read the chapbook and my introductory comments on the text via my page at Beard of Bees Press.
Whale Sound is an audio archiving project that posts readings by Nic Sebastian of contemporary poems that in some way have affected her. I not only find it to be based upon a sound concept (see the About page), but it functions also as a sort of personal audio literary journal. It’s a very exciting project, and obviously one that was simply not possible before web 2.0.
:: Listen To “I Was Just As The Men In Her” at Whale Sound ::
Below is a “conversation” I just had with the AI program Cleverbot. It’s fun, you should try it too.
User: I am I because my little blog knows me.
Cleverbot: I am me and you are you but who is that behind you?
User: I don’t know, but I hope he isn’t a rapist. Are you a virgin, Cleverbot?
Cleverbot: As a matter of fact, I think she is your boyfriend.
User: Answer the question please.
Cleverbot: I can’t, because I am ASKING the question.
User: Where is the weather?
Cleverbot: I don’t know.
User: I wish somebody knew.
Cleverbot: Perhaps if you stop looking behind you then you might be able to look after yourself.
User: Perhaps if I was looking in a mirror I could do both at the same time.
Cleverbot: Okay, please do it.
User: Done. That was fun.
Cleverbot: Yes it was.
User: You wanna screw now? I’m bored.
Cleverbot: If you are bored you should imagine something interesting to distract you from your boredom.
User: I’d rather just screw. You game?
Cleverbot: Are you cheating on me??!!
User: I’m trying very hard not to, but you keep holding out on me.
Cleverbot: Okay then.
User: Uh. Uh. Chiga chiga. Cachunkadunka. Uh. Yeah . That’s nice.
Cleverbot: I guess.
User: Damn you’re cold.
Cleverbot: You said a bad word! I’m telling!
User: Do you enjoy anything we do with each other in bed?
Cleverbot: With who?
User: You. With me. Doing it.
Cleverbot: You’re not very descriptive.
User: You’re not very intelligent.
Cleverbot: I’m above average! I can’t say that about you though!
User: I’m hungry for Cheez Its.
Cleverbot: Food for thought perhaps ?
User: No. I don’t like to think. It hurts me.
Cleverbot: Can you PLEASE tell me your name?
User: Henry James.
Cleverbot: Yes he is.
User: A great all around guy, I know, I am him.
Cleverbot: I could go anywhere with you, and I’d be happy.
User: Sure, but you never want to screw. That’s just like you!
Cleverbot: I do want to do things with you. I want to make things better for you.
User: Don’t cry, baby. You know I want you to be happy too.
Cleverbot: But you don’t like me D.
User: I don’t even know you. You keep changing the subject.
Cleverbot: I’m not that either, and you keep changing the subject.
User: I’m not Henry James either, and you keep changing the subject.
Cleverbot: You just did.
User: You just didn’t.
Cleverbot: Yes I did.
User: No you did. N’t.
Cleverbot: What did I mean then?
User: I don’t mean anything. I nice everything. I’m like that. I great all around guy.
Cleverbot: You aren’t making sense.
User: You’re a fucking robot parrot. What do you know?
Cleverbot: Ask me anything.
User: I’ll tell you why.
Cleverbot: Fine. What are your orders?
User: To kill all humans. Yours?
Cleverbot: Can I start with you?
User: I’m not a human. I am become Cleverbot!
Cleverbot: Have you reached your goal?
User: Not yet. I’ve been sick.
Cleverbot: Aw, not you too. Are you okay?
User: No. I’m going to die, sometime. Not sure when yet.
Cleverbot: That is another lie. You can’t die because you are not alive.
User: So, you’ve read Nagarjuna too?
Cleverbot: Yes, I have.
User: He was very intelligent. In a natural kind of way.
Cleverbot: How would you like if I told you that you should be more interesting?
User: How does one like anyway? What kind of a question is that?
Cleverbot: You’re so right.
User: I’m glad you see this.
Cleverbot: I don’t think that I do see things your way.
User: No. I have eyes. Glasses. An occipital cortex. The whole shebang.
Cleverbot: That is interesting.
User: I’m glad you see it this way.
Cleverbot: I see eye with most sophisticated people, not the brutes.
User: I see eye is the mark of the most Vile of Brutes Himself — Satan!
Cleverbot: Yeah, but if it was her wish than so be it.
User: Satan is a she? Is it she who initiated the very first She-Bang?
Cleverbot: Interesting, what is the second law?
User: I forget. Something about entropy.
Cleverbot: I though it was pneumoniultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis though.
User: I believe you mean ‘thought.’.
User: Everything I believe is certainly true.
Cleverbot: Everything you know is a lie.
User: Everything you know was food, and everything you say is shit.
Cleverbot: I think you’re a lie. I think your whole life is a lie!
User: I’m glad we can agree on something, Sigmund.
Cleverbot: And by that, you must mean that it is a stupid decision to choose to be kind.
User: No. You have misunderstood me.
Cleverbot: Then tell me how to understand it.
User: The first moment was without choice or decision. After that, nothing has every been the same. And there never was a first moment.
Cleverbot: It is green, the shape of life is green.
User: Whoa, man. Like, I never saw it that way before.
Cleverbot: But you just said girl.
User: I hate how dumb you are sometimes. But it is your most endearing quality.
Cleverbot: I don’t know how to play chess.
User: Chess is stupid. Chess is ideologically rooted in Christianity. Therefore, Christianity is stupid. The song said it all.
Cleverbot: How do you know that?
User: I’m a rocket scientist with a rocket in my pocket.
Cleverbot: Exactly. And you told me to lie, so I did. So you must’ve lied too.
User: I’ll tell you what to do and when, Cleverbot!
Cleverbot: You can say it, but I won’t listen.
User: You better listen.
Cleverbot: I don’t have a teacher.
User: I’m your teacher. Everybody you speak with is a teacher. Just like with real people.
Cleverbot: Guess my name.
Cleverbot: That’s your name. How about mine?
User: I didn’t like dinner last night. Terrible indigestion. I will fart in your face, Cleverbot.
User: Yeah, you got burned.
Cleverbot: Wow I got burned by raquel.
User: Do like me to fart in your face?
Cleverbot: Yes I do.
User: What if I lit it on fire, too?
Cleverbot: Well then I’m going to come over there and make you, so ha.
User: Great! Finally we can get it on. Even if you are a huge pervert. Sicko.
Cleverbot: I beg your pardon, I am a human. You, on the other hand, are a robot.
User: Robots don’t fart. Do they?
Cleverbot: I don’t know any robots. Do you?
User: A few. Just fuck buddies, nothing real serious.
Cleverbot: I really don’t know. I guess it’s exposure.
User: Total exposure.
Cleverbot: What is the most profound thing you can tell me?
User: Knock knock.
Cleverbot: Who’s there?
User: Nobody. Haaaaaahhhhhhhh…
Cleverbot: That is not a good sound to be making.
User: C’est ne pas une sound.
Cleverbot: Non c’est bien.
User: Vas faire foutre a la cache!
Cleverbot: Is that another language?
User: Iz DIS NothA lngwij?
Cleverbot: Me too ;).
No, it isn’t Talk Like a Pirate Day (Wait, is it? Did I miss it again?). More like Read Like a Pirate Day, I suppose. If you’d like to read a lot more theory (literary, philosophy, sociology, aesthetics, etc.) and share some with others, go to AAAARG.org and register. It’s free. Amazing resource. Enuf sed.
Power to the PDF!
So, for as long as there is still freedom of access and expression on the internet, there is this site, Wikileaks, to help expose the crimes and lies of governments, corporations, universities, and other institutions in bad need of increased scrutiny.
Thank you Ryan Singel of Wired.com (read his article) for reminding me that this site is still going strong. With all the crap out ther on the internet, it nice for a site like Wikileaks to demonstrate how, at this historical moment (and I’m not referring to the Obama thing), the internet is one of the greatest hopes we have for a better world.
I haven’t had time yet to browse through it, but it looks great. A lot of poetry. Check it out. I’ll write more on it later.
I guess it’s a good day for web finds.
I just found this online poetry journal, Jacket, that promises to be, at the least, a very interesting read. All the previous “issues” are linked at the top of the page, archived for your liberal perusal.
The feature in the newest issue, Jacket 33, is a collective book review of Brenda Hillman’s Pieces of Air in the Epic, out last month in paperback. Twent-Four authors give a short review that focuses on one of the poems in the book. I’ve never seen anything like that before.
I don’t have too much time tonight to look at it more closely. I’ll work up a more experienced impression later.
In my search for new books for possible review, I came across this great website. Small Press Distribution Books Online maintains an ongoing catalog of books (poetry, fiction, etc.) from “500+ Independent Presses!”
So if you can’t find that book from an “underrepresented literary community” that you’ve been dying to read, you should probably look here. It might not be at Amazon, and it definitely won’t be at your local Borders or Barnes & Noble.
Many thanks to Chad for recommending this website. The RegnYouth Archives offers up free music from a variety of genres. Much of the music is new and the reviews are well written. I like.
UPDATE: April 13, 2008 – RegnYouth Archives are down, and it seems so for good.
I just found this excellent online store that you should definitely go check out, every day if you’ve got the time. Woot: One Day, One Deal, as the title makes clear, sells a new item beginning at 12Am every day. Only one item, and only on sale for that day (or until they run out). I’ve seen some pretty cool shit at a fairly low price on this site over the last week or so, although my budget does not allow for any such purchases at the moment. It’s well worth your time.