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Five Poems (Calmness, I’m an Agent of Consequence, The Establishment, Feeling and Satisfaction, A Description of It)

July 26, 2011

Calmness, calm is so strange and departing.

Secretary of hurrying.

I talked to my neighbor

I do this and I tease people by doubling.


I like to know how it was

I want to know it and see it as it was.

I’m an agent of consequence.

I’ve got confidence in everything.


Look at the establishment

I love freedom, I do not write anything.

I won’t be caught and killed for writing.

There is no worry I think if they are reading this.


This which has feeling, and this which is a weapon.

There are so many ways of satisfaction.

I might give up doing the natural thing

The natural sciences of satisfaction.


This could be in a description of it.

It was as if it was a reason

And it is which is something that is real in living.

This one quite very sweetly.


Written with Gnoetry 0.2 and the following source texts:

Gertrude Stein Selections

The Complete Bushisms

4 Comments leave one →
  1. July 26, 2011 11:04 pm

    My day sucked until I read this. For some reason I imagine it in the voice of someone old, kind, and wise and maybe a little senile, trying to help me understand great truths that my mind may not be fit to accomodate. It points to the truth without pretending to be the truth.

    “The truth and the words are two different things. The words can be compared with a finger. We can show the moon with a finger, but the finger is not the moon. To look at the moon means to look over the finger. The words are like a finger pointing towards the truth.”
    – Chán patriarch Hui Neng

  2. eRoGK7 permalink*
    July 27, 2011 1:53 pm

    I’m glad I could make your day better, edde. The Chan quote is nice too. I have a translation of one of Hui Neng’s works somewhere, but I am not too familiar with him. Profound for sure.

    I think I like the sound of truths, which is why I like to echo Gertrude Stein’s voice through Gnoetry, to hear that quirky and oddly profound voice come back in new ways. As I have done once or twice before, I also used the Complete Bushisms as the other source text. Not sure exactly what I expect from this juxtaposition, but it comes out alright.

    I made the choice before posting this to put each stanza into prose, but I’m not sure how I feel about that choice now. Each paragraph has its own self-contained issue, and I think it might be better to put it back into quatrains with each stanza being its own little section.

    Let’s see what that looks like.

  3. Eric Elshtain permalink
    July 28, 2011 10:39 am

    I like the discrete entries and lineation–they ring out the rhyme and slant rhyme, bring out the Steinian play. And yes, Stein through Gnoetry is a great voice–one of those odd synergies between author and program. I have found that synergy in the past with Edith Wharton in particular. I read a few Stein/Gnoetry composition at a Stein celebration reading a while back. Interestingly, the two sole male readers, myself and another poet, completely obscured our own authorships through different forms of poetic mediation. Mine through computation, my friend Matthias’ through group composition/reading.

  4. July 28, 2011 4:48 pm

    “I like to know how it was / I want to know it and see it as it was” invokes an inverted construction of Whitman’s line “I project myself—also I return—I am with you, and know how it is.”

    Great stuff, man.

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