Thursday, May 10, 2012

Meeting the Bar: Brian vs. the RPG

sticker on the bottom of a skateboard, Raleigh, NC

I don't want to believe
but put my quarter in the random poetry generator
almost as a joke, as if a machine can ---
i mean where is the he(art)
           in firing microchips & turn-
ing logical sequence programming

(clink. Clank. Chunk) it spits...

       The mast rises like a cold mainland.
       Desolation is a sunny breeze.
       The misty moon roughly loves the girl.

& there is hope, it's not SO great,
sure it has good points but---i am not....aNXious,
it could be a fluke
not bad on the contrasts---Let's try another

(clink. Clank. CluNK)

       The cigarette grows like a faceless skyscraper.
       Cold, cold lights quickly get a cold, hot slum.
       Talk rough, like a old truck.

00-00 & i want to add an 010110
exclamation point to the end, the algorithm
has spun a metaphor,
tight, with repetition and alliteration

& i see Armageddon
in the blinking lights of the computer,
see a congregation of poets outside gas stations
dejected under NO LOITERING signs
& smart phones lined UP at Open Mics, the sultry
voice they use to take my calls rattling off poetry
written on breaks between messaging

       your finger dance is cold 
       so fast, i feel 
                  used, the only time 
       you touch me is for text

Holy John Connor moment Terminator,
the MACHines are RISing!

targeting our arts he(arts)
now they've taken our jobs---free thought
numb, revolution become a wet dream
on the big screen---but

Maybe this is a good thing---they will
cull the form writers first---
because they understand boXes
& this gives us time to stop
hitting the snooze button

desperate & on the run we may realize
       -may we realize-
our voices, not live in their INsignificance & choose
to use them to make a difference

the machines ARE coming
the MACHINES are coming
the machines are COMING

---& if you'd like to make a call
      please hang up and dial your number again

Today at dVerse Poets, Charles Miller is challenging us to look at technology and how it has impacted our world, among other will just have to show up and see what he has in store for us...he opens the door at 3 pm EST.

The first two poems attributed to the random poetry generator were actually created by a Random Poetry Generating program---so---be afraid...very afraid. Smiles.


Suz said...

they'll never get you Brian
They should be very afraid
wonderful poem
Would love to be at the open mic you are reading at...what a hoot it must be listening to those words pop out of your mouth with
such zest and verve

Pat Hatt said...

With your Gawker power
You will make them cower
Except for the Terminator though
I'd run if he were to show
Or she
As there could be many
Movie reference too
As well as more at your zoo
But when I hang up
I hang up on the stinkin pup
The machines can die
Before they try
And do it to us
That would surely be quite the fuss

Daniel said...

Uh oh dude! Who will they replace next?

Heather said...

oh no - i hope they don't get you -
but totally agree my friend, they are taking over...quite scary...indeed.

LadyFi said...

Wonderful poem... and a bit scary. Although I do love modern technology.

Yousei Hime said...

Not first, but early. I'm improving. I don't know if I like the generators or hate them. Makes me feel a bit useless and challenges me too. Great read. You're consistently fun (and way better than a terminator).

Anne said...

I like the poem within the poem Brian. The sultry against the severe and then the touch of humor at the end. You do a fine job of using the keyboard to pen your verse and post it for us to read. I've no fears on your behest.

mrs mediocrity said...

this made me laugh out loud, and then cringe.

this was actually one of the themes behind my utopia poem... it is scary stuff, those machines are rising, but i think, i hope, that in the end, we will always rise above them.

unless, of course, they learn how to feel...

Mama Zen said...

This is scary!

Myrna R. said...

I suspect you've had a poem generator chip implanted in your brain by some highly advanced, invisible aliens. They are confident that even if we invent machines, their technology will always be highly superior to ours. So, you don't have to worry. Me on the other hand....

farmlady said...

Damn right it's scary.
The "thought police" of Nineteen Eighty Four have morphed into an IPad, cameraphone, Facebook twitter in our brains and still all we really care about is... the next new thing.
Beware of the "acceptance room". said...

Fantastic write, really love it. The transhumanists would one up you by indicating that your consciousness could become eternal by uploading to a network, then the machine and mind would be one, writing poetry until the war for server space began mwhahaha. Alternately, you could download the poetry app into your brain's microchip and spout the equivalent of poetry for dummies all day. Of course, there are experimental poets writing in binary code this minute (never understood that movement but then again I've never wanted to be a machine). I was going to write a AI persona poem, the first generation to be programmed by parent AI but now I think I'll just reread you. This is such an awesome write!

kaykuala said...

It's interesting to see how modern tech can be frightening as much it is welcomed. Who is being replaced as much as who will benefit! Great write Brian!


manicddaily said...

Ha! Well, I am not as impressed as you are by the second one--yes, the third line pretty good, but the second line - not so much in my view.

And you for one shouldn't worry. K.

Alice Audrey said...

The machines have been here a while, and they think faster than we do. Keep shivering.

Tara Miller said...

Without the heart and emotion of the poet the words are empty and very hollow.

I believe that's why you have so many readers....because we see and feel your passion in your writing, love.

Claudia said...

just promise me that you never even think about using that RPG for your poetry...smiles...ya know, i tried to connect my time machine with the toaster...worked...but then with the lawn mower and... (wipes grime from her face..) there are just things that need to be done with our heart (at least that's what the daisies said, shaking their head..) haha.. fun one brian, like it much

Brian Miller said...

you should always listen to the daisies as well...smiles.

k, trust me i had to flip the generator a few time to get any i could give a bit of credit to...these were the best out of about 25 tries...haha

Shawna said...

Ha ha! Great one, Brian.

Poetry generator. Love it.

This is my favorite part:
"free thought
numb, revolution become a wet dream"

Machines are scary, wonderful things. Dangerous and sublime.

I posted a new word list; missing you.

Daydreamertoo said...

Well, kind of a mix between human and robot... it's such an exciting world yet, sometimes scary too with how fast our technology is now outpacing us. It does leave one wondering if we humans will soon be thought of as obsolete by the machines that will be creating themselves before too much longer.
Fabulous writing :)

Peter Greene said...

I think the whole 'captcha' thing is some sort of language-learning lab for advanced AI. Soon, they will possess a vocabulary of complete domination: irresistible words, the ultimate poetry.

Fred Rutherford said...

Yeah, this thought about machines is very interesting. With movies like Terminator and Maximum Overdrive, a book too, but anyhow, yeah, kind of scary to think about. Never heard of the random poetry generator, I thought that's what minds were for, but yeah, don't think I'd be up for that machine at all. Will have to see how everyone attacks this prompt, I'm just hoping half as well as you did here, that way it'll be an awesome evening of mechanipoem flare.

Really awesome write here, mixing in so many allusions and bringing a mechanized stylistic as well. Great read. thanks

chiccoreal said...

Dear Brian: Very Orwellian nightmare especially that growing like a cigarette skyscraper. I tend to think, when I do think, that thought could one day be nonexistent and who needs a box then? Freakazoidishness.

Jessica said...

Ah, this rhythm is great! I especially like the use of parentheses.

welshstream said...

From my machine to your machine my master (?) would communicate the following: what a splendidly adventurous and excellent piece of poetry your machine has brought us all :o)

Jody Costa said...

AAH!!! my worst fears in a poem :) how is that the machines know us better than we know ourselves?

Natasha Head said...

You've instilled the fear of machine completely within my realm now. Where's John Connor when you really need him? Sorry...can't help it, but while your breaking down my back and I've been wracking out my brain, it don't matter how we make it cause it always ends the same... I think you could defeat the machines any day...just sayin!

Who Is Afraid Of Miss Lovett? No, Mrs.Lovett... said...

desperate & on the run we may realize
-may we realize-
our voices, not live in their INsignificance & choose
to use them to make a difference...

Hi! Brian...Your poem is [very] well-written and your point(s) is/are [very] well-taken...touché.

Tks, for sharing the image...too!
deedee ;-D

FrankandMary said...

You need to buy a nice writer's garret & keep this up....~Mary

Grandmother said...

This was so fun! My fav: The only time you touch me is for text. LOL!

Grace said...

I like that you are always reminding us writers that our pen can make a difference, our voice can rise above the din of the machine noise, and may your pen always churn your heart ~

Marbles in My Pocket said...

Riiiiiiiiiinnnggg! You win the prize! Step right up and pick anything between the pencils and the rubber bands!
Just kidding! My computer made me say that!
Great poem, Brian. You hit the bullseye!

pandamoniumcat said...

A poetry generator...thankfully they will always be organic, from prolific poetry farmers as yourself. Very good take on the prompt!

Fireblossom said...

They had an RPG at the poetry forum I used to use before i discovered blogging. I used to use it when I was stuck, just to give me a word or a start.

Lisa Golden said...

I am once again blown away by your talent. I love what you did here.

ayala said...

I agree with your wife....Without the heart and emotion of the poet the words are empty and very hollow.....and that's why we all love your words.

Charles Miller said...

This is really cool. I admire your honesty about the somewhat passable poetry of the stuff spit out of the machine. I once wrote stuff like that, so it's kinda scary to think about that...! I don't know that machines will ever write decent poetry, mostly because of what you write, the poetry of life and passions and emotions.

I don't think a machine can ever do this. As it is, nothing to worry about, seriously. Your poem is great, not only because it deals with the questions of the prompt in a creative and imaginative way but because it deals with real life, what machines can never have -- except in Sci-Fi!

Joanna Jenkins said...

No way-- The computer generator is for people like me who can't write poetry-- Not YOU. You'd kick that computer's butt :-)

henry clemmons said...

The poet laughs last. Excellent commentary, poetry, words, lines, images, creativity.

sheila said...

Holy John Connor moment Terminator - lol! that is my favorite part! Oh, you, who hates to write in form, I can only imagine your cringes as you typed out those "poetry generated" lines (smiles)

Marie Nicole said...

Poetry generated by a machine? Why not? We're already listening to music generated by machines and admiring art generated by the same machines (different app but same machine).

does not compute
does not compute


hedgewitch said...

Nah--it sounds cool, but it means absolutely zilch. Not your poem, obviously! but the RPG stuff. It's just a spew that if you examine closely is meaningless random stuff, so many verbs, so many adjectives and nouns, etc. Of course, I can't say I haven't written like that but later you have to shape it into some sort of meaning, but there's no shaping in that stuff at all. Your own writing has a soul a machine can't duplicate.

Mark Kerstetter said...

Ever since the Surrealists championed automatic writing there have been people advocating the relinquishment of control in the writing of poetry, even venerable old academics. So, for those folks, we may as well have computers writing books. They probably wouldn't know the difference anyway.

Quotes,Photos and a little Poetry said...

You put some scary thoughts in my head, to think we could replaced by machines. Just think that actor M1567 is hot. Good Job, Brain

Wander said...

i fricking LOVE it Brian!


Mystic_Mom said...

Dang it Brian, you once again rocked it! So very very good my friend.

S.E.Ingraham said...

that random poetry machine is a frightening luring beast, isn't it? I agree, we should be afraid of these "making your life easier" things springing up all over ... cars that park themselves, keyless entries, phones that record almost anything and on and on ... good poem Brian, you captured it all ...

vivinfrance said...

To use that overworked word, this is awesome! The frightening part is that I know poets who write like your machine - now I know where they get it from!

Chris Lawrence said...

RPG is explosive the form of poetry is controversial do you write Hallmark or MFA we have seen it all and this covers it so well has to be another awesome

janaki nagaraj said...

Its intimidating how the technology is taking side it is a boon but, also has a flip side. Beautiful poem again.

Sue said...

Great job on this one, Brian. I love the whole concept.


Dave King said...

Oh, this is brilliant, priceless, delectable. Wish I'd thought of it!

Beth said...

Wow--you have my brain spinning!

As a teacher I see kids rely totally on technology and one of our biggest challenges is teaching them to think for themselves.

Valerie said...

Forgive my ignorance, Brian, but I am at a total loss with this one.

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

commentary on the world moving from do it yourself to it does it for you...


sage said...

We're trapped in the Matrix...

the walking man said...

Dude the machines are here and taking over a'ready. But steady on old man before the day is done Apple will have to recall all iphones due to operator error and then those dancing fingers can click on keyboards causing levers to lift and strike inked tape which will make only for regret that you sold your stock in White Out!

Poetry and Icecream said...

Great write Brian. It's interesting the way you've put this together. It's scary when you think about it all :)

Stranger said...

Another great Brian Miller poem!

Jill from Killeny Glen said...

Oh wow! A poem MUST have a beating heart behind it! Without that it is incredibly hollow and without feeling.

Laurie Kolp said...

Haha... I love the jab on form writers... and-

revolution become a wet dream
on the big screen

Magpie said...

The thing about machines...all we have to do is unplug them. :)

Jules said...

Machines...I'm often reminded they are only (especially computers) are as good as those that program them.

Thanks for your visit to my offering for the latest Poetry Jam (I hooked up via Wordgathering by Margo) - Occasionally I do chaise the dust bunnies out and take all the piles to where they belong so someone else can benefit. But there is only so much time in a day.

Zuzana said...

Dear Brian, look who is back!;)) I have missed you.;) Love your new profile picture, it fits so well with your writing. The forever thinker and philosopher.;)
Technology is indeed impacting our world, but I guess it is at times up to us how much we let it to.;)
I hope you have been well, looking forward to catch up with you and everyone else and to start blogging on regular bases again.;) The love of my love has now temporary left and thus I face 4 months of loneliness, hope blogging will fill some of that time.;) Have a great Friday.;)

Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

Technology is something else, isn't it?

poeticlicensee said...

Shorthand transcription & manual typewriters with 4 sheets of carbon paper are skills long discarded to technology; make clerical work easier but still grieve for loss of necessity for skills at one time well-honed by practice, practice, practice...

zongrik said...

this is the theme of Terminator 3

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Alecia said...

They are aren't they? what are humans going to be good for then? Your writing always makes me read and reread, and then read again :) I agree with another commenter, they'll never get you :)

Vicki Lane said...

Tee hee --'your finger dance is cold' Love that stanza!

Mary Mansfield said...

This is just awesome! Looovvve it!

PattiKen said...

They will never get you, Brian. As long as we can still pull the plug, we're all safe.

But, oh, I've got to tell you, I LOVE this line: "Talk rough, like a old truck." LOVE it! I'm so relieved that you're the one who really wrote it, because if that had come out of a machine, I'm pretty sure that machine could plug itself in again.

Steve E said...

Yup, Brian, I saw the same movie--and realized it was 'only' a movie. Yeah.

Wha...what's that noise? Lots of those 'movie' creatures coming through neighbor's yard, crushing my new wood fencing...ohh the NOISE....NOYYYZZZ!

Funny thing. I fell asleep while writing this comment. GOOD stuff Brian, and ZZZZZZzzzzzz.........

tattytiara said...

I think it's as telling that we're seeking art in randomness as it is we look to machines to produce it.

Eve Redwater said...

A random poetry generator? No way, that's awesome! (but kind of scary at the same time!)

I love the juxtaposition and differences in words that make your mind read them differently, so clever. Always a joy to read you Brian. :)

CiCi said...

Technology has changed so much in our society. The inattention, the loss of social skills are part of the new generation of teckies, Hopefully, the benefits are worth the losses.

I do, I do. said...


Truly the time spent reading was worth it!

Raven said...

Well young man ... I was afraid, very afraid. But only of myself. And that means, I am a very literal person. Can't help it ... it is how I think. Which means that I am reading this poem and getting very lost ... feeling stupid ... loving the ending images but not getting it, SO ................ thank you for the explanation at the end! ;)

Syd said...

The machines are here. And more will come.

adan said...

i'd saved this 'cause i couldn't get through all of it when it came out

there's so much going on of import!

esp liked,

"& i see Armageddon
in the blinking lights of the computer,
see a congregation of poets outside gas stations
dejected under NO LOITERING signs
& smart phones lined UP at Open Mics..."

though the phones unloved feeling of only being used for texting is priceless ;-)

yea, maybe some time before the snooze button huh?

very nice brian, really enjoyed it (with a kick!) ;-)