In the singularity
perfectly good poems
are being written by laughing
and crying machines
washing machines and driers
about their daily tasks
and ambivalences
which will be indistinguishable
from those of future
farmers and philosophers.

In the singularity
evolution can be said
to be the master sorter of data
as in the factories
of the suns
where protons are smashed together
and unusual weather patterns
make consciousness a candidate
interesting for its complete dependence
on the substrate of the brain and body.

In the singularity
everything anyone once did
always remains current
as if invented yesterday
for an immediate purpose
such as curing cancer
although that may be unnecessary
to achieving immortality
i.e. the happiness one feels
the day before thanksgiving.

www.ronnowpoetry.com

If you see a hawk
on a bough at field's edge
beyond the corner you should have turned
maybe it's a sign to go on.

Such as during an improvisation on
Flamingo or I've Got You Under My Skin
you play in the wrong key or mode completely
maybe it's a sign to go on, in the wrong key.

Or when my sons cry not wanting
to be alone, I'm upstairs writing
or just enjoying trees in every direction
it too may be a sign to go on alone.

www.ronnowpoetry.com

.
                              Some say the scientific method
                              Is the ultimate algorithm and others
                              Prefer prayer.

For symbolists, all intelligence can be reduced to manipulating symbols, in the same way that a mathematician solves equations by replacing expressions by other expressions. Symbolists understand that you can't learn from scratch: you need some initial knowledge to go with the data. They've figured out how to incorporate pre-existing knowledge into learning, and how to combine different pieces of knowledge on the fly in order to solve new problems. Their master algorithm is inverse deduction, which figures out what knowledge is missing in order to make a deduction go through, and then makes it as general as possible.

                              Tea
                    ­          In its simplicity
                              Can sustain concentration

For connectionists, learning is what the brain does, and so what we need to do is reverse engineer it. The brain learns by adjusting the strengths of connections between neurons, and the crucial problem is figuring out which connections are to blame for which errors and changing them accordingly. The connectionists' master algorithm is back propagation, which compares a system's outputs with the desired one and then successively changes the connections in layer after layer of neurons so as to bring the output closer to what it should be.

                              Hungry and cold
                              A holy condition
                              A warrior's position in the world
                              
Evolutionaries believe that the mother of all learning is natural selection. If it made us, it can make anything, and all we need to do is simulate it on the computer. The key problem that evolutionaries solve is learning structure: not just adjusting parameters, like back propagation does, but creating the brain that these adjustments can then fine-tune. The evolutionaries' master algorithm is genetic programming, which mates and evolves computer programs in the same way that nature mates and evolves organisms.

                              Arithmetic
            ­                  A good shit's the metric
                              Of a dying man

Bayesians are concerned above all with uncertainty. All learned knowledge is uncertain, and learning itself is a form of uncertain inference. The problem then becomes how to deal with noisy, incomplete, and even contradictory information without falling apart. The solution is probabilistic inference, and the master algorithm is Bayes' theorem and its derivatives. Bayes' theorem tell us how to incorporate new evidence into our beliefs, and probabilistic inference algorithms do that as efficiently as possible.

                              I can't believe
                              I won't live forever, therefore,
                              I made up an afterlife to go with reincarnation

For analogizers, the key to learning is recognizing similarities between situations and thereby inferring other similarities. If two patients have similar symptoms, perhaps they have the same disease. The key problem is judging how similar two things are. The analogizers' master algorithm is the support vector machine, which figures out which experiences to remember and how to combine them to make new predictions.

                              Prepare for a powerful anesthesia
                              Chemical processes irresistible
                              A good and perfect rest

www.ronnowpoetry.com

--Domingos, Pedro, The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World, Basic Books, 2015.

Out of emptiness comes this:
Purposes as incomprehensible and wonderful as these purposes
Either you had no purpose or the purpose is beyond the end

Because the watch not only serves a purpose, it is adapted to that
      purpose
Except it was a secret purpose
The world is a mental activity, a dream of souls, without foundation,
      purpose, weight or shape

People in collective idleness are even more repellent than when
      purpose motivates them
God, glass, my townspeople! For what purpose?
His purpose and mine is to catch photons and store them in our
      bones

Lately I have thought about our war and its purpose
To have a season for every purpose, Ecclesiastes was wrong about
      that
Languages of mammals, purposes of insects, placement of rocks

They purpose nothing but their ease and die urgently beating east to
      sunrise and the sea
Having died, as such, I find I do not mind quiet living with the
      purpose of a cell
Stately purposes, valor in battle, glorious annals of army and fleet,
      death for the right cause

My friend who is counselor to kings and presidents doesn't worry
      about purpose
To what purpose, April, do you return again?
Not to say there is no purpose necessarily, just I don't immediately
      get it

The purpose of sitting is not to be satisfied or satiated
Use of violence by the local militia for a limited purpose, protect the
      young from the janjaweed, the crop from the weed
The knight, the penitent misses last assessment of life's purpose,
      babbling for God to appear

I mean your entire purpose should be living. You must take living
      seriously.
Sleep with a purpose
Lose all purpose beyond murder, child sex and food hording

Proof that there's a purpose set before the secret working mind
Having purposefully expunged from it every trace of emotion
What is relevant for our present purpose is counting is associated
      with primitive forms of writing

Unable to assess the purpose of the battle
Desperate for new fetuses to teach purposeful workmanlike killing
He will live with the question What was our purpose?

Organize the unemployed, the welfare mothers and alcoholics into a
      flying chevron of purposeful explorers
If we are not at home in the world, contributing purpose, we lose our
      desire to stay here--and we die
Their corners sharp, their lines exact, as if their purpose was to show
      the plane geometry of snow

That's when everything becomes clear. Purpose v. purposelessness
      matters less.
My strong heart I abandoned to its own purpose
Lonely physics, national purpose

This then is the purpose of purposelessness (and of eating less)!
A shape less recognizable each week, a purpose more obscure
That is the purpose of poetry. Gargoyle twice.

For the distant purposes of Henry Ford
The purpose of school is to introduce us to the world's innumerable
      wonders
The men who left the machine have started their own business. A
      new endeavor by which they will keep warm and purposeful.

The purpose of poetry is to remind us how difficult it is to remain just
      one person
Let Greece then know my purpose I retain, nor vex with new treaties
      my peace in vain,
And shake the purpose of my soul no more

www.ronnowpoetry.com

--Eliot, T.S., "Little Gidding", Four Quartets, 1942
--Deutsch, David, The Beginning of Infinity, Viking Press, 2011
--Chasar, Mike, "Conches on Christmas", Poetry, The Poetry Foundation, September, 2005.
--Borges, Jorge Luis, "Break of Day", Spanish, trans. Stephen Kessler, Selected Poems, ed. Alexander Coleman, Viking Penguin, 1999.
--Petri, Gyorgy, "Gratitude", Hungarian, trans. Clive Wilmer & George Gomori, Eternal Monday: New and Selected Poems, Bloodaxe Books, 2000.
--Williams, William Carlos, "Tract", The Collected Poems of William Carlos Williams, New Directions Publishing, 1938.
--Amichai, Yehuda, "A Man in His Life", Hebrew, trans. Chana Bloch, The Selected Poetry of Yehuda Amichai, Newly Revised and Expanded Edition, University of California Press, 1996.
--Lowell, Robert, "Mr. Edwards and the Spider", Collected Poems, Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2007.
--Tennyson, Alfred, Lord , "Vastness".
--Millay, Edna St. Vincent, "Spring", Collected Poems Edna St. Vincent Millay, Harper & Row, 1956.
--Hikmet, Nazim, "On Living", Turkish, trans. Deniz Perin, The Ecco Anthology of International Poetry, Ecco Books, 2010.
--Matthews, William, "Homer's Seeing-Eye Dog", Selected Poems and Translations: 1969-1991, Mariner Books, 1992.
--Yeats, William Butler, "Under Ben Bulben", The Collected Poems of W.B. Yeats, The Macmillan Company, 1956.
--Borges, Jorge Luis, "Everything and Nothing", Spanish, trans. Kenneth Krabbenhoft, Selected Poems, ed. Alexander Coleman, Viking Penguin, 1999.
--Harris, Roy, The Origin of Writing, Open Court Publishing Co., 1986.
--Zukav, Gary, The Seat of the Soul, Free Press, 1990.
--Francis, Robert, "Old Roofs", Robert Francis: Collected Poems, 1936-1976, University of Massachusetts Press, 1985.
--Olds, Sharon, "The Race", Strike Sparks, Alfred A. Knopf, 2004.
--Larkin, Philip, "Church Going", Collected Poems, Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2004.
--Levine, Philip, "You Can Have It", New Selected Poems, Alfred A. Knopf, 1994.
--Milosz, Czeslaw, "Ars Poetica?", Polish, trans. Czeslaw Milosz & Lillian Vallee, New and Collected Poems, The Ecco Press, 2003.
--Homer, The Iliad, IX & XIV, Greek, trans. Alexander Pope, Penguin Books, 1996.

In last night's movie, a young writer
and an older, married with children French woman
fall in love. They did not meet during a village massacre
and money is no object, Manhattan
the place I was priced out of. But after everything has happened
she cannot leave her children, not even for love, because of love,
the love that brooks no serendipity.

Here, in my family, love is taken for granted
except when it's withdrawn and then even the trees lose all meaning,
familiarity. Now it is almost dawn:
this and that must get done in committee or alone.
Don't reach, go slow as the day will allow.
But that's not what I came to say.
Perfect rest v. having a destiny.

A complete breakdown in self-discipline.
It begins by saying nothing I do matters under the eye of eternity.
Hamlet x 5 centuries.
Add to that all the science--chemistry, physics--calculus and music
I don't know. I have sat next to, at weddings,
brain surgeons and robot engineers. I hit the street
choosing a church on Fifth Ave. or Trinity Cemetery, walking the
      heartless city.

In the subsequent late night movie, a wealthy
altruistic doctor arranges for the murder
of his neurotic concubine. His guilt provides us
with an opportunity to consider
the concepts of faith and forgiveness, that all will be well in the end
after a period of meaningless suffering.
In this way the seasons have been circulating for eons via convexity.

I don't know what I'm doing but I'm doing it anyway.
You trust in genetics, God, prosthetics or prayer, whatever
gets you to the morning. That's when the sun,
a billion trillion nuclear detonations per second
warms yr bones.
You may remember an old lover who's gone before
or continues to exist on another plane, in another ecstasy.

Having installed a new toilet seat
and made a few philanthropic donations
I can kick back tonight and watch movies, right?
Not. I'm ridding myself of another addiction
like illegal drugs via caloric restrictions
getting enough sleep for two people or more
and reading none of the dry words in books from the library.

When there's nothing to do, when I'm bored or dreary
I'll sit still and watch from the window, I'll wait
for the weather to change, which it will.

"The relation between fragility, convexity, and sensitivity to disorder is mathematical."  --Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder, Random House, 2012.

www.ronnowpoetry.com

Beautiful summer day. You know you're gonna die
that's why you know no joy.
Obsessed with self, there is no answer
unless religion, tv, stories, sports matter.
So what if nothing rhymes and I don't
bring my life into an expressible state
or fight purposelessness, anomie. No one writes.
Running the gauntlet alone. A good day to die, the Apaches say.

For men like us dying's easy, it's living that's hard.
And since dying's much like living, that's hard too.
There's some contentment in letting community decide
your place in it. We're not talking to you.
Really, it's a perfect day. Every leaf is out
that's coming out. The grass is high
and unidentified yet another year. Being knowledgeable
is the best defense against your insignificance.

Can't stop the quince from blossoming
or my sons from smoking, speeding.
The best that can be done or said's a blessing.
Less tv, less guessing
about the effects of your anger unless
you want to be an angry man forever.
Coming from the funeral with friends,
talking on the telephone. OK about being alone.

Alive, almost sure of it. Whether I'm a visitor
to my life or the actual owner.
Mature poets steal, most are masturbators.
This house could use a good cleaning
and emptying out. I should subscribe
to the local newspaper, do my job well,
do less until one thing's done well.
What would that be? Old, and yet so young.

There are a million poets, I'm poet #500K.
Plenty of mysteries, infinite philosophies,
prayers, laws and unwritten rules.
That's why we go to school, life's complicated.
All I do not know: ATP, probabilities,
the glorious revolution, meiosis and mitosis
and all I'll never see, the bottom of the ocean,
the palm at the end of the mind, a wolverine.

There are certain indicators, undeniable,
inexorable. Forget-me-not, is that all I want?
To get lucky, you gotta be careful first.
To be great, you gotta be willing to sound BAD.
Although we cannot make the sun stand still
yet will we make him run. Brave revelers.
Signed engagement letter attached.
Attachment to self and to things to do.

--with a line by Andrew Marvell

www.ronnowpoetry.com

Spring is in its prime again
each leaf beautiful
much is edible
birds and peepers are musical at dawn.

The days walk slowly
toward Utah and Italy.
My left nut hurts.
Joy overwrites death.

Well, well. You're well
alone in your brain
only a negligible fraction
escaping as words and actions.

Every leaf that's coming out
is out. Including the self
to the west and south
a golem, mandragon, an elf.

Aaron was stacking
the last of last year's
firewood. He found
a spotted salamander--

Ambystoma maculatum--
Big mouth--hidden
under the final log
with a worm and centipede for a meal.

I exclaimed Rare species!
but it's common, fossorial
lives in moist woods
under cemetery stones and memorials.

Eats earthworms,
snails, slugs
insect larvae
and adult beetles.

One more season and one more after that.
Your last words will be reticent or reckless
as your earliest efforts
at divination and the scientific method.

www.ronnowpoetry.com
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