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Nigel Morgan Oct 2012
There was a moment when he knew he had to make a decision.

He had left London that February evening on the ****** Velo Train to the South West. As the two hour journey got underway darkness had descended quickly; it was soon only his reflected face he could see in the window. He’d been rehearsing most of the afternoon so it was only now he could take out the manuscript book, its pages full of working notes on the piece he was to play the following afternoon. His I-Mind implant could have stored these but he chose to circumvent this thought-transcribing technology; there was still the physical trace on the cream-coloured paper with his mother’s propelling pencil that forever conjured up his journey from the teenage composer to the jazz musician he now was. This thought surrounded him with a certain warmth on this Friday evening train full of those returning to their country homes and distant families.

It was a difficulty he had sensed from the moment he perceived a distant gap in the flow of information streaming onto the mind page

At the outset the Mind Notation project had seemed harmless, playful in fact. He allowed himself to enter into the early experiments because he knew and trusted the research team. He got paid handsomely for his time, and later for his performance work.  It was a valuable complement to his ill-paid day-to-day work as a jazz pianist constantly touring the clubs, making occasional festival appearances with is quintet, hawking his recordings around small labels, and always ‘being available’. Mind Notation was something quite outside that traditional scene. In short periods it would have a relentless intensity about it, but it was hard to dismiss because he soon realised he had been hard-wired to different persona. Over a period of several years he was now dealing with four separate I-Mind folders, four distinct musical identities.

Tomorrow he would pull out the latest manifestation of a composer whose creative mind he had known for 10 years, playing the experimental edge of his music whilst still at college. There had been others since, but J was different, and so consistent. J never interfered; there were never decisive interventions, only an explicit confidence in his ability to interpret J’s music. There had been occasional discussion, but always loose; over coffee, a walk to a restaurant; never in the lab or at rehearsals.

In performance (and particularly when J was present) J’s own mind-thought was so rich, so wide-ranging it could have been drug-induced. Every musical inference was surrounded by such intensity and power he had had to learn to ride on it as he imagined a surfer would ride on a powerful wave. She was always there - embedded in everything J seemed to think about, everything J projected. He wondered how J could live with what seemed to him to be an obsession. Perhaps this was love, and so what he played was love like a wilderness river flowing endlessly across the mind-page.

J seemed careful when he was with her. J tried hard not to let his attentiveness, this gaze of love, allow others to enter the public folders of his I-Mind space (so full of images of her and the sounds of her light, entrancing voice). But he knew, he knew when he glanced at them together in darkened concert halls, her hand on J’s left arm stroking, gently stroking, that J’s most brilliant and affecting music flowed from this source.

He could feel the pattern of his breathing change, he shifted himself in his chair, the keyboard swam under his gaze, he was playing fast and light, playing arpeggios like falling water, a waterfall of notes, cascades of extended tonalities falling into the darkness beyond his left hand, but there it was, in twenty seconds he would have to*

It had begun quite accidentally with a lab experiment. J had for some years been researching the telematics of composing and performing by encapsulating the physical musical score onto a computer screen. The ‘moist media’ of telematics offered the performer different views of a composition, and not just the end result but the journey taken to obtain that result. From there to an interest in neuroscience had been a small step. J persuaded him to visit the lab to experience playing a duet with his own brain waves.

Wearing a sensor cap he had allowed his brainwaves to be transmitted through a BCMI to a synthesiser – as he played the piano. After a few hours he realised he could control the resultant sounds. In fact, he could control them very well. He had played with computer interaction before, but there was always a preparatory stage, hours of designing and programming, then the inevitable critical feedback of the recording or glitch in performance. He soon realised he had no patience for it and so relied on a programmer, a sonic artist as assistant, as collaborator when circumstances required it.

When J’s colleagues developed an ‘app’ for the I-Mind it meant he could receive J’s instant thoughts, but thoughts translated into virtual ‘active’ music notation, a notation that flowed across the screen of his inner eye. It was astonishing; more astonishing because J didn’t have to be physically there for it to happen: he could record I-Mind files of his thought compositions.

The reference pre-score at the top of the mind page was gradually enlarging to a point where pitches were just visible and this gap, a gap with no stave, a gap of silence, a gap with no action, a gap with repeat signs was probably 30 seconds away

In the early days (was it really just 10 years ago?) the music was delivered to him embedded in a network of experiences, locations, spiritual and philosophical ideas. J had found ways to extend the idea of the notated score to allow the performer to explore the very thoughts and techniques that made each piece – usually complete hidden from the performer. He would assemble groups of miniatures lasting no more than a couple of minutes each, each miniature carrying, as J had once told him, ‘one thought and one thought only’.  But this description only referred to the musical material because each piece was loaded with a web of associations. From the outset the music employed scales and tonalities so far away from the conventions of jazz that when he played and then extended the pieces it seemed like he was visiting a different universe; though surprisingly he had little trouble working these new and different patterns of pitches into his fingers. It was uncanny the ‘fit’.

Along with the music there was always rich, often startling images she conjured up for J’s compositions. At the beginning of their association J initiated these. He had been long been seeking ways to integrate the visual image with musical discourse. After toying with the idea of devising his own images for music he conceived the notion of computer animation of textile layers. J had discovered and then encouraged the work and vision of a young woman on the brink of what was to become recognised as a major talent. When he could he supported her artistically, revelling in the keenness of her observation of the natural world and her ability to complement what J conceived. He became her lover and she his muse; he remodelled his life and his work around her, her life and her work.

When performing the most complex of music it always seemed to him that the relative time of music and the clock time of reality met in strange conjunctions of stasis. Quite suddenly clock time became suspended and musical time enveloped reality. He found he could be thinking something quite differently from what he was playing.

Further projects followed, and as they did he realised a change had begun to occur in J’s creative rationale. He seemed to adopt different personae. Outwardly he was J. Inside his musical thought he began to invent other composers, musical avatars, complete minds with different musical and personal histories that he imagined making new work.

J had manipulated him into working on a new project that had appeared to be by a composer completely unknown to him. L was Canadian, a composer who had conceived a score that adhered to the DOGME movie production manifesto, but translated into music. The composition, the visuals, the text, the technological environment and the performance had to be conceived in realtime and in one location. A live performance meant a live ‘making’, and this meant he became involved in all aspects of the production. It became a popular and celebrated festival event with each production captured in its entirety and presented in multi-dimensional strands on the web. The viewer / listener became an editor able to move between the simultaneous creative activity, weaving his or her own ‘cut’ like some art house computer game. L never appeared in person at these ‘remakings’, but via a computer link. It was only after half a dozen performances that the thought entered his mind that L was possibly not a 24-year-old woman from Toronto complete with a lively Facebook persona.

Then, with the I-Mind, he woke up to the fact that J had already prepared musical scenarios that could take immediate advantage of this technology. A BBC Promenade Concert commission for a work for piano and orchestra provided an opportunity. J somehow persuaded Tom Service the Proms supremo to programme this new work as a collaborative composition by a team created specially for the premiere. J hid inside this team and devised a fresh persona. He also hid his new I-Mind technology from public view. The orchestra was to be self-directed but featured section leaders who, as established colleagues of J’s had already experienced his work and, sworn to secrecy, agreed to the I-Mind implant.

After the premiere there were rumours about how the extraordinary synchronicities in the play of musical sections had been achieved and there was much critical debate. J immediately withdrew the score to the BBC’s consternation. A minion in the contracts department had a most uncomfortable meeting with Mr Service and the Controller of Radio 3.

With the end of this phrase he would hit the gap  . . . what was he to do? Simply lift his hands from the keyboard? Wait for some sign from the I-Mind system to intervene? His audience might applaud thinking the piece finished? Would the immersive visuals with its  18.1 Surround Sound continue on the five screens or simply disappear?

His hands left the keyboard. The screens went white except for the two repeats signs in red facing one another. Then in the blank bar letter-by-letter this short text appeared . . .

Here Silence gathers
thoughts of you

Letters shall never
spell your grace

No melody could
describe your face

No rhythm dance
the way you move

Only Silence can
express my love

ever yours ever
yours ever yours

He then realised what the date was . . . and slowly let his hands fall to his lap.
Mateuš Conrad Nov 2016
some say it's called dart-eyes, a kaleidoscopic venture
that might leave you myopic, oddly enough i know
that people say a lot of far fetched things,
   and the excuses are usually metaphors,
there's the literal cardinal,
the literal spanish inquisition,
  and metaphors of demons in the bible -
          i still want to experience a fully
theocratic world: where man's words come
forth from man, and god's words come from
the mouth of god... again: poetry without
a god is like biology without chlorophyll,
   no one even suggested a kneeling process and
ardent prayer to be invoked,
     all it took was a spare thought away from
the daily commute and the daily invigoration
from some sort of ethic, oddly enough it always
ends up being an ethic of work...
   i guess that's why in the west everyone is
nearing an addiction thoroughly apparent that's
named workaholism... once the relationships
fail, the only saving string of hope is work,
an absurd work ethic, because wouldn't you
take a syringe filled with ink and do shifts in an
office beyond the norm, thus entering the world
of night shifts and anything else antisocial?
   people can't really be friends, we're fired up
toward formal relationships and what's guiding us
to these relationships is hierarchy...
              oddly enough the Aztec or Mayan
pyramids don't have that sort of feel to them,
they don't prescribe interpretations of hierarchy,
quite the opposite,
     ask someone who doesn't have a conquistador
heritage to explain that they are:
  the gallows... guillotines... the tyrant is not
buried within, these aren't caves to entombing a
tyrant with all his riches...
      there are no chambers in these structures...
they were intended as architectural symbols of
common law... those presumptions European
*******... human sacrifice? a myth...
these were sights of capital punishment,
you stepped out of line: you'd get your heart
carved out and your body would drop from
the execution altar down the steps for
           the scavenger mob to tear you apart
even further: had you transgressed communal
consent... justice has to become overpowering
but that does not mean we carve a mount
Rushmore akin to the statues of the valley of
the kings of enthroned pharaohs...
  much of ancient Egypt lingers in what we
call "modernity"... esp. in America...
             and the world is currently establishing
itself into cold war ii (i said that once,
can't remember when)... and until this is firmly
established, that it's clearly accepted that we're
dealing in a cold / intellectual war, then
we'll pass all that intelligence and engage in a hot war /
and emotional war, as characteristic overflowing
of populism, which at present times: has
all the coordinates, but no proper vector to
allow a congregational march toward impeding
dangers... but better a second cold war than
a third world war... so much of ancient Egypt
in America... the washington memorial for one...
what's the other name for it? ah... obelisk;
or what the pagans built to counter the fear of
impotence: well... we've established a bountiful
supply of humans... can we do a floral pattern
now? oddly enough we embraced tomb-pyramid
builders from the north-eastern side of
Africa's brain-dead region, and trusted
conquistadors wiping out a people that used
pyramids to stress the importance of law:
i can't see no reason to think that those pyramids
were intended for human sacrifice...
capital punishment? well, d'uh... because wasn't
Golgotha so unspectacular as to be less
than what it was? had they crucified him in private,
in some back-alleyway crucified to a door,
would history open its doors to the advent of
Christianity? don't think so.
what i'd really love to see is people with
necklaces of silver, and the thing dangling on them
would be a different torture mechanism...
an iron maiden... it's like prescribing pain is
necessary... it's a dogmatic ruling on a once upon
a time
(even the briefest) chance of happiness...
but even then certain philosophers say:
why be happy, when you can be interesting?
how interesting do you have to be so many times over
to not even wish for a stillness of neither want
nor drive to go beyond what you already have?
i don't know if this is an adequate comparison,
but in terms of interesting...
   a movie (side effects, 2013) utilises only two songs
in its official title:
   the focal point of a ******
       is staged to a "sleepwalking" woman preparing
a dinner for three (only two people are in the apartment),
the song? thievery corporation's the forgotten people...
i knew the band prior, and i've seen the film
before... but i never bothered to watch the credits...
i remember the odd couple who'd sit in cinemas and
engage in watching the end-credits, always the one
odd bunch: as if saying thank you to all the people
involve... a quick stroll through a graveyard is probably
comparably akin....
   and the other song? Bach's
   orchestral suite no. 2 in B minor, bwv 1067 -
     but i can't remember whether it's actually featured
in the film, simply because there's no focal moment
in the film where it can be heard as prominently as
the first song... and then there's thomas newman in
between (no surprise);
but a film like that is a meditation...
             if only two songs are used, chances are
the dialogue will have many strengths, because there
will be a multiplicity of consistent reinterpretation,
a bit like talking into a Tate Modern and seeing
Rodin's the kiss statue (inspired by Dante's divine
comedy), sketching it from the northern perspective,
the southern, western and eastern perspectives...
    i've seen few films that accredit a very minimalistic
soundtrack... on that note, how songs could literally
be translated into film titles: side effects - the forgotten people,
  dead poets' society - carpe diem, american beauty -
any other name, are there others? there probably are.

but that's nothing compared to last night's antics...
   some people climb the Everest... clap clap clap...
some people design super-suction vacuum cleaners...
clap clap clap...
                    from time to time i solve sudoku drunk
(no clapping)... but there's a narrative involved,
the narrative goes when you try to map out solving
one of these 81 "rubic" squares... applause for
speed with these babies like applause for premature
*******... aren't they compatible?
   we all have limitations, mine came yesterday,
when i allocated superscript numbers to the journey,
quiet literally an optical tangle, i should have used
       things like ª ' “ ‘ ¨ † above the plotted line...
but it only takes one mistake to ground you
   and then you have to go back and make minute corrections,
as the notes themselves suggest (crazy eyed darting):

exhibit a.

0    0    0    0    0    2    7    0    0
0    0    0    0  ­  4    0    0    2    0
2    0    5    1    0    7    0    0    8
0    9    0    0    0 ­   0    2    0    1
7    0    0    8    0    0    0    6    0
0  ­  0    6    0    7    0    5    0    0
4    0    8    7    0    0­    1    0    0
0    1    0    0    0    5    0    0    0
0    0 ­   9    0    1    0    3    0    0

   exhibit b. html that doesn't allow subscript
            or superscript notation, hence the brackets
   denoting movement (pending)

9 (24)    0          3 (23)    0    8 (5)    2    7    1 (2)    0
1 (12)    8 (8)    7 (9)      0    4          0    0    2          0
2            0         5            1    0          7    0    3 (13)   8
8 (7)       9        4 (18)     0 5 (33) 0    2    7 (1)      1
7            5 (16) 1 (14)     8   2 (20)   0    0    6           3 (21)
3 (19)    2 (17)  6            0   7           1 (15)  5           8 (6)    0
4            3 (27)  8           7   0            0         1            5 (28)    2 (26)
6 (30)    1          2 (22)   4 (31)    3 (32)    5    8 (3)    0    7 (11)
5 (29)    7 (10)    9    2 (25)    1    8 (4)    3    0    0

      it is no surprise that the notation played a key part
in having failed to map out the route taken,
       when you're using numbers in a puzzle
  it's almost an inevitable path to failure,
since you're making superscript "bookmarks" at
high concentration, and without any distinction to
what the puzzle demands, hence you go "cross-eyed"
  in solving the puzzle, and superscripting your progress
using the same symbols that are required to solve it,
but given that the puzzle involves 81 slots
  with 9 x 9 identical components (only so rearranged
  to be not contradict the rule of the puzzle
i.e. 9 symbols in each square of the nine in total,
   with a 9 x 9 variation on all linear arrangements not
involving two similar symbols, i.e.
   1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9, rather than 1 2 2 3 4 5 6 7 8) -
what became a hope to correct the mistake, but given
the intricacies of the progress, all the more harder to
recount steps and subsequently move forward with
   the spotted error...
hence a refresh, and the need for schematic,
given that there are 81 slots in total, with
     27 already in place, and given that there are 26
units of alphabet... how handy to actually persist in
using these characters, but adding diacritical variations
to make up 54 necessary, without invoking
      a 10 or a sz...

exhibit c.

0    0    0    0    0    2    7    1ą    0
0    0    0    0 ­   4    0    0    2    0
2    0    5    1    0    7    0    0    8
0    9    0    0    0 ­   0    2    7α    1
7    0    0    8    0    0    0    6    0
0 ­   0    6    0    7    0    5    0    0
4    0    8    7    0    ­0    1    0    0
0    1    0    0    0    5    0    0    0
0    0­    9    0    1    0    3    0    0

exhibit d.

nb. α = 1, ą (ogonek) = 2, á (acute) = 3, à (grave) = 4,
â (circumflex) = 5, ä (umlaut) = 6, cedilla missing,
   ã (tilde) = 7, b = 8, c = 9, ć = 10, č (caron) = 11,
ĉ (circumflex) = 12, ā (macron) = 13, ç (cedilla) = 14,
d = 15, e = 16, é = 17, è = 18, ê = 19, ě = 20, ë = 21,
f = 22, g = 23, ǧ = 24, ḡ = 25, ĝ = 26
         (now i figure, could have used Greek... d'uh!
ahh, i'll use it for the finishing touches),
        h = 27, i = 28, ı = 29, í = 30, î = 31, ï = 32, μ = 33
j = 34, δ = 35, k = 36, λ = 37, ł = 38, τ = 39, n = 40,
ń = 41, ñ = 42, o = 43, ō = 44, ø = 45, p = 46,
q = 47, r = 48, s = 49, γ = 50, φ = 51, χ = 52, ψ = 53, ω = 54.

before i begin the puzzle... there's a reason why a caron
g (ǧ) might exist, and why a grave z might not...
   and why there's a piquant difference between
an acute z (ź) and ż - depending on the aesthetician,
who decides to move away from the national linguistico-aesthetic
dogma... for example the name George,
orthodoxy states you must learn the aesthetic version
of Grze'gosz... but you would also be able to write
the alternative: Ǧegoš - given that rz is equivalent to ż,
    and given that there is no grave accenting of z,
but there is the acute (ź), perhaps you could consider
the dot a convergence point that could assimilate
sound, immediately over the caron g... of course none
of these remarks are intended for application: because
they would never reach a consideration in a learning
curriculum of any nation, a whimsical idea derived from
the remnants of the esperanto experiment...
  from what i can see, ǧ would equal grz, and
the reason that rz exists at all, and it equivalent to ż
is because a grave version of z is missing, and that
the acute z (ź) exists, and there is no point of balance
that otherwise is the foundation of the caron...
  i wouldn't have thought focusing on such "trivial"
signs above letters provided so much pecking-orders.

exhibit e. focal points in greek notation

9ǧ    4ñ    3g    6o    8â    2    7    1ą    5τ
1ĉ   ­ 8b    7c    5p    4    3q    6ń    2    9ł
2     6γ     5      1      9r    7    4n    3ā    8
8ã    9    4è    3s      5ψ   6ω    2    7α    1
7    5e    1ç    8      2ě    4ø    9ō    6    3ë
3ê    2é    6    9λ    7    1d      5    8ä    4k
4    3h     8    7     6χ    9φ    1    5i    2ĝ
6í    1    2f    4î     3ï      5     8á   9μ    7č
5ı    7ć    9    2ḡ    1     8à     3     4j     6δ

thus completed: there's a reason why the majority
of the narrative is done utilising diacritical marks,
i could have used many more distinct symbols,
but the point is: there are very few focal points
that can be ascribed distinct markings,
most of the puzzle is done on the basis of "crazy eyes",
i.e. darting eyes - focal points do emerge after
much darting about the squares, notably when
a linear sequence is completed, or whenever one of
the 9 squares is completed, or when all nine squares
contain nine 7s or 8s...
      or that's one way to go about not having any whiskey,
the rain pouring outside, and the night stretching
into a near eternity -
exhibit f. narrative of correction, actual excerpt

it began at h, i.e. labyrinth corner no. 27,
******* trainspotting! this is going to be like reading
the time for the next train to arrive at Waterloo!
  5(28), 5(33)?, 5(28),
  6(30), 4(31), 3(22), 5(33), 33? 9(38), 4(34),
  6(35), 4(36)...
6(41) < 4(40) < 5(39) < 9(38) < 9(37)....
       4(42) < 6(43) < 9(44) < 4(45) < 5(46) < 3(47) < 9(48) < 3(49) <...>
   6(58) > 9(51) < 6(52)...
        longest period spent on 3(13) / ā -
   and the notation that gave way to this spiral?
5(33), which actually ended up being 5(53) / ψ.
Mateuš Conrad Nov 2015
i love this quote, esp. the way it’s orientated in terms of functionability of deciphering the timing and what-not:

"a  poet is an unhappy being whose heart is torn by secret sufferings, but  whose lips are so strangely formed that when the sighs and the  cries  escape them, they sound like beautiful music... and then people  crowd  about the poet and say to him:  "sing for us soon again;" that is  as  much as to say, "may new sufferings torment your  soul."  ~soren  kierkegaard

a. ambiguity par excallence given that no one has yet sorted out
    quotation markings in the english language -
    so why does the “ “ enclosure really deviate from
                                                        “           “          “
proper usage?

oh it means quoting aloud what you could think of...
how about starting with ‘a poet...’
no? oh well,
but how did the english language begin with
using both “ “ notation and ‘ ‘ notation?
no diacritic on e o a c r and so many others...
typical stiff upper-lip bits and pieces...
- not content with the polish / irish (joyce’s ulysses) notation.
- i am sure of it.
- you’re not more sure than the reality of such blatant misjudgement.
- really?
- really dee dee indeed e.
- by hoghorn and the grunting snout!
- smoking cigarettes smoked outside, whiskey drank indoors,
   i’m really feeling a tango will precipitate.
- first good night of the thrill of a chill this year.
- i entered the supermarket with blood-red hands.
- it rained, remember?
- it did, and the air eased the chiseled of ice breathed into.
- are we really one but representing two?
- it’s the neo-fiction model,
   not first person third party smallprint
  sign the contract get satellite t.v. for 2 years and not the legal 1
  to mind changing the provider.
- o fortuna!
- dressed in a straight-jacket announcing the x-factor fudge-packers
   of taste by populist consenus.
- my that’s witty...
- it’s not, i borrowed it from psychiatric books:
   two schizophrenics in the nest of cuckoos’ borrowed eggs...
- technically and with proper terminology?
- see that dust over there as if it was winter in auschwitz?
- yep.
- that’s called the ready model / safe model,
   we’ll never get rid of it in either first or third person narration,
   we need to invite gymnastics into the realm of typing & typos,
   get the first person splits-aware...
- right on - tom petty’s last dance of mary jane...
- ever see stoners dance?
- yeah, once, when they abstracted the word dance
  and visualised it for the sake of giggles...
- exactly...
- what now?
- now you pretend to be the protagonist and
   i pretend to be the narrator
   and we mingle, leaving us with the only acceptable equation:
- narrator steals from the protagonist the limelight!
- yes!
so now that we have the whole problem sorted into tight
boxes, we can reclaim the bulge of plato in the demise of existentialism:
i speak the truth... although truth is “truth,”
it’s technically ~truth... ah... that’s better... better notation
that “truth”
which gives me worry though... so the guy who said the bit
about poets is approx. the guy who said the bit about poets?
that’s doubly confusing...
- i will tell the truth with ambiguity...
- but how can you if you take to be an ambiguity per se?
so if an approx. man said an ambiguous thing in relation to
a definite thing... an inapproximate replica of the man
said an in-ambiguous thing in relation to an indefinite thing...
vomo maxim;
the truth is bewildering within the realm of proximity:
the prefix-affixes do their dues to add to the confusion:
it’s a ceremony down the middle so nearly missed
but not so nearly meddled with:

definite article                                                         ­ indefinite article

                                                    ­                                  mars
                          ­                                                            fire
­                                                                 ­                     sunset
                                     ­                                                 apple
          ­                                                                 ­           cherry
                                               ­                                       (burgundy
                ­                                                                 ­      crimson
                                                         ­                              pink
                                                            ­                           coral
                                                           ­                            salmon)

                                                    ­                                 sea
brighton lauerel
storm of the gray earl (etc.)

whatever... i'll just pour myself another whiskey and laugh it off.
Tyler James Cook May 2014
I can't wait till I'm awake..
Plugged into the wall.
Nothing noted until the shell of the capsule
collapses under the weight of your trembling hands.

No there is no notation for what was said between us, just figure-less voices and a strenuous pain that strained our throats for the fear of nothing being communicated between the exasperated gasps of what was less than incommunicable silence.

Ugly is not a word but a feeling applied with meaning, applied to a certain truth about that metallic taste in my mouth, that tearful pain jostled in my chest and that consuming fear.

  I know little of what this ugliness could mean other than it harbors shame in my corners. This shame is not inborn in anyone, but it builds it's presence as a drunken braggart who shouts obscenities and believes he is a prince of highest regard.

His ugliness is in what he slings from his tongue and his criticisms of all who in his mind toil about. But he is simply a angry troll with no heart and delusions of grandeur, frittering away time.. for time stands as an eternal judge and measure.
Mateuš Conrad Feb 2016
i still get two alumni magazines
shoved through my mailbox,
edinburgh's edit, and u.c.l.'s portico,
they're alike, they're asking for money:
which is a bit like that mystery of lawlessness,
one word... money!*

i love poetry, i really do,
i think it respects readers more
than those glutton chatterers of off-the-page prose,
there's no need to create characters,
prose readers have an easy way out,
they have all the hidden architecture
keeping them involved with time-wasting
effectively-exploitative narration,
and then the characters, off the page
nothing like the readers with mundane jobs,
with menial tasks better augmenting
the cartesian thought and being,
ego and something that represents a passing,
meaning the unit, re-, of something the same
that changes each day...
readers of poetry are not readers of prose,
in comparing poetry to prose
poetry is naked... there is no elaborate
scaffolding... to concrete character study...
a poet can't conjure characters...
he can't even conjure rivers or readers...
when prose has characters, poetry has readers;
how many memorable characters emerge
from a prosaic narrative? one, two... fifty?
you see the pawn legion fall on the first
shot shadow of mongolian arrows...
you see their slain bodies hit the mud without
a word... so you see:
poetry is too naked, it's a mud-hut compared
to prose's glass spiral...
poetry will leave you an architect, rather than
a labourer... you will build your own you...
i wish i too could build from scratch
a horizon of distractions...
i rather you build that... you can't be a character
for me... you have to be a reader... not necessarily
an orator of what i wrote... just a reader...
and more than all the summations of characters
can be moulded into... hence the loss of tightly packed
paragraphs... hence the scarcity of composition...
if prose be a Chopin or a Liszt... then poetry be a Debussy or
a Satie... and i prefer the latter...
plus poetry is written so there's less eye-strain
bothering you... no loss of post-interlude starting point...
when poetry is read standing up...
prose is a style taken to bed and falling asleep to,
or that easy armchair: when i was converting my
grandmother to read poetry (zbigniew herbert's)
and forget the cheap romance novels... she was quietly
amused... i told her we write scarce words, once in a while,
rather than attempting to procrastinate
as most work is these days with the lost scythe and plough
on the pseudo-faustian bargain of Proust
(if it has no direct meaning, remember
there's a direct and an indirect article dualism,
just let it resound... don't treat it like a comet...
but more like rainfall... i treat ezra pound's like that...
like a hundred people could say the same,
even though only one did)...
the proustian bargain fabble? babble babble blah blah
babylon... the israelites sung about the babylonian
captivity... thought about the egyptian one...
i once said architectural necrophilia, and i'm true to it
like an expected tide...
but let us return to the title...
poetics explains economics the best...
new notation in post-existentialism, the ditto-encapsulation
will be replaced with a non-literary notation,
with the approx. mark, so a word is referred to
as approximately rather than within the skeleton
of ambiguity, loose the question mark, that way you will,
no longer "haiku" as referring to syllables, but rather
referring to length, hence the notation ~haiku, e.g.:
poet strip yourself of priceless / worthless subject matters,
the mechanics of the moon and the sun are too much,
you write of beauty for beauty be only a grandeur,
and indeed you take pick of the celestial bodies,
but you leave the two-pence coin on the pavement
when you pass it, and by not picking it up
not blowing on it for good luck (come one moment
come the next moment, gone),
so that the pennies can be increased...
write a thousand moons into a single poem
and still the thousand moons will not translate
into a thousand pounds: you speak of the nocturnal
moisture with a mouth of a desert, and a tongue
like a sidewinder... always missing the topic
you care for because you have never took step
on the object stressed, used...
don't make this a barren art-form.
undefined Nov 2012
study, cram, call, make plans...
power point, presentation, speech, rewrite...
theory, materialism and idealism and the difference,
Marx, Freud to psychoanalyze...
on to polynomials, linear equations, I make a scientific notation...
take a break. (eat)
ham sweet and thick
with lots of pineapple and some cherries
potato bread and cheese
PowerAde to rehydrate
little vodca with o.j. and cigarette  
after lunch, breathe .
and it’s back to study lab to mentally beat meat.
paper due, final today, did I remember to triple check
and get rid of paper clips, include a cover sheet...
ready to evaluate... I think.
ready to second guess, miss dates and time, "you're late"
95, 98, 3.5 GPA? pre-test, for final, make sure your research is done,
site, source, quote, student rate and double space
power nap, smoke again,
is the day over yet?..
just slackin off here for a second  lol
b e mccomb Aug 2016
the person who decided
to put their old
movie theater seats
in front of the
swimming pool
was a gosh **** genius.

and i often think
about streetlights
harmonizing with
brick walls.

(don't you hate
travel, though?)

yes, i do
but to get out
of my mind i'd
go straight to anywhere.

(i've missed this
but now i know
that straight lines
aren't static.)

(you see)
(fully obvious)


are we hurting
or are we back
to where pain is
felt as strength?

when you see
do you see

you should
i should.


(and don't you know
that when you lay your
voice flat on the sidewalk
it sinks in the cracks?)

there's nothing like putting
poetry in a music notation
book to make you
realize how useless you are.

i have my reasons
all written in
hieroglyphics that
i can't read
and i have more
all written in
shades of lonely and
ceiling tiles.

so sue me
for the truth
i'm just afraid
of being hurt.
Copyright 5/5/16 by B. E. McComb
Mateuš Conrad Aug 2018
.   classical music is so outdated, when it comes to exposing children to it, for them, to then, later in life, reap the benefits of "increased" intelligence... oh look... they took down xenomorph's satan's presence video... the one with all the great artwork, including exponents of Goya and Dürer, and... Adolphe-William Bouguereau's masterpiece: Dante and Virgil (the onlookers)... shame, really...  because who said that children can't keep count, when listening to psy-trance electronic music, attempting to keep count, rather than understand violin, brass, or woodwind melodies? not me... there's an upper echelon, of music, sure, it's a hyper-inflation of African drum culture... but it's there... and, like me... some ******* just need to be pulverized by the beat.

problem with the alternative to rolling tobacco -
akin to chesterfield brand...
    when compared to golden virginia?
the tobacco is drier -
                  you need to squeeze it between
your fingers, to get some juices flowing...
and i've heard a lot of ******* in my days...
but that rolling papers,
are somehow different to the cigarette wrap,
as the reason why...
   a rollie will die off if not smoked,
but a cigarette will not?
     it's not the papers...
   it's the to(e)-ba(h)-khh-khh-co(e)...
high quality rolling tobacco is fresher...
slightly moist...
    akin to golden virginia...
   but a brand like chesterfield?
   dry like **** about to give you
          an imitation circumcision...
you actually have to squeeze the ****
brown **** to get an adequate
rolling technique going...

never mind that though...
  **** me! i've been looking for this scenario
since time immemorial...

(current year, England...
   when was it permitted,
for a neighbour, to tell another neighbour,
where, and when, he can smoke
a cigarette on his property?
         i have the neighbourly decency
to not walk ****-naked into my garden,
subsequently scratching my ***,
and then jerking off anything
but chicken in full view...
  but where, i can smoke a cigarette?
this is England...
             i compromised -
   but she can't have, the *******, night!)

ah... the su doku observation!
i've been looking for it for years...
   no. 10,044

0  0  0  1  2  7  0  0  8
0  8  0  5  6  9  0  2  4
0  0 ­ 0  4  8  3  0  0  7

     the common problem with
people solving this puzzle,
is that they start thinking of...
   fractions: namely?
   only two alternatives, rather than three...

i've seen my father's notation
sometimes, 1 / 5              i.e. or
    9 / 3
in the English, catholic, teaching methods
concerning basic mathematics of
Pythagoras - you were required
to find, 3 points...
  to draw a straight line (just to make sure) -
        unless that third point
a liquor store, going AB      BA...
              but drawing a straight line?
never mind

0  0  0         0  0  1    |  0  0  8      via      (  x  )
0  0  0   i.e. 0  5  9    |  0  2  4                 (  y  )
0  0  0         0  0  0    |  0  0  7                 (  z  )

i needed a matrix answer... and i fiddled
one out!

( 5  9  9  5 )
( 1  1  1  1 )
( 9  5  5  9 )

              there simply can't be an alternative
to where 1, is supposed to be placed
on the grid...

0  0  0         0  0  1    |  0  0  8
0  0  0   i.e. 0  5  9    |  1  2  4
0  0  0         0  0  0    |  0  0  7

i've surprised myself -
       which is even more gratifying...
than i'm slightly tipsy -

0  0  0
0  0  0
0  0  0           (what's that?
                     spatial coordination,
for said, example).

have to coin a phrase for this discover...
ah... the su doku third coordinate,
of a straight line... #howlin'wolf'sblues:
could been a spoonful' of sugar...
ah... **** never gets old.
Nat Lipstadt Feb 2016
A Woman's Reflection on Her Reflection (Valence and Value)

one poem, written by two authors


Ever the analyst,
A mirror functions as surface to
Parse the fleeting constant
Of youth's beauty.

From genetic gift
Of symmetry and bone,
To technological tampering,
Until the equation is solved,
As experience and character
Models and maps the result.

The answer, a reflection,
Of individual valence and value

(written by S.D., a woman)


(written by N.L., a man)

unbidden and unannounced, a
"not fully formed poem,
but a simple reflection"
inbound missile arrives inbox,
armed with silent power,
the lethality of the
Holy Unexpected

the man reflects
on her mirror-on-the-wall's
fulsome reply,
parsing the words of a
woman's reflection,
while gazing on her own

every human's momentary glass notation,
but an instance of summation,
a human poem, whose editing,

a comma here,
a period inserted,
an eye shadowed, an eyebrow tweezed,
a eye dark circle line added,
to tree-mark time's authorship

all  these
but a person's
excerpted extraction,
then auto-erased and revised,
as out of date,  
instantaneously compromised


it is upon  the conceptual,
valence and value,
more that the man reflects perpetual,
less on transitory morphing changes of
exterior mortality

while overlooking her
glassine realization from behind,
he concludes:

every reflection,
no matter how oft the snapshot,
the unfleeting constancy
of the combining of the

princes of principles,
valence and value

that he witnesses,
in the calming pool
of her eyes,
(those borrowed windows into her soul's well,)
so well reflect
her unchanging greater finery,

her character

this reflection,
metamorphosis transformed.
into a planetary permanency poem,
high placed in his the firmament
of their conjoined sky
as used in psychology, especially in discussing emotions, means the intrinsic attractiveness (positive valence) of an event, object, or situation.

In chemistry, the valence or valency of an element is a measure of its combining power with other atoms when it forms chemical compounds or molecules.

you decide.

hers, two six sixteen,
his, two seven sixteen,
in the wee hours
Mateuš Conrad Feb 2017
after acquiring the english language,
and synthesising it for twenty years...
ugh... breakfast that is but a cup of water
and immediately feeling bloated...
or just imagining that you can live
on food and alcohol... like a diesel engine....
comes to just as much
     trying to catch butterflies akin to
nabokov, or thoughts...
      and are either, so trully necessary?
well... unless you take to calling it
the only relative opposite of picking up
a gun and shooting someone for no reason
other than a per se reason, which
subsequently has to be reasoned with -
akin to this...
  or, dare i say, picking up a philosophy book
and seeing how there is clearly
a child in there, esp. in english -
how each philosophy book seems to be
avoiding the pronoun i -
such is the nature of these books,
    a lot of hide & seek happening -
with the basic formula of: being yourself,
to avoid, your self.
then again as this french girlfriend told
me when she was staying in edinburgh
for a year to complete her erasmus program
from the university of grenòble
and she was doing this psychology experiment
and she needed native speakers...
  and i was given the stick for trying to
fake her science by suggesting that i'd do it...
           well i really did hook up with her when
an american was about to court her,
and that's the only time i played the huinter-gatherer
role, or was motivated to do so,
when we went bar crawling and i pulled her
from the crowd and we stayed behind while
the group moved to another pub...
that was the only time i felt a need to do the "chase",
later this thing called the categorical imperative
came along, and i subsequently lost the impetus
to compete...
being a gladiator could have been greater,
what with the hardships of life...
but you can watch these gladiators fall...
quiet easily, buying groceries in a supermarket,
or opening a fridge door...
it's this return to the mundane, the household
environment can really beat a man,
if his life is lived to sample the ancient
field of danger...
   so when i did get the schtick of her empiricism
i decided: well... i'm no native....
and aren't we all so puritan about science
when some of it can't be falsified,
which it can:
        never too fond of accents myself...
native or alien...
               some people have a fetish for
feet or a french accent...
                        but that ***** essex slur...
or however you'd like to put it,
  it's not even cockney, but you get to hear
something quasi-cockney around these parts
more often, given that a lot of londoners
are moving away to these parts...
cockney meets essex county...
or meats it... yep: beats it silly with squalor
and at the same time: sophistication of living
in cement graveyards of an international city...
then again, you walk into a forest at night
during the summer, wearing only a t-shirt...
and it's freezing!
   you can actually hear Gaia breathing...
and then out of the woods and onto the cement...
that rush of feeling a complete change
of temperature... well... that's something.
          oh it wasn't me, i didn't dump that
french bird, she dumped me,
       as an experienced woman in her early
twenties would, to a ****** (who lost it with her),
18 year old.
    memories and all, what a grand cinema,
sipping absinthe on the streets of athens,
the athenian strip-club...
                sitting on a stool looking at a stripper
while holding two women in my arms
and kissing that sweet, sweet tender *****...
what happened after?
   drank all my money away,
                was escorted by a bouncer to a cash
machine... ****** myself
           and scuttled away back to the hostel....
and then took the bus from athens to katowice...
macedonia? beautiful, very hilly...
       serbia though... a plataeu of snow...
and i admit, belgrade from the distance
looked stunnig... esp. because of the snow.
oh right, i was supposed to insert a          )
having begun it with a     (      of an original prompt...
english really does have this natural
basis to invoke a self-conscious pronoun base of i,
it's like there's this need for a double-certainty
of the speaker stating that: it really is that person
speaking... or even thinking...
     polish        as a language? it rarely uses
the pronoun ja, i.e. i,
                          it's just certain -
english has to overtly use the pronoun -
      and it would be certainly pointless to ditto it
out... like some careless selfish womanisers
by the name of sartre...
                   that's the one thing i don't understand
about sartre, how it could ever be, something
about "ego"... more like Igor and doctor frankenstein...
i find that expression, yes, that alone
   " e g o " to be akin to pontius pilate washing his hands:
for whather transgression: i can't be to blame...
and then comes that ****** mantra
of mea culpa... and it just goes on and on...
to be frank, the whole point of mea culpa
is to transcend any invocation of self-pity...
      it's probably the foremost notion of transcendentalism,
well given that self-pity exists in people,
and some people would rather take blame;
indeed, it is my fault that i once had a heart
to feel intimate with someone, or even entertain
the idea of a fwend...
                            if anyone asks, i'll just be
a hermit, in my little cave.
Mateuš Conrad May 2017
.i can hardly feel nostalgic, when youtube was what it was, i could waste a good liter of whiskey and stay up all night trapped in the labyrinth of the most superior - ingenious algorithm, a personalised algorithm that was pure a.i.: it would learn from you, in the suggested feed, it always learned from what you like a priori and it would suggested a thesaurus interpretation, those were the fun odd days, a man could immerse himself in foraging for new music as well as butchering a liter of whiskey... lately my exploration days on the platform became nothing of human concerns, more a rat in a maze, even the drinking became dreaded labour of: "boredom"... some things had to change... what was the point of wasting a liter of whiskey per night on a screen that became as unshakeable as a mountain... so now, instead of wasting 20 quid a night on a bottle... half a liter will give me the lullaby effect... in terms of drinking that half a liter of whiskey: considering i will not enjoy using the internet as much... never mind the view count: i know that some written has a lower view count and that if it has a view count it builds up slowly... after all i am a modern contemporary... there's so much tolstoy to get through! the tally... but i will not allow myself the brahmi tally system, it's too complicated for my liking... and i can't write the european ||||(/) into html for some reason... let alone the chinese (正) version... i had to invent my own tally system - the braille tally:

           ⠁ ⠃ ⠇ ⠧ ⠷ (⠿)
           1  2  3   4  5  (6)
           a  b  l   v  à  (é)

    it's quiet a sobering experience...
                     only yesterday i drank about 250ml
and pretended to be asleep for six hours,
got up so refreshed that i started to decorate the kitchen
and made the most badass tagiatelli meatball sauce...
the trick was... onions garlic and two fresh chillies
fried first... a teaspoon of chilli powder
a teaspoon of paprika fried first,
   chicken stock added, then some tomato puree...
let that thicken...
meanwhile make the meatballs...
the breadcrumbs should be made into a paste
by adding milk... the meat fused with the breadcrumbs,
salt, pepper and italian herbs:
oregano, thyme, rosemary, basil etc. fried
and left to the side...
    a can of chopped tomato, worcestershire sauce...
some sugar... salt / pepper to taste...
then the meatballs would go in...
            the old youtube: explorer-tube is
not coming back...
        and... quiet frankly?
           exploring these alt. media outlets is a bit
of a headache...
what good is to me,
                                         when i never used twitter?!
whatever this current: "culture war" is...
                  it's not worth fighting...
                             at this point videos gain
the traction of "count"...
         but then the "count" becomes diffused into
stupid comment sections where people need
the obligation to shout and pass the queue with
raised elbows...
                            repossession - a synthwave  music
                tomorrow i'll finish decorating the kitchen,
save myself another 10 quid...
try to find about 3 hours of sleep...
                     and i'll look back at the years
from 2008 through to 2016 as a glorious period
in internet history that has:
   unfortunately died and how the future generations
will never experience what i've experienced
when it came to an a.i. music shop assistant...
   so they say: a.i. will take away many professions...
by the looks of it...
   the first a.i. job for an a.i., as a music store curator...
the first a.i. music shop assistant?
fired... out of a job...
            it's strange...
                            oh but not so very strange...
a.i. to steal the jobs of humans...
    looks like humans hit first...
   and stole a.i.'s first job prospects,
on a site like youtube...
                     and what a fine job this a.i. did...
i never knew so much alt. music existed...
      well i did and i didn't: that's up for debate...
in translation? if you buy a vinyl copy
of a record... you still get a code to a site that lets
you download the mp3 copy...
so the best of both worlds...
                                a vinyl... and mp3s...
but bye bye wasting away every night on a site
that turned against its a.i. music shop assistant...
here's to sobering up...
                    by gradations...
       after all: one decent "poem" a glorious night
is enough to five spewed like venom spat from
                                                                      an u.z.i.

even i become remotely "o.c.d." when it comes down to
the english sway of notation.
                 i'm talking a basic arithmetic,
a basic arithmetic of notation in english, or quiete simply
english notation.
                         i deem         "    "       to denote:
                        a quote, of a quote - as in: third party
resources being cited.
                                            what i'd definitely be satisfied
with as deeming a quote, would be a    '          '      
but the way english speakers denote a quote a quote
by using "         "     encapsulation? to me that's arithmetically
unsound...  or to use a blunt knife expression: simply wrong.
first of all             " = ditto
                 perhaps the english are unfamiliar with
continental standards of linguistic coding, but  " = ditto,
but of course         ditto ≠ quote...
                               " ≠ quote,
so why would you utilise the ditto symbol to imply, quote?
            it doesn't matter if it's either side of said words,
the symbol is not a quote-based symbol to be used...
   '        '       is; yep, two *******... now who's feeling creepy?
" = /as above/
        where no 2nd or 3rd party sources are cited / quoted -
at best the     "     "   encapsulation can only mean one thing,
and one thing only: ambiguity:
                        a bit like saying - a friend of a friend, said
that he once ordered k.f.c., and in it he found
        a k.f.m. (kentucky fried mouse)...
                                                but that's about it.
the ditto mark implies                               paraphrase,
you're basically rewording something,
                                  borrowing from the already stated
     in the above, given script, of your own original output.
so you see, i don't know how "      " encapsulation can denote
a quote, if the basic arithmetic states,    ' + ' = ",
                         and by the time someone supposedly quotes,
the notation of supposed citation will morph into  "'       "'
                       type of enclosure.
Hal Loyd Denton Apr 2012
To serve as a sub title I would call this antidote presented in a flowered bouquet first of flowers then
Thoughts that are found in such gifts of treasured beauty an antidote in the central theme of my life

Trying to give any and all relief from pain and suffering if nothing else it will serve as a brief distraction
As you read unfortunately we can only win small victories but anything to help just possibly it will make
A crack that will lead to understanding and more winning can occur

The gold bejeweled lives I have known they the towers the earth’s perennial flowers they were the all
Consuming hours of my life others view life conceptually one part is a stone wall that grows the figwort

With the other English Ivy Hedera the first has the notation of growing in old ruins here
Is the represented tendrils of the heart ever growing ever showing a map of feelings ether joyful or

Tragic within their sinew your strengths and weakness are displayed yes they are hidden to the natural
Eye but in quiet conversation they reveal themselves in the loveliest ways they are rhythmic waves that

Flow over those that we love instilling in them our secret otherwise unknown selves then now I would
Like to present the main body of this piece what are the first words women say when they receive

Flowers how lovely is their words for this to happen their heavenly Father stood before this blue globe
And spoke to the wayward wind my desire is to make an unquestionable quality that will be the very

Essence from where its fragrance is derived he told the wind go and do my bidding instantly the wind
Split into four parts from that time till now it is called and said gather from the four winds in obedience

To the master one part rushed down and felt the tearing of mountain peaks it screamed with delight
And pain it soothed itself by quietly passing over knolls that stood on lonely hill tops then through vales

And valleys it made progress looked across the great span of earth to see what its kindred brothers and
Sisters were finding in its drift and wonderings it noticed one was awaking the wild African world then it

Turned and whirled as it picked up the scent of Africa’s coffee fields instinctively it knew where it must
Go next to the southern tobacco fields it delighted in the pungent promise where in parlors ever so

Humble the tiny pleasurable string like smoke would lay on the air and from a great distance far from
This domestic scene it could see its fellow kiss and roll across the earth’s great rivers the Nile and its

Rectangular pyramids the burial enclosures of the pharos with reverence they silently passed to deepen
This they drove onward until they felt the sacred Ganges below they drank of the sighs of millions of

India’s people refreshed by this dearness to link themselves to the one true God they set a course that
Would take them to where in future days a Union Jack would have the notoriety that the sun never set

In far off lands without its shadow proudly waving it pointed glory folds back to the Thymes where the
British crown would nobly reign and one of its greatest achievements would be the land of free men

That it spawned so out to sea it turned to visit this kingdom not of royal crowns but the garland of
Freedom that rested on every man woman and child it was home for many waters the Mongolia the

Ohio north lay the Great lakes in its center the old Mississippi it followed it down and made its turn west
To rivers called Rio Grande the Red Brazos on to the Colorado the snake and if they could be heard

Speaking they be saying Chisim Platt fairest blue bells I know your home in these familiar dales and pick
Up the from the arid desert from dry river beds biting sand go to its roots and you would know long

Ago waters that held brimming life over the gold fields it continues and dips into the blue pacific
Washing sand an grit its next stop was turquoise waters rainbows and waterfalls it fell into the swaying

Palms coconut papaya pineapple layered it with richness it would create the fabled trade winds it turned
To view it exact opposite its brother wind that came down from the pole it knew Russia’s Siberia Alaskan

Tundra at this point it heard the Father state you have done well he drew a great breath that captured
All that was gathered in the heart of the wind then he turned to carpeted fields that stood incomplete

Flowers were as a sea but they were empty petals they were the reproductive part of flowers but they
Were barren of vividness and true deep colors but worst of all they were odorless and then God

Breathed upon them the secrets that the wind had stored from the four corners of the earth in that
Moment flowers became the true marvel and were forever established as the hallmark of romantic

Expression first picturesque layered with gratitude stillness the chill from the pole that reached down
Through the Canucks of Canada there is the splash of **** frost felt if not known the enticement of the

Soul of cool contrasted with the deserts heat cacti drenched in sunlight never to be complete always in
Rays that makes it beholden in glimmers it shimmers it touts a glory born from harshness it lingers as

Indescribable beauty burnished sands its court this is also found in the allure of flowers hidden within
Is weariness but it is the refined kind it speaks to you not of tiredness but of rest of shade and shadow

A quest is announced do you not feel a sweet breeze how else does its fragrance come within reach
You’re carried back to mountain meadows meows from baby mountain lion kittens are laced within

The story flowers release through their fragrance and truly this just one of Gods many gifts to man
And the greatest Rose of all is His Son the Rose of Sharon

— The End —