Gnoem 23/3/13

With beard as lustrous as
the cymbal’s crash
he found a corner
unprepared by thought.

And the crone said, ‘father,
lonely in your shell,
sing the sons of Leda
read to me their ravages.’


the worst of my faults is a certain impatient gaiety of disposition

I’m trying to pass the man
in the superheated tent
with my life; then all goes hazy

so I go on a long vacation
close my eyes and sway
to the state of my mouth –

I want an immediate physical effect
a tactile, meaningful response –
but the weather has been

like a part of us left outside
and the moisture of some old sin
has grown too cold.

Sigh. And I know that this is only
a bovine volume –
but we all like that from time to time, don’t we?

Made with Gnoetry. Source texts: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, various MDMA experiences as reported on

Ectologue Triptych

vainly the muses
made me find a bench
and mould the forms of things

blue was addictive

and with these little pills
i sang the sun to rest
from dancing and content

i found
a god

blue was minimal


there’s always been a weight
within the shapes
the clouds the stars

blue is not human at all

draw from the town, my friend
to be the page more dear
to other people

Made using Gnoetry. Source Texts: Virgil’s Eclogues; various MDMA experiences as reported on

minor outbreaks numbered

minor outbreaks numbered
two hundred and one
in a position where i can
have no existence and by the
artistic beauty of this affair, i was
at that time
scarcely a general and of
the straight straight line which you are

but, like the owl cooped in the true
space is a blessing for me to
enter into –
i do – but this is
all in vain

Made with Gnoetry. Source texts: S. Beckett, Three Novels; A. Square, Flatland. Liberal sculpting: subtraction and multiplication of words; no addition*. Emphasis on sound values (with performance in mind). Listen to mp3 here.

*Subtraction: removal of word(s) from output text.
Multiplication: insertion of word(s) extant in original output text.
Addition: insertion of word(s) absent from original output text.

Orkney Mash-ups

On the train home from my trip to Orkney and the highlands, I fed the contents of my travel diary into Gnoetry, along with Ian Hamilton Finlay’s Orkney-centric collection of lyric poetry The Dancers Inherit The Party. Here are some of the results.

From where I sit,
at the end of the bay –
a great hunk of otherwise.

What are these little birds, oh girl of mine?
Art is a question of toast.

I see no sea,
the foam,
the swell
is there,
the great
one, two,

The hairs are on his toes! she says,
then he: they’d tie them up and glower.

oh dear, how your cold sad face
leans on the glass of necessity.

a lack of chain stores,
little hills, a wee scotch burn
and a simple girl

Meanwhile he is brown,
and I do not remember
all that I mumble.

All the boats in the fields as they settle.
All the drawings in your skin.

I remember what Engels said: freedom is the found among the rain.

Sometimes, all it takes to make a memory is to say – what a hill!
Sometimes, all it takes to make a memory is to wipe their wires.

This piece came to me:
a line, scribbled in her
dear and silly scrawl. I like it –
that’s why my heart settles in

its slow descent. Yes, it’s something
to have your skin.
Here and there’s a crooked stamp –
it means a kiss, and so it reads like this.

Am I
an awful man? This
cat’s on the

trail, there’s violence
in the rain.

Art and
poetry are the
keys to the

town. You
and everyone is

A lot of the evening sun
goes down. A writer

writes his beautiful.
Then the old man grows

inside his ears.
We have to eat.

Quite by chance –
a thunderstorm
in Gaelic!

a lack of

chain stores,
little hills, mist shops,
mist shops, mist

shops, mist shops,
mist shops, mist
shops, old and slow,

did buy
myself a kind of