Monday, August 31, 2009

"The Death of Jesus"

“The Death of Jesus”

Now, the death of Jesus: I and others should fight for God.
It's a miracle, but close our eyes and breathe: body parts down to the eye.
It was night, when teachers come to know from birth on our roads.
However, hate can not eat; he can not force them to try.
New forms allow any sun to know. I fear teachers. But do not fear me.
Stop God and use a voice. Ready to talk about wolves, because we have guns.
A series of falling glass we see around us. Other pipelines and dreams of profit.
Perhaps a depreciation, for the murder of snow is full of fear.
Weapons? No knife to kill a wolf howling in front of Rome.
Blood will dance with your fingers, follow your fingers deep down.
He and I are a large Bowie knife through security, through the mirror I think.
I do not understand men in the basket, creating a problem.
I cry because I see things have changed: I threw away the sun.
Flash has won the way they should; the left fingers were burned in the blood.
Smile and say, we witnessed the suffering of my heart.
Discomfort and pain with a smile. And a quiet, elegant gentleman died.

This work was based on "Dracula" by Bram Stoker (, in particular Mina Harker’s Journal of 6 November. It was translated from English to Albanian to Greek to Ukrainian to Turkish to Simplified Chinese to Vietnamese to Romanian then back to English, courtesy of Google Translate (, before the resulting parts were reconstituted into the form shown above.

Monday, August 24, 2009

"Weight Against the Wind"

“Weight Against the Wind”

My hands are the hands of school
Against my appeal
Especially birds, the spirit of nature –
The interests of pain itself.

I said it's a disease in humans.
Animals under the conditions, but I still love you.
Then, learn to love another day
To ensure that non-word.
What is life? Hard white sweat
But only white pages.

Many people, like their inner skins –
Difficult to handle and move,
Pure, when ready, ready to eat in their nature.
Common sense and soft hands
Remain hidden in words.
Almost all these criminals, some energy,
Light and love: birds to teach me.

The wind continued to be mined.
Your mother and I love blood and meat –
My favourite trade: those who love ghosts.
Hopefully, the destruction of mountain people
Which centres the silence of his small right and wrong:
All these, I really do not want all the best in the world.
Good taste or bad, I do not want shame or secrecy.

This work was based on "Also Sprach Zarathustra" by Friedrich Nietzsche (, in particular chapter LV, “The Spirit of Gravity”. It was translated from English to Filipino to Bulgarian to Thai to Japanese to Lithuanian to Hebrew to Maltese then back to English, courtesy of Google Translate (, before the resulting parts were reconstituted into the form shown above.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Decapitation Classic

Decapitation Classic is an exercise in automation: a clash of classic and modern, of human and machine. It's about filtering the words of old through the machines of new: through Google Translate. Each 'poem' here is compiled by taking a lengthy stretch of a classic of literature (or some other public domain source) from Project Gutenberg, filtering it across seven languages' worth of machine translation to create a mass of text: half-meaningful, half random. I then sift through the end result for phrases and clauses that take my fancy: in truth it's 'poetry' only because it looks like poetry, and it's 'written by me' only because it's me in control of the final process. It's equally written by famous novelists of centuries past, and more than either it's written by faceless technocrats who work for Google.

The value of the result is, of course, up to you as the reader. I certainly make no claims as to its value or aesthetic success. It just is. But here you have it - a series of what may or may not be poems and that may or may not be written by me... notes beneath each will indicate their ultimate origins and the particular languages they have passed through.

Note: the title 'Decapitation Classic' is itself an example of the process, as I took a brief factual description of the process involved (something I've forgotten like "literary classics translated and cut up into poems") and translated it through a series of languages. What resulted was "Decapitation Classic" - a name, then, that has precisely as much meaning as any of the contents here.