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This writing was accepted for publication in the
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Respect Our Existence
or Expect Our Resistance

cc&d, v272
(the June 2017 issue - the 24 year anniversary issue)

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Respect Our Existence or Expect Our Resistance

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Negative Space
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[It was some kind of human noise...]

John Lowther, Sonnets from 555

It was some kind of human noise that was happening all over the place.
It is no dense to say that the listener is getting the broadcast free.
No pecking order, in other words.
It’s like listening to ice water.
Transfixed between pure rapture and anguish.

It is a concept on the way.
In other words, a memory.
Jump, and you will find out how to unfold your wings as you fall.

The transcendental and the transcendent are not synonymous.
Let’s not look for the summing up of things.
The quest for certainty blocks the search for meaning.


555 is a collection of untitled sonnets whose construction is database-driven and relies on text analytic software. I crunched and analyzed Shakespeare’s sonnets to arrive at averages for word, syllable and character, these averages became measures for three sets of sonnets. The lines are all found, their arrangement is mine. Values for word, syllable and character were recorded. Typos and grammatical oddities were largely preserved. The line selection isn’t rule-driven and inevitably reflects what I read, watch, and listen to, thus incorporating my slurs and my passions as well as what amuses and disturbs me. These sonnets were assembled using nonce patterns or number schemes; by ear, notion, or loose association; by tense, lexis, tone or alliteration. Think of Pound’s “dance of the intellect among words”— The dance in question traces out a knot (better yet, a gnot) that holds together what might otherwise fly apart. I espouse only the sonnets, not any one line.

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