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[Enough smiling is enough.]

John Lowther, Sonnets from 555

    Enough smiling is enough.
    These animals eat humans.
    Someone was always watching.
    This is the shape of reality.
    Deadpan, and deadly serious.

    Boredom, irritation, exasperation, humiliation.
    Amplification comes down to the local level as well.
    Popularity is the slutty little cousin of prestige.
    There is no final reconciliation and no final peace.

    To see that the world does not exist, that there is no world, it is enough to think of the great mass of banalities that an infinite number of imbeciles believe the world to be.

 

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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