POETRY + ESSAYS + MUSIC + TRAVEL + FICTION + TEXTILE ART
INTRODUCTION + HAAG'S BIO
Kelly is one of the few notable writers/artists/poets who understands and practices the use of the NET as that Information Highway all writers/artists/poets heard about a decade or so ago and have longed for ever since then, where, not only the scientific community, but the art/literary community, can freely exhibit, publish, exchange ideas, view works, outside the conventionalizing restraints of the marketplace.
The following poems originate, for me, with KK. However, they come from ideas generated by multitudes of brilliant minds and technologies which KK has compiled into OUT OF CONTROL. Perhaps the pinpoint of inspiration, re the poems, was this half sentence: "...strings of digits that randomly flipped a digit, just as books in the Borgian Library altered by one letter at a time." p. 334
All titles and quotes, as marked by an * are from Kevin Kelly's OUT OF CONTROL
The only way to describe a seed's potential
is to grow it.
Plant it in dirt, water it, nurture it,
pray a bit that the rabbit
doesn't nip it
or the dog kick it,
that the sun doesn't scorch it,
nor the rain swamp
Once it rises to a certain height.
one can name it,
sigh with certainty
that it might blossom into its
genetic equal, will
produce a seed
in its own image,
the crystal, snap into unity.
with as much potential as before it was
Life began whole, integrated, like a crystal,
not a half, nor
a half-materializing ghost, nor
less than the perfection of
crystal and glass.
quantum jumps, gaps in the fossil
record, strides in,
in continuity, leaps, dances,
at times, with time, space,
at times, a factor, at times, not.
A catalytic closure,
another, a seed,
crystalline closure, a
circular causality, self -- an
conspired form, Uroborus, tail eating mouth --
Maximal nimbleness is the middle mark
and complexity's catastrophed grid-
lock. Indra's Net's limits are
set: total nodes
minus one. For use,
use only a low ceiling of
out before satiety. Quiet,
slowing down before
ecstasy teeters on the edge
of chaotic behavior.
danger, court it,
swerve from rigidity,
And keep gently in mind, tongue tip poised,
wisely, winsomely, why ask the questions that
A dot appears and evolves, another dot,
evolution dot by dot, like leprosy
round the sphere, equidistant,
lichen and me,
you, inevitably, insanely
The skylark sings, the cell swallows, quite
gently, its mate.
remains, blossoming, blooming, pink
cherried feathers, white feathered
dancing the dance,
covering the sphere, layer
layer, each as old as its neighbor.
evolution, democracy, one dot,
without progress creeps from the sand deserts of
grain by grain, changing the slow, swirled pattern of
turbulence, climbing up
the ridges of
chaos, poised, static,
then tumbling down in change, more change of
ceaseless flight, swarming through the hives of
delight, dread of
of humans gently
creeping on civilizations
of Twin Towers collapsing,
plumed into smoke
of appalling stench.
Humans burning humans
bacterium, dots on the small sphere
A rising flow? Illusion? Directionless?
Self preservation looks for purpose. What else
in the soup of
evolution could whet its appetite, fix
its agenda, erase its
longing for a
simpler past? Who are
we to discern its direction, note
its odd urges
one by one, discern complexity,
number of members.
It never goes back. Reversing
is not a choice. It mutates,
rockets to the moon, and down into
Memory forgets, but no one forgets mem-
Urgency, desire replicating at each
choosing, spilling, climbing, fornicating, love,
they say, and creation
make the world go
round, topsy turvy,
and organized elegantly to
into decline and spiral, surprise,
fill the universe
with strangeness, chocolate, strawberry
and vanilla, push against
the walls and voids.
My life is brighter
than stars. Everything being
equal, enemies being attentive,
it takes almost 700,000 hours to kill a
and out of control, as one climbs the peaks up
from one's bed of nails,
trying to think what can't be thought, do what can't
be done, go where no one even
wanted to go
before. To balance
precisely, without a pole, on edge,
tiptoeing along chaos's sharp
is a natural,
pink-toed, lamb's-wool-eased, once-upon-
a-time thing. Dance on, dance on.
The heart expands
the breast with terror,
eyes itch. Use language. Use
it, though little enough can be said.
Write it down in script comprehended by just
It's a space/time pattern maker. It makes love
or extrudes itself
or replicates to make new its. It stores its
identity -- a gene warehouse.
It, to keep the
metabolizes. It interacts,
it does stuff. It can die. It can, when
It evolves. Such is
the verb of life, says physicist
Farmer. Its action is more
real than its
Its artificial part, the blood, the
bone and the flesh, Shiva the dance and not the
Evolution takes the long way, discarding
ugly solutions, using everything, builds
in a muddle and a maze, tries
Something works. There are no erasers
for the pencils. Humans are the ones
who stamp their feet,
(mostly in theory),
(or not), insist on an Elegant
Universe. Nature chortles
as she builds
higgly-piggly, straight or
crooked, with or without toes, taproots,
teapots, askew, inelegant, enduring.
code that works. That's enough. Peace be with you. And
with you. The simple
is a human convenience. Complication
is treacherous, blind,
your back on the solution, work on
something else. Let the computer spin,
out of control,
gods, the ruts for grinding spirals.
Take up odd devices, let
unscrew the problem, build
base pairs, forego logic, develop
trust, let what happens there make solutions here.
Even before I start, I may never get
out of here. Why would
I want to depart a woods with Borges and
Kelly for guides? Or
non-guides -- however,
you choose to see it. Already, I
see a pattern emerging. Control
it? Defy it?
Wander other dark
hexagonal aisles for islands
For love? Distraction?
Everything exists, but nothing's there.
Sit on the floor, study when the moon comes out.
Thinking comes from non-thinking brain bits. There is
nothing there, nobody cracking the whip or
possibilities jiggling about,
smart things coming
only from stupid
things, differing goals, loyalties,
structures hidden from the brain
bits themselves. Make
do with the probabilistic, no
thought comes twice. There being no I, we invent it.
Look for the poem already written, the thought
like the energy in the finger tips from
an apple already
digested. Find it.
Know that every poem ever found by
any method will last the length of
time it takes to
compose it. Visit
it for the first and last time. Then
write the next poem already
Breathe in the passing wind, exhale the blue sky.
Darwin was wrong. Individuals do not
differ significantly, and life in not
More than cultivars
in populations matter. Species
persist or die. Only rarely or
does one thing transmute to something
else. Type stasis is normal,
typically persist one to ten million years.
Unthought forms dance particularly at dawn,
coding for daylight, coding for dark they morph
either way, slide, multiply,
divide, make love with
mirage, dream, vision, spire, truth, become
cerulean, cerise, ecru, green,
puce, pale gamboge,
light, smell the colors of the rose,
taste beauty's inconstant form
in the ripe cheese of doom, the dark of the sun.
We got here once, but cannot get here again.
Every moment lives in the wind, smoke dissolves.
is the illusion, unthinkable,
trivial, undesirable, stone.
But even the
stones move, mutate,
evolve. Let the flesh go putrid,
grab onto the whiplash of
change. What is now, won't be later, nor again.
Up from the blood and the mess and the screaming,
confined inside the brain and the microchip,
swarming in hives,
images and inventions, unheard
sounds and unexpressed desires cling
to the odd body
science, mathematics, the quantum
jump, chaos, magical magnitudes -- the light.
"Living means surprises." Serendipity
is active today. Today I look, I mean, look!
at the Table
of Contents and what do I see?
Twenty-four chapters. How did my closed system
happen? Chance. I wrote
until I had no more to say.
Today, what page falls open? One thirty-three.
Earthquake, snowstorm, big volcano's exploding,
frantic people in war and destruction, jump
into the fray.
Save us from too much peacefulness.
So "god" designed the world, shake 'em up!
Tragedy, comedy, disturb
their sleep! Chaos's cutting edge always wins.
Honing in, honing in, peaceful enough to
die. Think of the weightlessness of space, play with
it. Do it. Let the tummy churn.
Let the body glow with hatred,
energy, sex. Jump through stasis
into the body of love -- lose it, find it.
Flittering butterflies evolving through
time, broadcasting information to children,
spouses, you, everyone, everything
that will listen or not, that evolves
or not, given time enough and free wiggling...
Life's computer eliminates the old, the
screwed-up, the non-reproducers. Reproductive-
code-borrowing small parasites thrive.
Necessary death, impartial, smiles.
Indra's Net, a 5,000 year old image,
wakes, reflects, prepares itself for a second
seeding -- each node mirroring the whole.
Jan Haag February 11, 2002
POETRY + MUSIC + ESSAYS + TRAVEL + FICTION + TEXTILE ART