BY JAN HAAG

ART & POETRY - ACCUMULATIONS

POETRY + ESSAYS + MUSIC + TRAVEL + FICTION + TEXTILE ART

INTRODUCTION + HAAG'S BIO



FROM THE 2002 POEMS

INDRA'S NET II

Homage au KK


INDEX



This series of twenty-four poems was composed in homage to Kevin Kelly, author of one of the most astonishing, intriguing, eye-opening books ever written: OUT OF CONTROL. Published in 1994, it is, by now, in the fields it deals with (almost everything), ancient history. But so is the rest of the world.

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 Butterfly Sleeps*

SEED

#O1
01-05-02



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
it.
Once it rises to a certain height.
one can name it,
claim it,
sigh with certainty
that it might blossom into its
genetic equal, will
likely
produce a seed
in its own image,
propagate, procreate,
like
the crystal, snap into unity.
Go on
with as much potential as before it was
buried.





The Butterfly Sleeps*

CRYSTAL

#O2
01-05-02



Life began whole, integrated, like a crystal,
not a half, nor
a half-materializing ghost, nor
less than the perfection of
crystal and glass.
Saltationism,
quantum jumps, gaps in the fossil
record, strides in,
spurts
in continuity, leaps, dances,
saltarellos
in time,
at times, with time, space,
at times, a factor, at times, not.
A catalytic closure,
an egg,
one producing
another, a seed,
crystalline closure, a
loop,
circular causality, self -- an
auto-
conspired form, Uroborus, tail eating mouth --
welcome!





The Butterfly Sleeps*

MEDIAN

#O3
01-05-02



Maximal nimbleness is the middle mark
between stasis
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
connectedness.
Tune
out before satiety. Quiet,
indirect, phase
transits
slowing down before
ecstasy teeters on the edge
of chaotic behavior.
Smell, seek
danger, court it,
tantalize chaos,
swerve from rigidity,
live.
And keep gently in mind, tongue tip poised,
to ask
wisely, winsomely, why ask the questions that
we do?





Rising Flow*

SPHERE

#O4
01-06-02



A dot appears and evolves, another dot,
another dot,
evolution dot by dot, like leprosy
round the sphere, equidistant,
lichen and me,
bacterium and
you, inevitably, insanely
equal, evolving.
The skylark sings, the cell swallows, quite
gently, its mate.
In or
out equality
remains, blossoming, blooming, pink
cherried feathers, white feathered
cherries,
dancing the dance,
clapping rhythmically,
covering the sphere, layer
on
layer, each as old as its neighbor.
Honor
evolution, democracy, one dot,
one vote.





Rising Flow*

CHANGE

#O5
01-06-02



without progress creeps from the sand deserts of
Takla Makan,
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
endless furor,
ceaseless flight, swarming through the hives of
delight, dread of
the dread
of humans gently
creeping on civilizations
of Twin Towers collapsing,
plumed into smoke
of appalling stench.
Humans burning humans
of
bacterium, dots on the small sphere
of life.
A rising flow? Illusion? Directionless?
Death and....





Rising Flow*

PURPOSE

#O6
01-06-02



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,
diversity,
growing
number of members.
It never goes back. Reversing
is not a choice. It mutates,
specializes,
speeds evolution,
grows interdependent,
rockets to the moon, and down into
nanotech.
Memory forgets, but no one forgets mem-
ory.





The Natural Flux*

UNPREDICTABILITY

#O7
01-07-02



Urgency, desire replicating at each
opportunity,
choosing, spilling, climbing, fornicating, love,
they say, and creation
make the world go
round, topsy turvy,
and organized elegantly to
ravish again
into decline and spiral, surprise,
tautology,
rise up,
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
human.





The Nine Laws of God*

ULTIMATE TRUTH

#O8
01-08-02
"As complex as things are today, everything will be more complex tomorow..."*



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
toothed, chromium
border
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
one use.



* p. 472


An Open Universe*

THE VERB

#O9
01-09-02
"What counts about life is not the stuff it is made of, but what it does. Life is a verb not a noun."*



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
pattern persistent,
metabolizes. It interacts,
it does stuff. It can die. It can, when
perturbed, resta-
bilize.
It evolves. Such is
the verb of life, says physicist
Farmer. Its action is more
real than its
constituent matter.
Its artificial part, the blood, the
bone and the flesh, Shiva the dance and not the
linga.



*p. 347


An Open Universe*

INELEGANCE

#10
01-10-02



Evolution takes the long way, discarding
nothing, manifests
ugly solutions, using everything, builds
in a muddle and a maze, tries
everything. Nothing
is un-try-able.
Something works. There are no erasers
for the pencils. Humans are the ones
who stamp their feet,
imposed beauty
(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.





An Open Universe*

INCOMPREHENSIBLE

#11
01-10-02



code that works. That's enough. Peace be with you. And
with you. The simple
is a human convenience. Complication
is treacherous, blind,
irritating. Turn
your back on the solution, work on
something else. Let the computer spin,
out of control,
evoke
the parallel
gods, the ruts for grinding spirals.
Take up odd devices, let
everyone
unscrew the problem, build
base pairs, forego logic, develop
trust, let what happens there make solutions here.



* p. 339


In the Library of Form*

MOONLIGHT

#O1
01-11-02



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
of incomprehension,
for encryption?
For love? Distraction?
Everything exists, but nothing's there.
Sit on the floor, study when the moon comes out.



*p. 347


Machines with an Attitude*

NOBODY HOME

#13
01-12-02



Thinking comes from non-thinking brain bits. There is
nobody home,
nothing there, nobody cracking the whip or
channeling chaos.
Disorganized and
competitive, simultaneous
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.



*p. 42-45


In the Library of Form*

DNA

#14
01-12-02



Look for the poem already written, the thought
already 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
waiting, written.
Breathe in the passing wind, exhale the blue sky.



*p. 260, 267


Post Darwinism*

RANDOM LIMITS

#15
01-13-02



Darwin was wrong. Individuals do not
differ significantly, and life in not
infinitely malleable.
More than cultivars
in populations matter. Species
persist or die. Only rarely or
uncertainly,
mysteriously
does one thing transmute to something
else. Type stasis is normal,
species life-spans
typically persist one to ten million years.



*p. 381


In the Library of Form*

UNTHOUGHT

#16
01-14-02



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,
marmorize, spit
light, smell the colors of the rose,
taste beauty's inconstant form
in the ripe cheese of doom, the dark of the sun.



*p. 273-5


Wholes, Holes, and Space*

WHY DIE?

#17
01-14-02



We got here once, but cannot get here again.
Every moment lives in the wind, smoke dissolves.
Stability
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.



*p. 460


The Rise of Neo-Biologial Civilization*

MAGNITUDES ILLUMINATION

#18
01-15-02



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
invented by
science, mathematics, the quantum
jump, chaos, magical magnitudes -- the light.



*Subtitle, Title page


Closed Systems*

SURPRISE

#19
01-16-02



"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.



*p. 133


Closed Systems*

TURBULENCE

#20
01-16-02



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.



*p. 134


Close Systems*

LOSE IT

#21
01-16-02



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.



*p. 134


Artificial Evolution*

LOWLY ADAPTATION

#22
01-17-02



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...



*p. 294


Artificial Evolution*

EVOLUTION

#23
01-18-02



Life's computer eliminates the old, the
screwed-up, the non-reproducers. Reproductive-
code-borrowing small parasites thrive.
Necessary death, impartial, smiles.



*p. 286-7


The Butterfly Sleeps*

INDRA'S NET III

#24
01-18-02



Indra's Net, a 5,000 year old image,
wakes, reflects, prepares itself for a second
seeding -- each node mirroring the whole.



*p. 391




Evolutionary code: By accident, I created for poem #1 a form with 24 lines. Later, I noticed OUT OF CONTROL had 24 chapters. In each subsequent poem, I added or subtracted one syllable and, after poem #3 eliminated one line randomly from each poem that followed.

Jan Haag February 11, 2002






Copyright © 2004 through 2015 Jan Haag
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Jan Haag may be reached via e-mail: jjhaag@gmail.com


INDEX


Change, 01-06-02

Crystal, 01-05-02

DNA, 01-12-02

Evolution, 01-18-02

Incomprehensible, 01-10-02

Indra's Net III, 01-18-02

Inelegance, 01-10-02

Lose It, 01-16-02

Lowly Adaptation, 01-17-02

Magnitudes Illumination, 01-15-02

Median, 01-05-02

Moonlight, 01-11-02

Nobody Home, 01-12-02

Purpose, 01-06-02

Random Limits, 01-13-02

Seed, 01-05-02

Sphere, 01-06-02

Surprise, 01-16-02

Turbulence, 01-16-02

Ultimate Truth, 01-08-02

Unpredictability, 01-07-02

Unthought, 01-14-02

The Verb, 01-09-02

Why Die? 01-14-02




THE 2002 POEMS



MASTER LIST: ALL POEMS


BY JAN HAAG

ART & POETRY - ACCUMULATIONS

POETRY + MUSIC + ESSAYS + TRAVEL + FICTION + TEXTILE ART

INTRODUCTION + HAAG'S BIO

21st CENTURY ART, C.E. - B.C., A Context