Spam Poetry: “Cris-Crossing the Universe”

I have tried my hands at different kinds of experimental internet poetry, and all of the poems turned out to have a dystopic touch or tantalizing hints to some fundamental philosophical truth. Perhaps this says something about 1) The Internet or 2) about my subconsciousness.

Since I have reduced blogging frequency, the number of spam comments plummeted accordingly – from 600 to 150 spam comments in the queue. So it has got harder and harder to find meaningful spam. In addition, there is a new variety: Such comments are not composed of meaningful sentences, but phrases of three or four words are stitched together to form a lengthy comment that sounds like postmodern poetry in its own right.

But I try to rise to the challenge, and even add one more hurdle. Rules for this poem:

  • Each line is a snippet of a spam comment.
  • Snippets must not be edited
  • Only one snippet can be extracted from one spam comment, but not every comment has to be utilized.
  • New: Snippets must be used immediately in the order of spam comments (descending by date), and they must not be re-arranged afterwards.
  • All comments have to be harvested in a single session.

The following lines were taken from about 125 spam comments in the queue on October 1st.

The idea shows through the pamphlet
where people need to respond

temperatures will most likely govern
long-lasting usable cartoon figures

in certain places the floor is sinking
We have a very big problem.

withdrawal insomnia
The arrangement exists because of the persistence

arrangement - persistence

using ontology within all things
There should be one internal link

You’ll be able to move to another location
Could certainly come zombies

A Dreamcatcher bard who have been heard
sober as opposed to
stepping off point
the one that has problems with panic attack

We will dissect too
cris-crossing the universe far far.

cris-crossing the universe

Scattered all over
the location where the profits have been

conspiracy delayed
raving about choosing real humans

our personal fashionable ethos
As opposed to the isolation
produced by Zombie galleries
creating an irritatingly low experience

in the sci fi shooting living space
extremely like black topics

Our favorite self-theory
That particular creep
seriously electrifying

seriously electrifying

Blinded by the Light: Links Not Considered Click-Worthy

I promised more experimental internet poetry — here it is!

The problem: Spam comments have petered out, their number seems to scale with posting frequency. The quality of search terms for this blog has improved, and most terms are technical and dull.

I turned to untapped raw material – finally I know what last year’s web development project was good for. As predicted, views plummeted after merging three sites into one and picking a country domain. The upside is that search terms got much better.

The following ‘poem’ is built from phrases displayed in Google Search Console (formerly called Webmaster Tools) for my personal website. I am picking from search terms in the list of Impressions: which means my pages appeared in the list of results but most of them were not clicked; hence the title of this post.

~

blinded by the light
despicable me

subversive activities
inconspicuous in a sentence

blinded by the light

blended movie stream
spooky black without you

offensive security
issued by an authority that is not trusted

offensive security

how does a steel plow work
educated guess

definition of tossed
krypton
deflector

energy armor
was last opened
across the universe

prevent the details of
dubious battle

energy armor

galaxy life hacked
mathematical modelling of zombies
lest means
gloomy sunday lyrics

meaning of strangeness
toilet success hacked

letterbox company

educated sentence generator
template missing

define subversive humor
farewell letter to customers
reply all bcc
without papers

subversive (humor)

 ~

Google-Mediated Self-Poetry – Holiday Edition

A new sub-genre of my experimental internet poetry! Is Google able to capture the essence of this blog?

Rules:

  • Search your own site on Google, using site:[your site].
    This ‘poem’ is based on results from site:elkement.wordpress.com.
  • Open the first search result in a new tab.
  • Pick one phrase from this page (your own content) and note it down as a new line of the poem.
  • Open the next search result, pick the next line.
  • Editing of phrases is not allowed, and you must not re-visit the pages already processed or re-shuffle the lines.

This is so-called poetry from the first three pages of search results, as usual combined with my images.

I’ll stay away from social media for a while so you have time to digest it!

~~~

Nothing you have not seen in more elaborate fashion elsewhere
the true connection between my diverse activities

Mutant Tomatoe

a nitpicking stickler and painstaking submitter of DMCA complaints
a pioneer who did such an experiment long before the social media era

In past years I tried to eradicate it
a rotating alien-fighting device throwing darts
It is utterly exhausting

Scary Rotating Things

the phase portrait deviate from the circular shape
So what to do with all those old sites?
Steampunk seems to allude to a part of our common DNA

The tank will also be used as a cistern
shining laser light on the dark filament and analyzing the diffraction pattern
due to different spontaneous freezing temperatures of supercooled water.

ice storage

I am in need of trivia.
mentally insert black and white images inspired by Philip K. Dick‘s short stories.

Black and White

driving hansoms and communicating by wired telegrams.
We abandoned some gadgets and re-considered usage.

I finally added permanent redirects
you should try to use energy more efficiently first

Subconsciousness already takes the decision but you do not notice yet.
so there is no violation of energy conservation.

Bullerjan: Fire!!

Don’t panic – I have left the lofty heights of political analysis for now!
As a fallible human you might give in to the most intrusive requester

denying cap-and-gown costume as I detest artificial Astroturf traditions
I have a secondary super-villain identity.

Super Villain

Here is a typical example of very volatile output:
the irony of being considered a notorious link scammer

salt crystals should easily glide downwards from a tilted plane.
It’s time to compare costs again

Otherwise the grass might always be greener over there.

Green Grass, and more

 ~~~

Google Translational Poetry – Austrian Christmas Edition

I am at the nadir of my online reputation – my Google page impressions plummeted by a factor of about 100. This is very liberating, and I start enjoying the irony of being considered a notorious link scammer. Now I will harvest Google for any weird purpose whatsoever. For poetry nobody will read.

The title says it all. I am running – already questionable – ‘experimental internet flarf poetry’ through multiple languages in Google Translate, in order to enhance it even more. The set of source poems is the second batch of five poems from the Raffle Mop series, Google-powered poems seeded from Google-powered images.

Here are the languages, used in this order:

  1. English
  2. Zulu
  3. Maori
  4. Haitian
  5. Greek
  6. Vietnamese
  7. Icelandic
  8. Latin
  9. German
  10. Esperanto
  11. English

The original poem is displayed to the left, the resulting poem to the right. I try to unveil the hidden Christmas-y aspect in each of them and illustrate it accordingly. In particular, I hope to find an image on Wikimedia both related to that Christmas-y message and to my home country. Just to add some highly educational content.

~

since the earliest times

Cosmic Patriarchs
Oh, oh, oh,
This is so inspirational !!

Everything
off the most memorable
Congrats for gaining strength!

Follow Along
Web beacons may be used

reply

patriarch
Ho, ho, ho,
Where is wonderful !!

all
unforgettable
Thanks to the power!

follow
You may use web beacons

Well, who would not spot that Ho, ho, ho that Oh, oh, oh has been turned into? As if I ordered this for Christmas! Here you see Santa Claus in front of an Austrian police helicopter. I don’t know what he did wrong.

ORF & BMI Nikolaus ~

I’m still working

MY REALITY
(C)
What a fun & interesting adventure

It was a culture shock
Ut tellus dolor, dapibus eget, elementum vel

getting a hold of me might be a bit difficult
Name is required

This is for me

The Outlook Me
(100)
Fun and adventure that is

It was a shock competition
Go Lands iPhone bikes

I get a little heavy
name required

That fake Latin from the original poem (a snippet of the classical ‘Lorem Ipsum’ filler text on the source website) has turned into Go Lands iPhone bikes. We live in an era of consumerism for sure. The latest iPhone for Christmas!

I searched for an Austrian iPhone or Apple store but all I found were images of the traditional Austrian (or German) Baked Apple. This goes better with Christmas traditions anyway!

Bratapfel 2

~

he won it handily

It was a perfect mix.
repaving the roadway
What’s happening?

find your own voice
You can join the conversation
Have the time of your life.

Join The Flock
use public transit to get to work

taking undeserved criticism for way too long
you’ve tried everything and nothing’s worked

adventurous spirit trickles in to the boardroom
you can improve your mental space.

clever

This is a good mix.
highway
What has happened?

find their own voice
You can turn the discussion
Often in your life.

sheep
Work, public use

Enough time to check
Nothing works tries

Reduction in new cabinet
Duis spiritual space.

This requires more historical, theological, and cultural context – which is out of scope here. But there is spiritual space, and there are sheep (the latter translated from Join the Flock – a hidden encouragement to join a cult?). The logical pick is an image of a Nativity Scene (Christmas Crib). To tell you the truth, I find those creepy – especially if they have plastic sheep. But here is a nicer one – in a nutshell:

Weihnachskrippe~

a wealth of experience

we can keep up our hard work.
TAKE ACTION
flush the solid waste to the ocean.

Display

Work with us our problems.
Get active
How strong the open sea.

This was a real challenge. First, we see again how the values of our ancestors (wealth of experience) have been transformed into shallow show-off (Display). The traditional hands-on and accountability (we can keep up our hard work) turned into a vague statement that sounds like the scrambled version of a management consulting company’s mantra (Work with us our problems). On the other hand, we see horrid environmental pollution (flush the solid waste to the ocean) replaced by responsible use of natural resources and by even assigning human values to resources as the sea (How strong the open sea). So all I would need is an image showing a management consultant who works as a Greenpeace activist in his spare time. This image would need to be taken at some ocean-protection event on the December 25. I think I have to skip the illustration challenge.

This is the best I can do – trying a different cascade of weird mental connections: A skeleton of a prehistoric fish (?), exhibited in Vienna’s museum of natural history. Actually, the fossil had been found in a village very close to where I live. Actually, carp is or has been a traditional Christmas dinner in some regions of Austria, and I would not recognize the difference in skeletons perhaps.

NHM - Scorpaena prior~

he is amazing

paint a thin layer on the background
capture the emotional essence of a person
whimsically poignant

The World Unites!
outspoken 24/7 force of nature
in the truly classic sense

STAY INFORMED
We are not responsible for the content

incredible

A thin layer of paint
exploration
use capricious

Men’s tirade world!
The power of nature and the mouth 24/7
The most common reason

Fermentum no sourdough white
We are not responsible for the content

The last line stands out: We are not responsible for the content. It seems phrases from legal terms are immune to cascaded translation. Maybe the appropriate disclaimer that should be put on pyrotechnic stuff sold before New Year’s Eve.

See an image of Vienna’s maybe most famous cathedral. From  the description of this  image on Wikimedia (which I read after I had already selected the image) the law-abiding citizen learns something:

‘Of course, fireworks within that area of the town (its center, and UNESCO World Heritage!) are disallowed by law. Nevertheless, it would hardly be possible to prevent all those people from igniting consumer pyrotechnics.’

New Year's Eve, Vienna 2009-2010 ZEROMerry Christmas, eveyone! Thanks for listening in.

Thanks, Bing, for indexing so nicely!

Imaginative Poetry. Inspired by the Second Name of Collected Space.

First, some terminology:

Sammelraum is a life-form (allegedly – maybe it is an art bot). The German word means Staging Area in the or military sense, Storage Space, or Collection Space … so perhaps collected ‘pure’ space as such, or space for collections.

Second Name is a series of unworldly images created by that life-form. Random people’s surnames on a random doorbell panel triggered it: Each image is an overlay of the first 15 portraits images spit out by Google Image Search-ing for these names. These composite faces have been printed on gessoed canvas – prepared in a painstaking process in several steps.

These eerie versions of grand Dutch masters’ paintings beg for being complemented by

FLARF POEMs.

This is the result:

RAFFLE MOP

[Browse the gallery, I wait.]

.

.

.

… a booklet hand-made by Sammelraum. It is a hardware-only (not download-able) artisanal product that transcends its virtual origins. You would have to feel it – as Sammelraum has coined the term haptic variance (which seems to matches a technical term in biology accidentally): Images are printed on textile banner, and poems on paper. People who touch the book the first time, enter a Zen-like higher state of mind by gently rubbing the textile pages between thumb and index finger for minutes. (I speak from experience.)

How to let the internet’s subconsciousness talk about these images? I have used the rigorous version of my Flarf technique:

  • Create a screenshot of each image.
  • Feed it into Google Image Search again.
  • Pick one of the ‘similar’ images shown on the first page of results at random.
  • Visit the page the picked image is part of.
  • Pick a random phrase from this page. This becomes the title.
  • Advance from page to page only via links, and select one phrase from each page.
  • No page must be omitted, deletion or reshuffling of phrases is not allowed.
  • The poems end when the poet goes mad, is utterly exhausted or has reached the End of the Internet in terms of a page without outgoing links.

I make up the following new rule now: Whenever this poetry is re-used it has to be transformed. So I wanted to turn it into images again in this post. I found random images in this way:

  • Enter the title of the poem as a search term on commons.wikimedia.org.
  • Pick an image shown in the first batch of search results at random.

These are the first 5 of 20 poems in total.

____________________________________________________

whom she looked up to as a far more competent artist

art for art’s sake
The modern age has in most cases failed
Brought death into the world, and all our woe

Participate
Looking towards entrance from the inside
transmit the work

you agree that you are happy
come closer
we would love to see your work

All the Year Round - Series 3 - Volume 6____________________________________________________

I don’t know what to think myself

defying gravity
numbers and symbols
we do not impose quality standards

impassioned audience
We will be in touch soon.
Working in tandem

there should be zero animation

WikimaniaMotivationsTalk____________________________________________________

Sold

Religious art
non-intimidating
Why

We’ll Supply the Rest.
Subjects are back!
The Heart of Creativity Beats

wacky European counterparts
Perfect for tiny projects
tell us what you think!

Smoked herring sold in Italy

____________________________________________________

Lightbulb moment

why it is the way it is

to nurture and develop
anecdotes or anything else
Did you know that

you may not have permission
It doesn’t matter if you forget the lyrics
Choose how you’re feeling

opt out of appearing here
Help

The Guardian Antiterrorism Journal Spring 2007

____________________________________________________

None can be used for any purpose whatsoever

No Hard Feelings
we have moved to a new location
We hope to find you
Need Directions

Juice
developing absurd ideas
try removing it

Need to get real pictures
based on the following things
a list of numbers
Not at all helpful

ZHWikipediaSignpost201039

____________________________________________________

Poetry of Anything. Now I Know This Is Called Flarf!

So.

I. Have. Forgotten. To. Save.

Last Quarter’s Search Terms.

I hope you missed my poetry already. What could I do to compensate for that?

Inventing an allegedly new genre.

Poetry of Anything.

The rules are similar as for Search Term Poetry or Spam Poetry: Use continuous, unedited snippets from questionable internet sources.

  • Pick snippets from random internet sites.
  • Select exactly one quote from every page.
  • Snippets have to be used in the order they have been encountered. Deletion is not allowed.

The following are preliminary rules – I will make them more loophole-proof below.

  • ‘A page’ is defined as the content accessible via one click or one ‘Enter’ after having entered data into a form, or having typed an address. If there is infinite scroll, you are lucky.
  • Do it reasonably fast. Less then 30 seconds per page.
  • Two clicks originating from the same page aren’t allowed.
  • It is not allowed to submit a desired phrase to a search engine and pick a line similar to the search term from the search results.
  • Don’t aim at navigating to pages you know well in order to pick phrases you know.

Here is the first Poem of Anything:

Know before you go

Sleep and Dreaming
how is it that we have studied it
no items to show

Protocols
This has been an issue for a while now.
The Abyss Beyond Dreams
It doesn’t get nearly enough coverage.

Could a person do this?
I really just like whatever you decide to produce
Dark Energy and Dark Matter

after the first shock waves
Waiting for the vapors to clear
I Only Know Who I Am When I Am Somebody Else

Lost in Translation
From papyrus to pixels
Finding Poems
a kind of corrosive, cute, or cloying awfulness.

fake blurbs, real e-mail, dream narrative, conventional lyric
That was a difficult period and I couldn’t maintain my sanity
struggling with this today

The cake was clearly delicious.
we may use cookies
BS

a new way to see the world
Speaking the Language of the Supernatural
Sorcerer’s Apprentice

Regulations
Could not process
This is how it will be at the end of the age
walking around with big targets on their backs

Regrets
heightened reality, almost cartoon-like
We had a reactor leak here now.

Please, give Positive Feedback

~~~

This was a nightmarish experience – feeling trapped in Hollywood gossip sites or photo blogs with hardly any text or outbound links, struggling a single line of error code, legal terms, my webmail page clicked in error. ‘BS’ was the degree of a guy mentioned on an About page.

Now I attempt to tighten the rules. (The list is the set of rules, not yet the poem)

  • Pick any start page of your liking or submit a term to a search engine.
  • Then advance from one page to the next only via links. One page is defined as all the text accessible via scrolling.
  • You have to pick one phrase from each page.
  • Lines must not be reshuffled or deleted.

I start with a Google search term – my chosen title:

Where Will This End

eventually suck the wind out of our sails
everyone is welcome

you can’t take control back
it can do whatever

some consider this exemption to be
which is used unless otherwise noted.

Latitude/Longitude
We do a little bit of magic

Maximize Conversion
possible ultimate suspension of your ability

fastest response
Must be prepared

Thank you for visiting

~~~

Now I was actually stuck within a bunch of IT security related sites though this was not intended. The hardest thing is how to get out again. Not for the faint of heart.

I have learned that all this is serious poetry – called Flarf!

From Can Flarf Every be Taken Seriously? (2009)

Almost a decade after its creation, the experimental poetry movement Flarf—in which poets prowl the Internet using random word searches, e-mail the bizarre results to one another, then distill the newly found phrases into poems that are often as disturbing as they are hilarious—is showing signs of having cleared a spot among the ranks of legitimate art forms.

Still, with its subversive stance, meta-mind mentality, pop-culture detritus, and mildly offensive language—this edgy new art form is difficult to pin down. Poet Sharon Mesmer describes the process this way: “There’s this idea that juxtaposition creates a little pop in your mind to take you out of your immediate, mundane reality. When we do these crazy things with Google, a lot of times we’re putting something beautiful together with something ugly, and it makes this third thing that is completely delightful and unexpected.”

L-29. 02707 FLARF (5099809437)

(The first image that came up when searching for Flarf on commons.wikimedia.org)