I don’t want no f-ing two-step. I had a stereo once. I used to just hit the on switch and hear music. No -f-ing codes, no spying. Music player plays. Damn.

I don’t want no f-ing two-step. I had a stereo once. I used to just hit the on switch and hear music. No -f-ing codes, no spying. Music player plays. Damn.

g-Hoover-dam rotten-apple excrement (ghdrae)
you (g-1)-ing excrement
I hate ghdrae apple.
I don’t want no (g-1)ing[ex] 2-step.
I put the ex-thing in airplane mode
just so you’d stop draining the battery
and stop connecting to the internet.
I bought the ex-ing thing for myself
for music and stuff, and not
to be harrassed and updated
and authenticated again —
the ex-ing thing is in my draw, and
I don’t want you to touch my ex-thing.

I hate the internet.
I hate life.
I hate dating up-dates.
It’s assault and battery.

I bought the ex-ing thing
to own it; not to share it.

Get you ex-ing hands
off my property.

F/*!%
I’m so angry
I want to throw it in the ocean
and my ancient self

I don’t need your help to vomit.
stop helping F/*!% apple

first the pandemic and now
the pod people
the body snatchers

The Tractor Miracle of Minsk

The Tractor Miracle of Minsk

I know someone on the police force.
He used to be a friend in discourse
but my friend, Stanislav, is losing his mind.

He’s in the midst of a dilemma:
loyalty to an oath and club, or
keeping old friendships intact.

I see I must leave before
he becomes a Zombie and
tortures every orator, but

Join the celebration dear patriots!
Let us apply to the Vatican immediately
to make Lukashenko a Saint forgot

Yes, indeed, the two miracles required
have been etched into a document
on a giant starchy potato augmented

Witnessed and attested:
all the tractors in Minsk
on the factory floor jinxed
ran away from the workers, and

they drove themselves across Lithuania
and into the Baltic Sea with a splash
heard around the world, pliant
as they played “Changes”

Stanislav told me I’m about to be arrested
and I should flee to Lithuania, but unfed
I had to make potato pancakes first.
I had a recipe from Tikhanovskaya.

I’ll miss the harvest of the grain and of the ballots.
For now we

honk his glory with the snout of our cars!
Everyone is astounded by the supernatural:
The greatest grain harvest ever was achieved when
opposition ballots were buried in the ground as seed.

Burned votes are a fine ash for plants to grow
out of season, out of reason and a scarecrow.

Please for a change. Make him a Saint
and invite him out of the country to
visit the Vatican forever.
We’ll give him a new tractor.

Вецер Усходу халодны

Вецер Усходу халодны

Гэта ранні праект. Я паняцця не маю, калі гэта наогул мае сэнс.

Вецер Усходу халодны

Ёсць злыя стрэлы, а Лука – пусты лук.
Аляксандр набірае сілы з Усходу
Як пусты мяшок вецер ветру

Ён лічыць стрэлы
як злы матэматык

Арыфметыка простая:
адзін голас са стрэлкай
равно миллиону бюлетэняў

Аляксандр д’ябалшэнка
ён валодае парады і
у яго стрэлка,
стрэлы,
збіццё,
дыктатура

На целах памерлых
– гэта вяршыня айсберга, як стрэлка.
Карабель затапіць разам з капітанам
і ветравая сумка не можа плаваць.
———————–
The Wind of the East is Cold

There are evil arrows, and Luke is an empty bow.
Alexander is gaining strength from the East
Like an empty bag of wind

He counts the shots
like an evil mathematician

The arithmetic is simple:
one voice with an arrow
equal to a million ballots

Alexander the Devil
he owns tips and
he has an arrow,
shots,
beating,
dictatorship

On the bodies of the dead
– it’s the tip of the iceberg like an arrow.
The ship is sunk along with the captain
and the wind bag cannot float.

Спектакль – старажытная рэч #ЖывеБелорусь #BelarusProtest #BelarusFreedom #Minsk #Belarus

Спектакль – старажытная рэч #ЖывеБелорусь #BelarusProtest #BelarusFreedom #Minsk #Belarus

Верш Дугласа Гілберта

Сябры, паэты, шэльма, пазычце мне мазгі,
Я прыбыў, каб пахаваць Пуцін ў магіле Шэкспіра
бо імператар не цэзар Беларусі.

Кажуць, Брут не быў бы пачэсным чалавекам.
Усё наадварот. Але паглядзіце
лялечны спектакль.

Будзь мне вушамі, каб слухаць мудрасць і стратэгію
Прыходзьце паслухаць; шэпт ад мяне, гром ад цябе.
Будзем валадарыць над дажджом, які мы сутыкаемся разам
шпацыр па румянай мутнай зары
спевы з здзекліва птушка
хто пераклікаецца з нашымі смуткамі
—————-
Performance Is an Ancient Thing
A poem by Douglas Gilbert

Friends, poets, pranksters, lend me brains,
I arrived to bury Putin in Shakespeare’s grave
for the emperor is not the Caesar of Belarus.

They say Brutus would not be an honorable man.
Quite the opposite. But look
puppet show.

Be my ears to listen to wisdom and strategy
Come listen; a whisper from me, thunder from you.
Let us reign over the rain we face together
a walk through the ruddy muddy dawn
singing with a mocking bird
who echoes our sorrows

A funny thing happened on the way to a translation

A funny thing happened on the way to a translation

    Someone on Q asked. “Is it possible to write a good short poem in several languages without being fluent in any?” Someone responded with “No.” That was about it. No one got the joke of not being fluent in one’s own language. So…

    As they say, it’ll be possible when pigs fly. But I bought a first-class ticket on a plane for a theatrical therapy pig. I don’t know if he’ll make it because if I can get my money back on the ticket, I think I’d rather eat bacon than fly. So here’s a short poem to start with:

Friends, poets, rabble, lend me your brains,
I have arrived to bury Caesar in Shakespeare’s tomb
and to borrow your ears for your discernments;
Come listen; the whispers are of me, the thunder is of you.
Let us reign over the rain we face together
walking in the ruddy muddy dawn
to sing with the mockingbird
who echoes our sorrows

Then there were three phases: translating this one into others, and then translating from the results back into English. Something was lost in translation it looks like. But then something funny happened (the thirdly thing). I was reading about the troubles in Belarus and I was wondering if this poem might apply. I had already translated it into Russian. Belarusian is a related language, so I tried Russian into Belarusian… and then the poem didn’t seem exactly right… so havoc:
=====
Russian

Друзья, поэты, деревенские люди, одолжите мне свои мозги,
Я приехал похоронить Цезаря в могиле Шекспира
и заимствовать уши ваши для различения;
Подойди послушай; шепот от меня, гром от тебя.
Давайте править дождем, с которым мы сталкиваемся вместе
Прогулка по румяной мутной заре
петь с пересмешником
кто вторит нашим печали
============
Indonesian

Teman, penyair, rakyat jelata, pinjami aku otakmu,
Saya telah tiba untuk menguburkan Kaisar di makam Shakespeare
dan meminjam telinga Anda untuk pemahaman Anda;
Ayo dengarkan; bisikan itu dari saya, guntur adalah dari Anda.
Marilah kita menguasai hujan yang kita hadapi bersama
berjalan di fajar berlumpur yang kemerahan
bernyanyi dengan mockingbird
yang menggemakan kesedihan kita
========
Khmer

មិត្តភ័ក្ដិកវីកំណាព្យខ្ចីខួរក្បាលខ្ញុំ
ខ្ញុំបានមកដល់ដើម្បីបញ្ចុះសពសេសារនៅក្នុងផ្នូររបស់ស្ពា
និងខ្ចីត្រចៀករបស់អ្នកសម្រាប់ការវែកញែករបស់អ្នក។
សូមស្តាប់ សំឡេងខ្សឹបប្រាប់ពីខ្ញុំផ្គរលាន់គឺជារបស់អ្នក។
ចូរយើងគ្រប់គ្រងលើទឹកភ្លៀងដែលយើងប្រឈមមុខជាមួយគ្នា
ដើរនៅព្រឹកព្រលឹមដែលមានភក់
ច្រៀងជាមួយលេងសើច
ដែលបន្ទរសេចក្តីទុក្ខព្រួយរបស់យើង

mittaphkde kvi kamnapy khchei khuorokbal khnhom
khnhom ban mokadl daembi banhchouhsap se sar nowknong phnaur robsa spa
ning khchei trachiek robsa anak samreab kar veknhek robsa anak .
saum stab saamleng khsaoeb brab pi khnhom phkarlan kuchea robsa anak .
chaur yeung krobkrong leu tukaphlieng del yeung brachhommoukh cheamuoyoknea
daer now prukaprolum del mean phk
chrieng cheamuoy lengsaech
del bantor sechaktei toukkh pruoy robsa yeung

So that went mostly Ok. Some translations became odd in English, but not too bad.
English from Russian

Friends, poets, country people, lend me your brains
I came to bury Caesar in Shakespeare’s grave
and borrow your ears for discernment;
Come listen; whisper from me, thunder from you.
Let’s rule the rain we face together
Walk on a ruddy murky dawn
sing with a mockingbird
who echoes our sorrows
========
English from Indonesian

Friends, poets, commoners, lend me your brains,
I have arrived to bury the Emperor in Shakespeare’s tomb
and borrow your ears for your understanding;
Come on listen up; the whisper is from me, the thunder is from you.
Let us master the rain that we face together
walking in the reddish muddy dawn
singing with a mockingbird
that echoes our sorrows
=========
English from Khmer

Poetry friends borrow my brain
I arrived to bury Caesar in Shakespeare’s tomb.
And lend your ears to your reasoning.
Listen to me whisper, the thunder is yours.
Let us control the rain we face together
Walking in the muddy morning
Sing with humor
That echoes our sorrows

So then thirdly, I did many versions of Belarusian and came up with this extended version:

Сябры, паэты, шэльма, пазычце мне мазгі,
Я прыбыў, каб пахаваць Пуцін ў магіле Шэкспіра
бо імператар не цэзар Беларусі.

Кажуць, Брут не быў бы пачэсным чалавекам.
Усё наадварот. Але паглядзіце
лялечны спектакль.

Будзь мне вушамі, каб слухаць мудрасць і стратэгію
Прыходзьце паслухаць; шэпт ад мяне, гром ад цябе.
Будзем валадарыць над дажджом, які мы сутыкаемся разам
шпацыр па румянай мутнай зары
спевы з здзекліва птушка
хто пераклікаецца з нашымі смуткамі
————*
Friends, poets, pranksters, lend me brains,
I arrived to bury Putin in Shakespeare’s grave
for the emperor is not the Caesar of Belarus.

They say Brutus would not be an honorable man.
Quite the opposite. But look
puppet show.

Be my ears to listen to wisdom and strategy
Come listen; a whisper from me, thunder from you.
Let us reign over the rain we face together
a walk through the ruddy muddy dawn
singing with a mocking bird
who echoes our sorrows

So then Belarusian to Russian to English becomes:

Friends, poets, pranksters, lend me brains
I came to bury Putin in Shakespeare’s grave
for the emperor is not Caesar of Belarus.

They say Brutus would not have been a worthy man.
On the contrary. But look
puppet show.

Be my ears to listen to wisdom and strategy
Come listen; whisper from me, thunder from you.
Let’s rule the rain we face together
a walk on a ruddy cloudy dawn
singing with a mockingbird
who echoes our sorrows

Marks And Angles

Marks And Angles

Marks And Angles (Draft 5)

An old word on a path
of a thousand miles
just a saying, hurrah

uh damn, just saying a journey
begins with a single faux pas
said Laozi
not Confucius
ha

More than a two-step to completion
of propaganda and subversion —
it takes a bat and a virus to conquer.
Tick-tock.

China had a plan
and knew fanfares:
peace on the road
to be woven,
friendships for
fair weather, bounties
before a storm,

a word in malice
a step,
Jane’s tale
was to fail
in bans pretty soon.

The Wuhan plague
brought chaos, and then

when all the local stores failed
the aristocrats pro temp bought them
and Jane’s requiem began to play, hey

In a word
Jane had gone batty
over the Summer:

older daughter home,
younger daughter beaten
dead by the gangs, and

the moans and groans
of the speakers droning;
Jane had gone batty

she had been annoyed by
the constant stun chants
of the Chinese lessons
mandatory to earn guanxi
as in Nineteen Eighty-Four

But she had enjoyed the fantasy
that fall would be glorious, for
the eldest jumped for joy
when accepted to
a tuition-free school
as good as Harvard, a
part of the Red Ivy League, funded by
a Confucius Friendship Society

Pandora’s virus box
had bats in it for Jane.

Her daughter indulged her
by sending hand-written messages
by the old snail-mail

It was lonely, eye damp;
all of Jane’s neighbors
took the trains out to
re-education camps.

Her daughter’s letters were
incoherent she began to think,
or was it that she was going mad?

A government grant check
came with a tech letter
asking her to memorize
the manifestoes

Pandora’s virus box
had bats in it for Jane.

Her decline was sealed
the day the grocery store
checked her credit score:
The princeling who owned it
refused to serve her because
she didn’t have enough caution
in social credits for conformity:
a black mark for twice not
wearing a red mask and
not passing her basic
Chinese language test.

All the stores had been
taken over by the princelings
after the coup d’etat, so
Jane had to walk far away
for Amerigo Supermarkets.

Walking was a complicated fate:
she had to hang with
the ‘hood committee
to negotiate with the gangs
just for a safe passage.
(The citizen’s police
had no guns anymore)

Her daughter indulged her
with an incoherent letter,
left off the “love” valediction —
no closing remarks, but
just odd disjointed slogans:
“repentance and confession,”
“remedial Mandarin,”
“Help Mom,” and
“Truly Transform”

The gangs received
new Chicago weapons,
joined the mask militia
or went back to the well

protestors
burned the Constitution
in a sunrise red fire
by the dawn’s early light

Proudly, great progress
was hailed without bullets
on the conveyance belt
and hellion roadway

John, offering hope, was long gone.
Pandora’s virus well
had bats in it for Jane.

Well, sitting at a window
Jane without living water
a heart attack

Love China,
or well

Cynara scolymus (Artichokes)

Cynara scolymus (Artichokes)

Artichokes should be banned because they have the word “choke” in them and could encourage violence. The artichoke is a type of thistle used as food; the edible parts are the pre-blooming flower buds. Some thistle spikes look like a corona virus. However, the thistle is a symbol of Scotland. The nutritional value of artichokes is in dispute by doctors. That is why their video was banned.

She’s an Anecdote for Easter

We watched the screen plays
in the Ides of March’s sins
hydroxychloroquine
and azithromycin

Studying the oracles of science
she embraced a protocol agreed to:
randomized controlled studies

It’s quintessential to have a placebo
hydroxychloroquine not sufficient

Though playful in loving banter
the study’s the thing she said, and
anecdotes make for clingy fools
who fall for miracle stories’ pull

hydroxychloroquine
azithromycin
anecdote doting
a sin

I begged her to take it,
and the plays were the thing, but

the clouds were gathering
the cytokine storm approaching,
a rapprochement for
Didier* and Tony**
not yet

Even though
she was old
and expendable,
I loved her

She’d loved to study
when she was a student
then found her doctorate Zen
randomized controlled studies

She did studies back when
and she was a professor then

But she embraced
the tragedies of protocol,
and Didier was not a saint;
this one neither known for
truffles nor foie gras.

We had gone from
station to station
into a favorite valley of us
where we’d first kissed the day;
Charlie the dog herded sheep for us
and he barked at seeing us play, and
we’d sought redemption thus, but

Macron journeyed to Marseille
to say je ne sais quoi to Raoult, but

She, my love, embraced the protocols
in a randomized controlled study
’cause she’s a professor at heart

we knew cytokine thoughts
were forming beclouded, oui
beyond reproach, yet taught
to put toes in the water

She got a placebo;
she died.

*Didier
Didier Raoult
Saint Didier

**Tony
Dr. Anthony Fauci
American physician and immunologist
director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

La Nonna Americana Conosce una Spia di Wuhan

La Nonna Americana Conosce una Spia di Wuhan

Nelle radure
i fantasmi sono insiti in
care cose non finite

Hanno finito di pulire
il sangue dal Salone di bellezza

La voce della nonna
urla nella notte:
dov’è il mio amico di penna, ma sì

La nonna è morta.
anche il suo parrucchiere–
per video due funerali
e l’autopsia è fatta
nessuna tossina del tipo ordinario.

A tutti manca una nonna.
Molti sapevano del cinema divertente della nonna
– erano tempi strani.

La nonna aveva un amico di penna cinese
uno studente straniero di medicina
passando la USMLE
passando il TOEFL e tutto il resto.
La sua amica ora è un dottore
ora uno scienziato.

Molte volte
La nonna era giù in una profonda tristezza:
Qualcosa sulla Grande Depressione,
la guerra e il massacro di nuovo.

Così tante urla nella notte:
“Dov’è il mio amico medico di Wuhan?”

C’è così tanta bellezza ancora
nel mondo donchisciottesco: il
fiori e disegni
sulle borse del corpo.

Nonna ci ha detto
i giorni non arrivano mai alla leggera
quando la notte travolge
prima dell’elegante pianto

Che bellezza in un mondo triste
mia nonna diceva sempre, lo è
solo decorazione, e lei stessa
essa preferiva i disegni floreali
su borse della spesa chic

Lascia che i progettisti si impegnino nel compito
per fare delle belle borse per il corpo
salire a lode, e sì
dalle prime luci del cavaliere dell’alba
oh hey riesci a vedere le nostre azioni?
nella corona del sole
particelle di tramonto e sventura.

A tutti manca la nonna.
Molti la conoscono, alcuni
la conoscevo. Sono stati tempi strani.

La nonna raccontava storie selvagge.
Molto divertente. Lei era
non distante mai
indipendentemente dalle regole

La nonna si è accoltellata a morte
con una forbice in un salone di bellezza, e
il proprietario è stato colpito a morte mentre
la pistola di un poliziotto viene afferrata.
È il solito

La nonna mi ha lasciato
delle lettere
dall’amica di lei stessa, ora medico.
La nonna adorava il
cara amica misteriosa di lei di
Wuhan. Lei stessa ha detto
l’amica di se stessa lavorava in un laboratorio.

Ho una corrispondenza
scritto in cinese; Ho anche la luce nera che
mi ha chiesto di comprare per lei.

Le lettere arrivarono lentamente
a volte attraverso Hong Kong
e Singapore, ma a volte
attraverso il Kirghizistan e l’Uzbekistan

La nonna adorava quella ragazza,
la Studente Wuhan

Poco prima della sua morte, lei stessa
mi ha ricordato la natura della scrittura:
avere lo scopo
non era importante: osservare la bellezza di
calligrafia cinese
perché non era quello il punto

Era importante leggere
l’invisibile scrittura segreta
scritto tra le righe.

Leggi al buio
lei disse.

Sono continuate nuove lettere
a venire dal
ragazza Wuhan mancante.

Li ho letti al buio
con la luce nera.

Apparentemente, la ragazza da Wuhan lo è
paziente zero per il mondo;
la stanno cercando

Hanno finito di pulire
il sangue dal Salone di bellezza

Speculation on Conlangs

    Not all the evolutionary changes in the meaning of words are logical or efficient any more than the evolution of the species is. The whims of history make for a messy process of wars, of extinctions, and renaissance that change words.
    I’ve discovered that linguistics has a lot of specialized jargon which I don’t entirely understand that describes this process. However, I might find it useful even if it doesn’t match the way I describe words for my conlangs — I often call things with my own jargon that doesn’t match theirs. Oh well. Anyway, let’s see. Sometimes a word starts out with negative connotations but after being used in different contexts with different groups and people starts to take on more positive meanings until it becomes a positive word. In linguistics, this is called “Amelioration,” and is rare, but a word being given more and more bad implications is common and it’s called “Pejoration.”
    I think a conlang could provide an opportunity to organize differently. Amelioration — Pejoration cycles could be interesting to look at. Looking at the amelioration of the word “nice” is interesting. You wouldn’t think so but it used to be a nasty word originally — it was something about common people not knowing anything and so from the Latin to not know, the common person was ignorant or “nice” and then it gradually changed in a positive direction:

nice- not know (Latin) –> ignorant –>stupid (Middle English) –> [coy]etc. –> fastidious –> fine, subtle.

    The differences between words as they evolve in time could be interesting to freeze for definition. I’ve been looking in math for a way to describe the change between evolving words. I thought perhaps a difference equation could be used as an analogy, and for the convenience of a conlang, parameters for a amelioration-perjoration oscillation could be chosen arbitrarily:


It would be nice to use “nice” as an initial condition perhaps:

With this structure you could have a cluster of synonyms and antonyms:
[prefix : “zero” through “five”] || [root-word] || [suffix: oscillation, increasing, decreasing]
    Well, OK, all the formality can be dropped, and a particular etymology in a particular time period is not necessary. However, I think it can be used as an idea jumping off point.
I think the root could be a place holder for a set of synonyms and antonyms in this way:
the odd numbers in the prefix would indicate a synonym. A set of synonyms would be assigned (understood but not written). So the odd prefixes, one, three, five etc., would change the meaning to each of the synonyms.
|one|| ||morpheme-x|| = synonym-one
|three| ||morpheme-x|| = synonym-two

In the same way, even prefixes would change the meaning to the set of antonyms.

Wuhan Girl

Wuhan Girl

Wuhan girl, won’t you come out to light
come out for sighting
come out for citing?
Lab girl won’t you show a tiny crown
yes, dance with a crown, but
dance with a bat to dumbfound

We heard she went to market
early as a target
with a hole in her mask

not such an easy task to escape
if the secret police can make you, Shi
Shì de, qīn’ài de, well duh
just simple to confess and die
with your lab confessor at your side

Wuhan girl, won’t you come out to light
come out for citing
come out delighting, shi! my love
or is it that in “gain of function”
you have died kissing crowns of bats
—————
Shì de, qīn’ài de
Yes, my love
[she duh she nigh duh]
是的,亲爱的