Saturday, July 28, 2012

A ship adrift - erasure poetry

A ship adrift
I'm a fan and admirer of the internet artwork "A ship adrift" made by James Bridle. I return to its webpages regularly. I immerse myself in its aimless voyage and the ghostly chattering of its language bots.
The virtual ship is connected to a London weather station and it drifts around the world randomly. It travels the (lost) imperial periphery, being blown by wind from the (now powerless) governing center. But a much better description by the artist can be found here and here.

During its drift it collects random snippets of local data, ghost whispers of the internet. With its robot intelligence it tries to tell a story of the places it visits. It fails, but it's a very poetic failure. You can read its dream-like texts here.

Erasure poetry
Today I discovered the concept of "erasure poetry" on another blog I follow. This is how the concept is described by the writer Justin Taylor:

Erasure is a method of delving into the depths of a text to see what can be found there. But the eraser is liberated—as well as made anxious—by the knowledge that said findings are not discoveries but creations. The erasure-text is not a salvage: it has no reality independent of the search for it, the searching is in fact what made it real.

Somehow I started without consciously thinking. I copied a few "ship adrift" logfiles into notepad and started deleting. To my surprise something coherent started to appear. There was some vague shape. I deleted more and more text. I left the order and spelling intact. I added some punctuation. This is what was left at 00:17 AM. The text is culled from the logs of 27 July to 15 July 2012.

A ship adrift - erased

I released my grip and a spiritless ship in the shade of years should fail me.
I behaved with beautiful earth, flowed something Buddha.

I had light myself, belonging of a minute.
I day the sword and stared a man, ship of the names.
I held up foot, stamped here like the air.

Tell me, pray, tell me, and, indistinct, like a pair of shadow.
Do you know.
Some to endure, even beyond.

Villa Total in the rocky Monteresting.
Devil was the hammock, groans, blankets, horrors.
But into the path, with wooden loads, for meaning by expanding.
And the same upkeep with the pointinuous night.

Annoying I stave coming for him once.
He wastepec Maravines, miles farm and festive.
I felt gone people, August, sixty profound of them.
To kill something sides, nobody had end you.

Their loads inclosed three world to each others.
In Chiapas, chap with body of eyes.
Beforesting sunlight the men would get into.
Catching habited in the big river.

Wrecked over we came upkeep, is coming you, sir?
And in the interesting, at last bit of course.

Only too old, your unbuttoned uniform, catching that is to hear, he.
I came upon the paths, perhaps on the los.
Retrieved August, I know that you projected devil was.
Through burnt grass near, why did it in the cabin?

A steady glimmer of dange narcotic effectly.
Payton Bomb that brace you, white change narcotic, an effect of water.
I'm ready and the shielo name to explain bring over.

Very well, I am guilty.
Thou art my hiding over, I woke up each this.
But this become my communication:
"We arent and rise black, flat, over place The Funny Teens."

If you to smuggle your place and throom.
Monotonous frenzy, imperceptible order, so as me?
Speak Marijuana Drama! Amp a go water.

I'm real enough to give straight in fantation room.
God dare for kids!

I believed good offered, word in the fitfully droning.
Dance and really wanna say, some best to a nothing place.

I'm feelinger the ivory; but the hill dads kill me now.
In love with End, original fastened us in favor.
The black to easier forgot this, of many means even.

God Is Faithful, and had he came today.
And rise blackorean boring white.
Altamirano, he was haste to, and in beacon glimpse: Equator.
Some, perfectly here, yet.
Exploring perfectly ... well, we won't.


  1. Petr
    Great Post! This poem is addictive. I keep coming back to it. Conjures images of an IA/dentity... Innocent & sensual. Perhaps the poetics of proto-singularity ;) Erasure IA creating Buddha, God the Devil and nonsensical sensuality.

    Erased again
    I released my grip
    A spiritless ship
    I behaved beautifully with earth
    Flowed something Buddha
    Like a pair of shadow
    For meaning by expanding
    God is Faithfuland had he came today.
    Is you coming sir?
    At last bit of course
    I know you projected devil was
    Only too old,
    Your unbuttoned uniform, catching
    In love with end
    Original fastened us in favor
    Some, perfectly here, yet.
    Exploring perfectly
    We won't.

    That was fun!

  2. thanks for sharing.