Android Poetry Cut-Ups

William S Burroughs-Brion Gysin (Ian Sommerville's 'Dyptych' 1962 collage)

William S. Burroughs and Brion Gysin in Ian Summerville’s 1962 collage “Dyptych”

These poems were generated from my own words by a mobile phone’s predictive text program, Swype. The lines were then rearranged. This produces the reverse of the Brion Gysin and William S. Burroughs technique of cut-ups. The words are yours and the selection is not, instead of vice versa.

Yes, if you want to write poetry, I think it’s best to let a phone or newspaper do it for you.

“Swype, using AI and language models, creates a database of user’s frequently used words and predicts a next word.

Time is a greedy pig
in a sea of penicillin
A penthouse pet with a loan modification
Filthy green anxiety
a physical reaction to stress
A remnant of the day ago
Grief retracing
the same thing
far enough to hurt.
Too much
discretionary data
every day, except for the empire.
too much time

I could never be
I could never have been
I don’t want to be

I don’t think it’s calming
when you come back here to sleep
with the unemployed youth of the day
Maybe I should be enough,
the only reason,
you said.

If I could use some reason
If I could never be
If the pain is unforgettable
the next time you want me
You can stay here longer
if you can’t afford to take care
Sleep on to the pharmacy
It is the night somewhere.

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