What happens if you ask a computer to paint a poem co-written by another computer? As I’ve written about previously (such as here, here, and here), I’ve been using a neural network to rewrite my own poems from the past two decades. Each of the below poems is a collaboration between me and torch-rnn, as described in this essay from Empty State. Cool enough. But haven’t you always wanted to know what other computers thought about these poems?
Well, fret no more. There’s a wonderful neural network model called AttnGAN that can take some input text and synthesize a photo of it. Its intended operation is to use simple inputs such as “this bird is red with white and has a very short beak.” For my purposes, I fed AttnGAN the entire title and text of the poem. The results, perhaps, are not as simple.
but you give me, you remember,
arc of red birds like style.
i think you left the plants later
when i was nothing.
you tell drinking some inchword
of the fisherman, the boat prophecy
pinking through the weather,
saying what you loved.
surely you’re mean like a commodore.
you would christ that this nation
burned from love. good seems to snow,
the train’s belly tastes of song,
and everyone’s over
my thought of trying to say,
my soul of thrushed smoke.
the save of the wind and some stones.
snowman of the box,
a father that was the concrete candle
in the spackled flowers.
the day settles across the sky
with the wind or pine for the grandfather below,
simple on the slip like blue.
the way you were ships, are notes,
that for the same bubbly and snow,
the mother in i will roost in the wind.
from a midnight boat
dead from the wind, eaves from the clouds,
with no rock on the worming sand
who shored like a sky, like crates of stars.
it is feathers of snows
with the belly as a constellation.
in the wind still be the saint of flour,
so the water, the stars, the lake
of the teared glass with a prayer—
they watched the fine prayer that is a dancer.
in the sap, the sunside to your blue me
springs the bright shards of song.
the stars crack and form like steel.
as the sunset hangs,
you are explode,
a learned wing of crows.
i hope to your eyes, one hand
on the threads of ampersands,
the other electricity.
you are hope lovely,
the cursive of a butterfly,
the myrescent envologist
of the wrist. here, i did not
buy a street, but a bowl
of snow bodillias,
and we are the holy heat
of stars: lips thrumming,
stop our backs,
a ruck of nestling.
purple from the weather
chilly, would say a tent,
of someone who breathes
like a case of a cloud of snow.
and how more than to take on its slather—
rise in the light of notes on the pier.
the punch boat looked good,
thank your gray-breath story,
as the rainbow of snakes stood in your lungs.
this is the way we are branches:
we would shake so new. now your bones
sit terrified in some chilled time
while my heart is sparrow things.
sometimes the long water is a child.
sometimes you swallow my cries.
sometimes it’s all the same sheets
to the sky, the shards sweet
across the moon. i scold you and you dance
and stare, hospitable and alien, sailing
the swords of your eyes into the rain.
what ripples are
i want the bells, the sundry of sunburn
in the skin, of white that can’t be clouds.
you was the map about a kitchen of rains,
the treasure of a garden of stars.
the wind with an antique talk about water.
is the lake too sad, you with many swimming said?
windows standing in dust. sudden the talons,
and whatever we drought, you want.
who sabotages at the stars? i want the sun
pressing bones. you want the weather of flashing,
a boat simple, wind over an amazed cattail lake.
when the book of rain is calling the sun beautiful
i take our house of a boat
standing the shore.
i imagine the sunset nights,
the windows that forgets
the burn of balloons, and she says,
but i was the bird with his paint.
sudden prayer of some shore.
sudden prayer of gray streams of ice.
the bird as a snake of her speech.
sparks of stars are not flashy
as a cigarette sky.
the things of sleep.
i want to do it in the silver steam,
sang the water of the first lover.
the spring burning
was the crow of a fireworks.
what is someone who knows her hair
as a termite story?
a silver store of a white belly.
many wasps of the world.
say the soul can’t say.
i wanted to breathe good wheels,
to be the color of the moon,
to longer the sweetness
of some clowns.
i was children bumbler clouds.
flowers are her feet; small feathers;
the sharp, fallen-breath snow.
the stars are no more
than a perfect, fancy word.
I used the very promising Runway to wrangle AttnGAN without all the fiddling required to build and run a neural network model.
“everyone’s over” was originally published in Zany Zygote Review.
“ancestry” was originally published in Indefinite Space.
“from a midnight boat” was originally published in Angry Old Man.
“purple from the weather” was originally published in Always Crashing.
“what ripples are” was originally published in Clementine Unbound.
“when the book of rain is calling the sun beautiful” was originally published in Palaver.