In particular, it is a language designed expressly for streamlining the writing
of novels (or poetry).Metamagical Themas
Douglas R. Hofstadter
Hello and welcome to Poetry 2000TM,
the finest in poetry programs today. Please read
the End User's License Agreement, sign and send
the pre-addressed reply card, then proceed.
The System 2000 is simple to use. Just point
the tiny quill and click. The pull-down menus
will lead the way to self expression choice
by choice. Then click the icon of the Muse.
In seconds your first-draft appears, correct
in style, grammar, spelling, length and theme:
A wistful moment that you recollect,
perhaps, or snap-shot of someplace you've seen.
Next simply click the Shakespeare icon. Note
that an eraser has replaced your pen.
You simply rub out each word or phrase that's not
just right. Just click the little visor, then.
Now watch 2000 really show its stuff.
It's searching through the Anthology Data Base,
and, while the Bard of Avon chews his nub,
the changes you selected are being made.
Revision is the key to writing well
and now those boring late-night hours are done.
Erase as many times as you wish and still
have time to mix at our virtual Cafe Dome.
So then, (1) click on File. (2) Click on New. Note
the little scroll unfurl. (3) Click on Edit.
(4) Click Special next. (Note: Never double-click Rose
without Expanded Tautology Gertrude-Stein-Set.)
The Special Editing Scroll has unfurled now
and all the choices are yours to make --
each a pretested adjective, each a pretested noun.
(For pretested neurosis click Emotional State.)
Perhaps you'll pick Poetic Nouns. Your menu
will display a list of over twenty choices
selected by the hundred most successful
contemporary American poetic voices.
Choose ice, perhaps, or mirror, salt or moon.
Wing, bed-slash-bedroom, breast, bone, heart or blood --
just click the ones you want. (Note: You must Undo
or the system will assume mouth, tongue and love.)
Or Botanicals, perhaps: just click the flower
and poetical gardens blossom before your eye.
Plant camomile or crocus in your bower.
Pick baby's-breath, viburnum, gorse, or thyme.
And Colors are a poet's special tools.
With a single choice a poem may be made.
Too many poems fail for simple blues
which indigo or cobalt might have saved.
Just click the little palette icon. There
before your very eyes appears a rainbow
of mauve, pop-sickle pink and lavender,
the spectrum of turquoise, silver, jade and rose.
Choose Adjectives or Place-Names next perhaps.
Djakarta, Titicaca, Kathmandu,
Kuala Lumpur dot our market-tested maps.
In all, twenty poetic places are there for you.
Before you close, consult the Style screen
to choose your poem's type-face, shape and size,
including Hen-Scratch, Random, and Prestige,
and, the present standard, Under Thirty Lines.
Now click the Muse (see figure 1, above),
And watch your favorite sitcom while you wait,
Or prepare a meal, perhaps, with Gourmet StoveTM.
(For a one week trial just click the little souffle.)
Warning: product is only meant to be used
in the manner prescribed. For injuries which may
result should the product be altered or abused
Poetry will be harmless in every way.
For damages which may result (either
direct or indirect) to leather, tweed,
berets, careers, relationships, or other,
it excludes all legal liability.
The Poetry 2000TM is designed
for exciting years of personal expression.
When used as directed no group may be maligned
or suffer insufferable fascist oppression.
It respects all rights of property, the laws
of all the 48 contiguous States.
The little Walt Whitman icon even applauds
when a poem mentions lower short-term rates.
This product is designed to be perfectly safe.
To modify the program in any fashion
is a violation of Federal Statute and may
be referred to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Gilbert Wesley Purdy has published poetry, prose and translation in many journals, paper and electronic, including: Jacket Magazine, Poetry International (San Diego State University), The Georgia Review (University of Georgia), Grand Street, SLANT (University of Central Arkansas), Consciousness Literature and the Arts (University of Wales, Aberystwyth), Orbis (UK), Eclectica, and Valparaiso Poetry Review. Links to his work online and to a selected bibliography of his work in paper venues appear at his Hyperlinked Online Bibliography. This poem first appeared in Vers Magnifique.