To create her compass poems, poet and programmer Allison Parrish trained a machine learning model with two parts: one spells words based on how they sound, and the other sounds out words based on how they’re spelled.
Like John Lennon and Jim Hendrix, Joanna Stingray has an FBI file. In 1984, the 24-year-old Angeleno accompanied her sister on a state-sanctioned tour to Leningrad and secretly met Boris Grebenshchikov, a star in the Soviet music underground.
If I were face-up in the MRI machine, I’d see the cherry blossoms affixed to the ceiling. / But I’m face-down. / My arms are extended above my head. / A crane, I read this morning, can stay aloft for up to ten hours. / It barely needs to flap its wings.
The night it occurred to him he was living inside a corpse…
All the experts say I’m sane.
Some even say I might acquire insight someday.
At thirteen, I felt my body slopping. Though I sat in the middle of the nurse’s height-weight chart, though I’d memorized the textbook diagram with its cake-like cross-section of flesh (epidermis, dermis, hypodermis stippled yellow with fat), my problem went deeper than biology.
Increasingly, poems reach me physically, testing my physical and emotional boundaries—looking for places they might get inside, frequencies at which I might hear, poking at sensuous dead zones.
The tour’s route never varies. Twice a day the caretaker of the Morgan Foundation must retrace his steps with a new eclectic band of strangers in tow.
I am in the shower washing off the day’s yard work. Mid-scrub I realize I missed a Black Lives Matter Cleveland rally in support of defunding the police. Relief pours over me.
Yi Sang (1910–1937) was a poet and a short story writer during the Japanese occupation of Korea. Despite his brief literary career, he left behind perhaps the most influential body of work in modern Korean literature.
A collaborative piece on the elements.
The first time I saw Jane I was working at the bike shop, a veritable cacophony of grease and gunk I only survived by occupying my hands. Bikes had a purpose that had nothing to do with me—every part fit together properly so my mind could remain free and unviolated. Her left knee was scrapped, with pieces of pavement lodged in the wound. The sight disrupted my hard-earned equilibrium. I tried not to look, but it was too late. I had already imagined retrieving the bits of bloody gravel from her abrasion and rolling them like candy on my tongue.
It must have been during those months when an accident slightly threw off my routine. And maybe it was in those months when I finally found—though I wasn’t looking for it—a brief respite. One day I was at Giovanna’s and she read me a few lines of the subcomandante’s, poetic lines that told the story of a viceroy of India who dreams that his kingdom is destroyed.