Pages Give Air to Scorpions and Poetry to Peoples
"Book Lungs" are respiratory tissues used in the process of atmospheric gas exchange. Arachnids have book lungs. Scorpions and spiders and ticks. There is no other order of land-dwelling creatures that uses books for breath. Book lungs are quite literally an arrangement of page like sheets of hemolymph saturated tissues that collect as pages do into 'books'. Spiders and scorpions use these air/life 'books' to maximize the total surface area of hemolymphic tissues exposed to the air. Therefore it can be said that these 'books' optimally maximize (for spiders) the amount of gas exchanged with the environment. Modern arachnids have enjoyed this system of respiration without any determinable evolutionary changes for at least 410 million years.
Oberst: "The recording is a friend of mine, this guy named Denny Brewer, who I met down in El Paso, Texas. The (Mystic) Valley Band made a record down there at a place called Sonic Ranch, a great studio. Through the owners and friends down there, we met this fellow, Denny. You should actually check him out--him and his son have a great band called Refried Ice Cream. They're kind of like a garage-psych-West Texas strange incredible music. He's just a really fascinating guy, he's in his mid-'60s, and has lived this pretty crazy off-the-grid kind of life. I realized as I was writing the songs that some of these ideas that he had or what was coming through the songs, some of these things I had heard him talk about or things I had heard him discuss while I was down there. We kind of have a tradition with starting each record with an awkward intro, so it's like good luck. I decided to give him a call and see if he would consider recording some dialogue, and he was gracious enough to oblige us. He sent about an hour or so of conversation he had with him and his son and another friend of ours, Tony. Then that gave us free reign to edit it and added the musical accompaniment. It seemed like a nice way to set the tone for the album."
Here is a transcription of the monologue:CRAZY!
If there is no such thing as time, you're already there, and you're controlling this cycle. You say, "Man, look what we found here, Einstein," or whoever you're talking to, Tesla - whoever you're talking to. Problems of the future can be solved by mankind because you create them. And you have to believe in the future, it's what we have to do. We progress, we always progress - we try to. So the Sumerian tablets, they say the same thing like Genesis said: that there were chariots of fire that came into the sky. And these beings got out of them, and they walked like a man but they had reptilian features. They had snake-like eyes, a tail, and, uh, scales, right? And they were - they were here, and they made slaves out of the people. And where they landed in is what the Bible calls the Garden of Eden. They were trying to inbreed with the people here. The women would die, the babies were deadborn. But after two thousand years they started taking, the babies started being born and living. And they had tails, they had a few reptilian features. They could phase shift from one dimension to another dimension, and the people who know say it's from the fourth dimension - the next dimension. Space is expanding; there are spirits coming from the center, right? We're going counterclockwise. There's supposed to be eight other universes going counterclockwise, and that's called Superuniverse, you know? And love's always been the message. It's just - circumstances happen, right? People freak out, just flat flip out, you know? Well, that's where Hitler came from, Hitler came from that way. He was an outspoken, charismatic yeller. And, and all these people said, "Hey, we'll use this guy, hey, look at all these people listening to this guy." You know what I mean? And so that's just what the trip's like, that. You know? It still exists, and their bloodline goes back - back into Sumerian times. You know, they didn't call it reptilian, they didn't call it that. But they did, because they called him Satan, they called him the Devil, and it's the same damn trip. It's a negative force, coming in on a positive force, because it's a third dimension, right? And for it to solidify or to crystallize, it has to have both elements, right? And you have to keep it in balance, or it will, it will, one of them will destroy the other ....
|The Original Poetry Structure|
|Straight Fucking Genius!|
Essentially what this guy did was create a cipher that operated between roman letters, a,b,c,d,e,etc. and amino acids, systeine, argeneine, etc, you know those little molecular building blocks that protein strands are made out of! Using a computer algorithm, BoK was able to bounce all possible ciphers off of a catalog of all known, viable, protein formations. Once BoK had the computer analysis that offered him a coding system that maximized his "vocabulary" (I'll get back to this) he composed a poem using only the limited amount of words that his code system allowed. What I mean is this: BoK wanted to be able to transcribe a piece of poetry with the amino-acid structuring of a viable protein. Very Cool!
So...using only words that could feasibly be biologically rewritten with A.A's BoK writes this thing. The first cool thing that happens comes from collaboration, BoK has lab minions synthesize a protein strand that when sequenced into its A.A. parts and fed through BoK's cipher will "recite" the written piece. Keep following cuz it gets three times more crazy!...So once this protein/poem exists it is introduced to the cell walls of Deinococcus Radiodurans, a little bacteria that dies hard. The little bastard will be the last living organism on the planet its so resilient! anyways, once this bacteria is introduced to BoK's poem/protein its evil bacteria nucleus receives and transcribed and jumbles and "rewrites" the amino acid chain. To gloss over the fact that its been a few years since biology: Deinococcus Radiodurans, in its transcription of thepoem/protein writes a poem back!!! Holy Shit! You never thought of biological processes like that right?! What's amazing is that when this new protein in read in light of Christian BoK's code system the bacterial poem actually is super beautiful and makes sense. Bok doesn't go as far as to argue that the bacteria is cognizant of the any creative process, but! I think that it is easy to argue that the sensibility of Deinococcus Radiodurans' "poetry writing" can be explained by the very logical, easily mapped and scientifically understood processes of biology that made this over-arching metaphor for creation possible. The creative process is JUST as sensible and scientifically quantifiable as the biologic....
Anyways check out my own poem written in response and give the hyperlink above a click for BoK's official project overview. Thanks!
****You should also check out Christian Bok's serial lippograme collection/experiment: "Eunoia" find it here!
In response to both Morris' project and his conceptual arrangement of the classic narrative I wrote the two pieces below:
*NOTE on the second response...( the backwards page presentation of Morris' On the Road offers up some pretty interesting line-breaks between pages. Using moments where these page-transitions seemingly provide full ideas I first cataloged then formatted the liminal, transitional "sentences"into a piece of coherent verse! Check it out!)
You woke me up. My sleep was nervous anyways.
Blank, like the eyes of a Golem.
You took me by my left hand, with both of your hands, through the front door of our house.
and so wide
that upon seeing it I forgot completely the world.
The banalities of God’s firmament and God’s light.
This tree had stopped the wind.
All I could here was the secret mumbling of rain on cast-off leaves. Oak Leaves.
You said, “Climb with me.”
all of the letters in your mouth,
all those sounds crouching behind your teeth, will escape back into this world
tumbling off your tongue.
Your letters will remember their childhood. They will once again be made of camels
and the silhouette of man’s first dwellings.
Houses made of stretched hide and branches blocking the sundown.
wiggled free through God’s lips.
Letters that could deafen the ears of the universe with their precision.
Up at the top Colin,
You will know God because You will be God.
You know your Mouth and your Mouth is God
because the world was built on sound.”
“Climb!” You told me.
I could almost feel the earth tense under my feet,
tighten under the colossus of the Oak Tree.
“I’m frightened by its height,” I replied.
“You cannot fall when you are with me,” you said.
So I left the ground I recognized.
I climbed with you.
Soon my palms were thick with sap and blood and I was deep in an air I had never tasted.
I climbed with you for days.
We slept in holes the size of train-tunnels in the trunk of the Oak Tree.
You made rests for our heads out of leaves and the handfuls of cloud that you stole from the sky.
When we reached the top, my hair had become long and the color of Aspen bark.
I could feel it brush against my cheeks.
Your eyes had become so blue that it looked they weren’t eyes at all;
they were like windows that showed me the deep,
eternal and forever sky
always behind your head.
At the top of the Oak Tree you said, “look.”
You were sitting on the loftiest branch.
“Look,” you said.
And you pointed down towards the earth I had almost forgotten completely,
down towards the air that still carried familiar flavors.
I leaned out over a branch that was as thick as an elephant’s leg and waited for the clouds to part
so that I could see.
See how far we had climbed.
Underneath the clouds below, I saw nothing. No familiar ground.
Just the blue ramble of sky. Miles of it. Years of it.
Only a gasp of nothingness below our wooden perch.
You saw that I looked frightened and you said, “look!”
and you pointed straight above your head.
Hundreds—thousands!- of feet above us, where the sky belonged, I could see the earth.
The ground that I recognized.
Soil and grass and camels and houses arced above us; a dirty firmament.
“Where then, are the roots of this Oak Tree?” I asked you,
“I see no loam or water below us.”
You smiled and told me that you were going to jump and that I needed to follow.
“Which direction will we fall? Up to the ground, or down into the sky?” I asked.
“We will fall so far down into the sky that God will forget the words that made us and the
words that made the world. We will fall until we become clouds. When we are clouds and we are
made up of hundreds—thousands!- of little pieces, the rain and the wind will spread us all over
the sky so that we’ll be able to see everything on earth all at once. All of our tiny little pieces will
be everywhere, all over the earth, all at once.”
I told you that I was scared and that I didn’t want to be a cloud.
And you told me that I was a cloud and that I was only dreaming I wasn’t.
I watched you walk out along the spine of a great leaf
your s t e p s
the edge of the leaf
and it bent down towards the sky under my weight.
I looked up at the earth above. I could see the stars starting to glimmer-about.
Little scabs of brightness behind the rivers and canyons overhead.
It started to rain.
Each drop was as big as the moon looks reflected on calm water.
I slipped away from the Oak Tree because my hands were wet and I fell down into the sky.
The perfection of windows during the twilight.
The shadows cast by waves on the ocean in the moments right before they crash in on
themselves… shadows, like a spot on the sun.
The fallen tree, swaddled in moss and splintered to ruin.
I could see you guiding me (still laden and waterlogged with dreams and sleep)
out the front door and onto the cool mourning grass.
I could see my newly awakened eyes widening,
(down in the world below)
in disbelief at the sheer height of the Oak Tree in our front yard.