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.


Evolution of the Hipster

Bright Eyes: First Words of Oberst's New Album "The People's Key"

The first track of the album starts with this ridiculous recording. Oberst, in a Huffington Post interview, has this to say about the contextual force of this monologue....

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 ....



Studio Ghibli's reiteration of the classic fable, "Brunehilde", includes this terrifying glam rock creature (voiced by Liam Neeson) that rules the sea??

Mathematical explanation for this dream haunting pedophilic beast:




Response to Christian BoK's Xenotext Project

The Original Poetry Structure
Straight Fucking Genius!
This piece is a response to conceptual poet Christian BoK's "Xenotext" project, for more information, and particulars, click here.

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!
Deinococcus Radiodurans.

****You should also check out Christian Bok's serial lippograme collection/experiment: "Eunoia" find it here!


Nick Aster

the day previous and on that night following, I was set upon,
whilst wandering   wondering along the mortared paths
which run their course through my mind

especially through mine own dreams

I read that a poet encoded his poem onto a strand of folded
            (like dream-linen, folds that clutch within all the awe of shadows)

Using this cipher
the poet’s words
            like small viruses of human yearning
are provided a house of genetic factotums.
Amino acids standing in for flighty letters. Truant in their purposes.

This poem,
            a cruel host infecting the denotation of its    
            singularly acid-minded hosts.
this poem, this protein, this code of life
was introduced
            like on a blind date
to Deinococcus Radiodurans.

Deinococcus R. is notoriously stubborn.
Resistant to inhospitable environments.
(i.e. those awkward first impressions of future lovers)
(i.e. a poem, written in biologic estimate/ approximations)

Deinococcus R. will never die its expected
                           v   a   c   u   o   u   s
microbial death.
No deprivation of oxygen
over-saturation of salines
aeonic chasm of time
or any amount of nuclear
(fusion like Hiroshima not fission like our Sun)    
will alter D.R.’s dispositions; his coy and haughty knowledges of eternity.

D.R. is destined
has been destined
since the conception of his fastidious phospholipid bi-layered membrane
to forever provide fatty envelope for his lover
a poem
and perfectly

(such things are the toil of Sisyphus
 “How, Thanatos? Do I work these chains?”)

One day soon coming
all the poets on this earth will be the very dusty stuff of this world
with which they are so direly concerned.
(the scrim of floaty-in-the-air grime
      that the passage of time
      and the mitigation of big things into small
      paints on windows when your back is turned)
One day the sun will retreat back into its miraculous center of all-and-all nowhere and now and the earth will chill and catch up to the wind

abandoned and free.

Deinococcus Radiodurans will grip his infinitely suggesting  Xenotext.
(the last ghastly memory of poetics
And together they will f  l
our world’s enduring pair of lovers
wandering    wondering
into the wander of in---held space-breath.
This sort of beauty:
bacterium and genetic poem
outliving the architects of such constructs of pataphysical nonsense
operates upon the mind much like a serial lipogramme.
( lpgrm [frm Grk lpgrmmts, "mssng lttr"] s  knd f cnstrnd wrtng r wrd gm      cnsstng f wrtng prgrphs r lngr wrks n whch  prtclr lttr or grp f lttrs s  vdd — slly  cmmn vwl, nd frequently "E",       
      th mst cmmn n th nglsh Lngg. Wrtng  lpgrm s  trvl tsk  fr ncmmn lttrs lk "Z", "J", r "X", bt t s mch mr  dffclt fr cmmn lttrs lk "E", "T" r "A". Wrtng ths wy, th thr mst mt mny rdnry wrds. Grammatically meaningful and smooth-flowing lipograms can be difficult to compose.)
Language operating without an author.
Microcosmal states of unquantifiable unclassifiable unqualified anomaly.

can beauty be
without an aesthetician?
      all the poets are now
      dusty stuff)

what is a ‘made’ thing without even the ghost of its maker

what then are we now
nervously awaiting the quietus of the Sun
without God
left with only the spectral remains of his intention

poetry and virus
fucking each other endlessly until



Response to Simon Morris and Mr. Kerouac.

* Simon Morris, the contemporary conceptual writer was told by one of his students that she had recently been asked by another professor to write a short creative piece in which she was to imitate the prose-style of her favorite author. Mr. Morris found this assignment to be ridiculous and not at all conducive to any sort of creative development. But! It got him thinking! What does a writer have to do to get inside of an author's head? Get inside another artist's style? Thus Morris crafted for himself the project "Getting inside of Jack Kerouac's Head" in which he would manually retype a single page of Kerouac's On the Road every single day until he had typed, and subsequently blogged, the entirety of Kerouac's iconic novel. Students of the visual arts study the brushstrokes of master artists, why can't authors directly recreate and appropriate the cannonical texts? When publishing "G.I.O.J.K.H",  Morris arranged his work backwards: pg 300, pg 299, 298, 297, etc. This work works to the conception of Kerouac's voyage, knowledge to ignorance, sundown to sunup.

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!)

Head Morris’ Simon of Inside Getting
 nick aster

I first met Dean not long after my wife and I split up. I had just gotten over a serious illness that I won’t bother to talk about, except that it had something to do with the miserably weary split-up and my feeling that everything was dead. With the coming of Dean Moriarty began the part of my life you could call my life on the road. Before that I’d often dreamed of going West to see the country, always vaguely planning and never taking off. Dean is the perfect guy for the road because he actually was born on the road,  when his parent s were passing through Salt  Lake City in 1926, in a jalopy, on their way to Los Angeles. First reports of him came to me through Chad King, who’d shown me a few letters from him written in a New Mexico reform school. I was tremendously inter-ested in the letters because they so naively and sweetly asked Chad to teach him all about Nietzsche and all the wonderful intellectual things that Chad knew. At one point Carlo and I talked about the letters and wondered if we ever would meet the strange Dean Moriarty. This is all far back, when Dean was not the way he is today, when he was a young jailkid shrouded in mystery. Then news came that Dean was out of reform school and was coming to New York for the first time; also there was talk that he had just married a girl called Marylou.

One day I was hanging around the campus and Chad and Tim Gray told me Dean was staying in a cold-water pad in East  Harlem, the Spanish Harlem. Dean had arrived the night before, //
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nick aster
I//arranged to meet me
and Neal
for an afternoon talk.
I told Neal
and he instantly recognized it as the mere simple longing
a great silence like the inherent silence of the Apocalypse.
He was always talking about
Frederick Maryland and Fred-//dry stretches
leading to Mexican mountains in the south.
He was working in May’s department store nights;
crazy Bob Burford called him up from a bar//
[ ( ]on the Kansas plains in the eighties[,]
when for diversion he rode ponies bareback
and chased after coyotes with a club
and later became a country schoolteacher in West Kansas
and finally a businessman of many devices[ ) ]
in Denver.
I opened my eyes//fell asleep and we talked and talked all night.
“One night my old man left the day’s receipts sittin’ on top of//Sunday.

What was he//at the starter.
One night we were alone on duty//
it was my duty to put up the American flag on a sixty foot pole,
and this morning I put it upside down and went home
to bed.

I left//hasn’t stopped since.
I was willing//no direction.
I’ve been working as a brakeman//of my life.
I//tired of this.

(Meanwhile, remember, I was lolling//suddenly
Neal’s eyes grew tearful and he got up and left his food
steaming there
and walked out of the restaurant.
I wondered if he was just wandering off forever.
Meanwhile Neal took a carton of cigarettes from the gas station and we were stocked for the voyage---gas, oil, cigarettes and//a moving boxcar:
Meanwhile//won’t change for a long time.

In the Fall I myself started back from Mexico City
and one night just over//An ambulance came balling through.
“Whoo!” said Neal,
and he turned on his headlights and they weren’t working.
Neal saw that, and began frowning and thinking
and trying to straighten himself out,
and finally I broached the idea of leaving once and for all.
“So much ahead of us man it won’t make any difference.”
Here of course we got snarled in traffic and had to go slow
and I got back in the front//to a fanning dawn;
we were hurling up to it.
Well I got out and had to walk across the woods
with the fear if they caught me//dead and gone.

They were headed//about life, and life on the road.

Reopen no old wounds, be as if you had//no money.
The light of our tent burned on//work.
“Real beat huts, man, the kind you only find in Death Valley and much//mysterious Spanish streets.
Great crowds of businessmen, fat businessmen in boots and tengallon hats, with their hefty wives in cowgirl attire bustled and whoopeed on the//stars

The bus leaving at ten
I had four hours to dig//a witch.”
She let me take a shower and shave and then I said goodbye
and took the bags downstairs and hailed a Frisco taxi-bus,
which is an ordinary taxi that runs//in the tenements
in the back of Howard.
Her great dark eyes surveyed me with emptiness and a kind of chagrin that reached back generations and//unpacked and played till nine o’clock in the morning.
She got off at Columbus Ohio
and I slept all the way to//Hollywood alone.

“I get you gurls, anytime.// girls that cut along with groceries.

At one point the mother of the little colored girl
---not colored but dark---
came in to hold a brief and mournful convocation with her
||the whorehouse.
It was as hot as the inside of a baker’s oven//wonderful bath.
“Neal? I yelled across the party, which included Jose Garcia Villa the poet, Walter Adams, Victor Tejeira [             ] the//it.
Poor Henri, he had a special necktie made for this evening;
on it was painted a replica of the//yes.”

I was halfway across America, at the dividing line between the East of my youth and the West of my future, and maybe that’s why it happened right there and//went all the way down and I was standing in the purple darkness.

All over the world, in the jungles of Mexico, in backstreets of Shanghai, in New York cocktail bars, husbands are getting drunk while the women stay home with the babies of the everdarkening future. If these men stop the machine and come home
---and get on their knees---
and ask for forgiveness
---and the women bless them---
peace will suddenly descend on the earth with// 

          [   //   ] denotes the regions where Morris’ reverse-page presentation of “On the Road” reads backwards, back into itself like a wave on the ocean, looking down and seeing its own genesis, in the moment right before it crashes in on itself, casting shadows    like spots on the sun.



Nick Aster

You woke me up. My sleep was nervous anyways.
That morning, I noticed that your eyes looked empty.
                          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.   
We were out in the yard but it was different; the yard was overtaken this morning by a tree
that was so tall
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.
Oak Leaves the size of gravestones.
Oak Tree.
You said, “Climb with me.”
You told me, “Up at the top Nick,
                       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
mountain ranges
and the silhouette of man’s first dwellings.
                             Houses made of stretched hide and branches blocking the sundown.
This is what letters and sounds looked like when they first crept from God’s thunderous throat,
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
                                                                                                                        and leap.


                          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.


It was still raining when I woke up.
I could see everywhere in the world, all at once:

The snow.
         The streetlamps.
                                                                  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.



Nick Aster

x   enophobic black black begat red in that twice heartattach
x   anthippes spasms and spasms and paroxysm    

a voice from very far off and half my own voice
augur promising blackblackblack begat white

my everything                                                         stemmed in through newt eyes
messed up afterimages of color and brightness    red endlessly in black black

the indigenous      abecedarian       spindly fibres that mediate allmans weight and shape
these automatons these first discriminators wailing hollow by the thousands

in the resonate hollows of nesting hollow   understanding this ripture
iatrogenic misconceptions of season          redness in blackening      plunk upon heartsichords

unscheduled equinox inverts all oosporingovercodes

every moment on top of every water will hide somewhere flighty séance
ephemera phloatabobbing in ripple awake

after this flood your steps will be crakey
as if on bird twigs

vaccinium ovatum and lilies
vaccinium stameum and lilies and aspirated breath

i heard with fish ears from a very far off voice half my own that every eve 
on sundown city preachers kneel and ask blessing on the towns of the living

call curses onto the chockablock cities of the dead  they are not wholly bad or good those that live 
under the wood o please keep thy tired eye on all poor creatures born to die

x  eric are these first moments of light led by the single cephalopod reach of a sucking
x  enagogue

*note: title, amount of lines, first-letter couplet pairs, spacing, word choice. Haha I wrote this as a 'dramatic monologue' for class. Try to guess who the speaker is??