Friday, August 12, 2005

More C.A.P.--Computer-Ass Poetics

My talented friend Girlbomb had a great suggestion, why not try Microsoft Word’s Auto Summary function and see what it says about a manuscript? So naturally I tried it on my short story collection, thinking maybe it would provide a throughline.

It gives you the choice, a 100-word summary, or 500-word, or whatever percent of the manuscript you desire. I chose 100 words, for kicks.

I’m not exactly sure what it gave me, but it did tickle my textual funnybone. It seems to grab the shortest, shittiest sentences, creating a staccato effect, a new poem in itself.

And now, I give you my collaboration with Microsoft Word:

A WHOLE NEW LIGHT STREAMING FROM A HORSE’S ASS


Right is right. Right Cherie?” People. “People.” Right on.

“Yeah.” Riff
“Hey!” Riff

Magenta, Laura, Rocky, Stuart. “Rocky?” “Hey, hey.” “Sorry. Yeah right. Beer Time.” “Mom?”

“Hey.”
“Hey.”

Right MARY? “Hey! Hey! Yeah.” “Hey!” “You’re right!” “Karla.” Topper. “Topper.”

“Topper!” “Hidden, right?” Hey! “Yeah, right.” “Olga.” “Olga!” Hey! Fritz is right.

“Right, Maddie! Fritz is right.” Right? Your face. “Helen? Helen?”

Bea didn’t ask. Bea was stricken. Bea didn’t answer. “Bea.” Bea couldn’t sleep. Bea shut her eyes.

Nina! Bea, Sadie’s a survivor. “Mom?” “Nina.”

“Mom!” Bea panicked. “Mom, hey. Mom. Mom. “ “Nina! “Bea.” Bea’s hand grew bolder.

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