songofcopper: (peter hammill)
A Glimpse of How My Mind Works

(Offered to all-comers, but especially [livejournal.com profile] patrick_vecchio)

Earlier today, I was waiting for the bus when I caught sight of a sign board outside a betting shop. “Sprott to get yellow card in Nether Strumping Wanderers v. Oggen Fen United - odds of 33/1” it said. (Well, it didn’t say that exactly. I’m immune to the charm of sport in general and football in pertickler, so don’t rely on Me to remember either the name of the athlete in question or indeed the teams competing for glory.)

Anyway… it started me wondering how they work out the odds on something like that (or indeed any other wager - snow on Christmas, winner of Rear of the Year, exact date of world’s Trump-related spontaneous combustion, etc.).

It’s probably an algorithm, I told myself. Everything’s algorithms nowadays. This is without really knowing what an algorithm is or how it works - but it is a thing that apparently exists, and is observed to turn raw data into excuses for stuff (or perhaps I mean ‘reasons’… who knows). I must admit that I regard an algorithm with the same bemused, trusting expression with which 18th C. courtiers remarked the Mechanical Turk, whilst at the same time suspecting the existence of a secret compartment containing a conspiracy.

This should tell you that I am as about as well-informed as anyone else, i.e. Not Much.

Verbless Queries )

Popular media asks that we characterise ourselves and each other as Victims, Survivors, Heroes, Villains. If you’re not one, you must be another. Except, I and divers fellow delinquents are anomalous. We are in the precarious position of - oh dear me - Observers. This feels embarrassing (embarrasingly unnecessary) in Times Like These. If you’re not sitting on a sofa numbing yer inputs with Netflix, then you must be marching, surely. Because, because, if you’re not marching, you must be sitting on a sofa numbing yer inputs with Netflix.

Be Weird )

Pome

Monday, 2 March 2015 17:29
songofcopper: (Tea is the drink of great detectives! :-)
The other day (in Another Place) I agreed to play a game of poetical tag: submit 3 - 5 prompt words, and receive a poem containing those words. If you wished you could also receive 3 - 5 prompt words in order to return the gesture. Of course I agreed to 'pome', and I received these prompt words: violet, flourish, cloud, unrequited, entwine.

Recently I happened upon the preposterous poetry of Comte Robert de Montesquiou. Honestly, it's... indescribable. Luckily for me, I found a few verses translated into English; if only my French was up to it I'd try reading the original creations. But if you read French with a reasonable fluency, if you like Ludwig II and bats and ridiculousness, if you are willing to bite your tongue/swallow your giggles whilst kneeling reverently at the daintily-shod feet of le Comte, well... it's worth your attention. Anyway, what little I read delighted me severely.

I cannot write like that, not really (despite all, I'm far too sane). But I could not look at those prompt words - violet, flourish, cloud, unrequited, entwine - without feeling the Decadent Lightbulb ping on (...is it a lightbulb? Perhaps not; it may be something more like a moon reflected in the articulated opalescent glass drops which depend, shivering, from a lustre that glows on the mantelpiece, the hanging crystals agitated by the passing sweep of one's cape. ...Yeah, it's probably that, innit?).

Therefore, I have made my poem self-consciously ornate (so, no change there! Any excuse, right?). I think perhaps I'll let the Archduke steal it, he was after all spurned once by a callous harpy who so wounded his heart that he ran away to Helsinki and lived incognito in a fisherman's hut for about two days. (Two. Days.)

Please imagine him lying, trembling, on a rustic cot, glaring through his tears at an Odilon Redon print that is hanging against the rough woodwork of that hut.

Now Read On. :-)

Crepuscular descends the violet hour
Whose tint pollutes the rosy hope of day.
Her note: ‘Cher ami, veuillez patienter’;
Not patient but becalmed, sickly I cow’r.
Rise, Bile; choke, burn my heart; flourish, Decay!
Like Sun’s eye dimmed in cloud, mine eyes now lour:
Devotion unrequited waxes sour,
No more to her vile image will I pray!
Night’s leash is short; I dangle on that chain
Whose tether’s end is Dawn, and must resign
Myself to slavery. Accept this pain,
Thou humble thrall; drink, addict, of this wine
Meted so sparingly by her. In vain
Dost thou deny thy joy with angst entwine.

© MMFH 2nd March 2015

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This journal is not a private diary, it is more like an occasional, imaginary column. Therefore, much of it is on public display. However, if you want to read my occasional attempts at creative writing, my Caution Elf tells me I should only show that stuff to my friends. You know what to do. :-)

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