To Keats

To Keats

That I, an unknown poet at the best,
Would feel so strong the pull of Imagery
To scribble out these lines before I rest
‘Pon reading of your life and poesy

Seems strange. I’ve often felt a gossamer
Connection to your life — invisible
The cords that bind two Menschen einsamer
Are chords in vacuum played, inaudible.

Your life cut short when you were twenty-six
The ripe old age at which I pen these lines
Your language rich with metaphors and tricks
A quantum leap above these scrawls of mine.

Tonight, I wished that I could cease to be,
But Keats restored my faith with poetry.

— Stace Johnson, 1991

The NeXT Step (Vorticism 1991)

The NeXT Step?
(Vorticism 1991)

Thousands of programmers
Typing in unison
Hacking in UNIX on
Sleek black machines.

Weizenbaum warns us that
AI’s not where its at
Threats to humanity
Garnish the seams

Of these C algorithms
And LISP subroutines.
Icons to silicon
Bury our dreams.

Massively parallel
Spells analog’s death knell;
Hypercubes emulate
Turing machines

In a giant array
of AI DNA,
Launching electrons like
Silical genes.

Cognitive science has
Taught us to ask ourselves:
When does Intelligence
Make its own means?

Sufficiently complex
Parallel neural nets
Attain self-awareness at
Some point, it seems;

What right as Creators
Have we to berate or
Suppress the inception of
Silicon Dreams?

— Stace Johnson, 1991