Two Sonnets from 555 by John Lowther

[All that we are arises within our thoughts.]
All that we are arises within our thoughts.
Everything had to be done through my panties.
It’s great, it makes you feel really guilty.
On a cellular level, that’s what it wants.
Unless you don’t like fun.

Any boy can be opera.
Easy enough, when you’re a god.
In that case, just linger endlessly.
All that changes is the focus.
Under surveillance.
Outside, sky and no horizon.
Examples are not interchangeable.

It took me a while to work that one out.
Our moods do not believe in each other.
Unlike me.

[The old jury lived simply in a dumpster.]
The old jury lived simply in a dumpster.
Private property is a thing of the past.
Nothing joyous ever took place in that room.
There are individuals, and that is all.
The 20th century was here and gone.
It rolled off the tongue.
No glocka glocka.

Another boring week in the space business.
It’s already about a late-night moment.
Sometimes it was deliberate evasion.
We’re dedicated to our favorite shows.
Making sense is already delusional.
Let me explain.
No, says the sadist.

Note on the Text 
555 is a collection of sonnets whose construction is database-driven and relies on text analytic software. I crunched and analyzed Shakespeare’s sonnets to arrive at averages for word, syllable and character (inclusive of punctuation but not spaces). These averages (101 words, 129 syllables, 437 characters) became requirements for three groups of sonnets. I collected lines from anywhere and everywhere in the air or in print in a database. The lines are all found, their arrangement is mine. Values for word, syllable and character were recorded. Typos and grammatical oddities were preserved; only initial capitals and a closing period have been added as needed. The selection of lines isn’t rule-driven and inevitably reflects what I read, watch, and listen to, thus incorporating my slurs and my passions as well as what amuses and disturbs me. These sonnets were assembled using nonce patterns or number schemes; by ear, notion, or loose association; by tense, lexis, tone or alliteration. Every sonnet matches its targeted average exactly. Think of Pound’s “dance of the intellect among words” then sub sentences for words—it is amongst these I move. The dance in question traces out a knot (better yet, a gnot) that holds together what might otherwise fly apart. I espouse only the sonnets, not any one line.

About the Poet
John Lowther’s work appears in the anthologies, The Lattice Inside (UNO Press, 2012) and Another South: Experimental Writing in the South (U of Alabama, 2003). Held to the Letter, co-authored with Dana Lisa Young is forthcoming from Lavender Ink.