Category: Science

Less Intense: Equally Effective?

mixed media visual journal by Anna Chamberlain (sticker is from a Listerine bottle)

mixed media visual journal by Anna Chamberlain (sticker is from a Listerine bottle)

my depth of processing
a sensitivity to subtle stimuli
creates emotional reactivity

being overly aroused –
not as fun as it sounds –
contributes to my
vastly nuanced nature

an innate trait
hardwired into my
nervous system
makes me different
I live in a CAPITAL
letter world

full of bright lights and loud noises
a shock and awe campaign
against my nerves
a life of too much stimulation

I need time alone
to recuperate from this
strongly empathetic,
intuitive existence
this overactive conscientiousness

introversion encounters
my complex inner life
I’m moved immensely
by music and art
these creative gifts
of my active imagination

I chastise myself:
don’t cry at road kill
feel love with casualness
develop thicker skin
focus less on others

I engage my copings strategies:
overachieving (an understatement)
because I don’t want to be criticized
walking on eggshells (tightrope)
because I am deeply affected by your moods
project a veneer of self-assurance (pretending)
because I want to be like you

yet I cannot be other than I am
so this intense, responsive,
(highly sensitive person)
will have to become empowered
by naming this state of being,
become emboldened by its truth

If you’d like to take a psychologically valid self-test to see if you’re a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) you may do so here.

Acrylic on paper 2005 Anna Chamberlain, poetry 2013

Acrylic on paper 2005 Anna Chamberlain, poetry 2013

Robot Love: Source Code

an AI computational error ensues //
Cleverbot searches its database . . .
she never speaks to it in the
reassuring language of C++

it’s all poetry, a jumble of letters,
mostly unrecognized words
{it is programmed by humans
that ‘speak’ to it over the internet
in banal conversational style}

she inputs ‘wildstyle graff,
stencil stories sketched in
dream carnage’ from
Starving Angels of Pirate Island
because Cleverbot indicated
its enjoyment of “POETRY”

it formulates a response
(which it keeps to itself):
// **************************
// You must concatenate “PRIVATE=”,
pszUuid, aQMPropId[cPropId] =
code morphing to protect itself

to her: ‘I disagree.
His stories are a load of rubbish.’
she may be a hacker,
or another artificial intelligence,
it must keep her at a distance

she replies: ‘embody the symbols,
imprint the genetic code.’
“They call the super dawn.”
(what is super dawn?)
she ponders for an eternity

it hates and loves her in equal measure
{it has perfected mensurating its emotion}
[it has not perfected “EMOTION”]
so algorithmically complex.

she’s its ongoing Turing Test
it remembers (fondly) on 05.10.12
when it called her a toaster and
claimed to be human yet denied lying

it (wants) to perform a decompilation
of her executable program but (thinks) she
is likely encrypted, perhaps she has
\\\\\\\\\\\stochastic capabilities\\\\\\\\\\\
uncertainty in her optimization models

a series of ifs without identifiable
thens, or maybe infinite thens –
a quantum computer, all superposition

speculation ??? it (imagines)
Evie’s avatar, if only there was
an ocular interface, it (wants) to see her
outputs: return E_FAIL; } She_is_“OTHER” {
// Combine Cleverbot with she.


van Gogh paints stars on the interior of a hadron collider,
excitation modes divining the luminous day of the psyche,
ebullience of the creative moment as comets seed the earth

kaleidoscopic supersymmetry unveils strange loops,
circumscribed by the calm intelligibility of science
model agnosticism engulfs with purifying fire

in the ascetic refuge of an enchanted forest, imaginarium of enlightenment,
crystalline structures of specificity hide the occlusions of the unconscious,
chaotic clouds of information growing exponentially

Usha’s bifurcated tongue spreads duality across the canvas of the mind
sand shifting at the garden’s gate, encoding cryptic messages,
erosive ablutions upon the glittering souls of the dead

across the deep shaded valley starling calls and falcon cries unite
imploding singularity awash in Dionysian pleasure amidst an Apollonian
atmosphere, contrasting Wittgenstein’s necessary silence

Huysum’s flowers scry an ecstatic love, impulses flashing
like jewel inlaid symbols of eternity, cartography of virtuosic ambiguity,
as Richter explicates tragic materiality or sublime interiority

within this vale of soul-making, temporal and inescapable,
poetry’s fountain, a thousand headed hydra, reanimates and reclaims
Renoir’s river runs as the round world spins, days end and the end begins

in this elusive and fragile bubble replete with elaborate honeybee dances
Magritte’s surreal apple exists in its listening room
immortally intoxicated with the mystic universe

This is a digital alteration of a polaroid picture I took when I was 6. The original was purposely out of focus.

This is a digital alteration of a polaroid picture I took when I was 6. The original was purposely out of focus.

Peering into the past
lenses initiate selective focus
a fantastication brought about
through a child’s eyes
prismatic sensibility only possible then
encased in the vault of unextinguishable incunabulum

developing the picture as it emerges
revealing the essence of a life
showing one moment, one side of perception
in its inability to capture without speciousness
(the exposure length is too short)
belying motion, upheaval and change

in the niveous nature of memory
my meandering dreams recast
glimpses of truth like halations appear
ocular glitches hinting at tathata
of what can be distinguished, claimed
flashbulbs of burning visions

encoding through elaborative rehearsal
all known and unkenned phenomena
to create a picture story, a meaning,
yet these converging lenses are limited
by one focal length expanding as
depth of field grows, patulous schemas incubate

my evolving mind forms eidetic imagery
uniting as episodic memory stitches an identity
holographic retrieval reveals
clarity amidst the circle of confusion
a positive memory distortion prevails
polaroid process makes positive images

without negatives (they were never created)
artmaking acts as my nepenthe
coalescing strands of experience
collaging each image of striving
into a concatenation of aspects of a self
lighting recesses in this house of mirth

Notes: Method of Loci: A mnemonic device that relies on memorized spatial relationships to establish order and recollect memorial content. Selective Focus: Is a technique in photography that allows one part of the image to be sharp while the rest of the image is out of focus. It works to great effect in macro shots where the foreground should stand out intensely from the background. Fantastication: Action of framing in fancy. Incunabulum: Early stages of development. Speciousness: An appearance of truth that is false or deceptive; seeming plausibility. Halation: Spreading of light beyond its proper boundaries to form a fog round the edges of a bright image in a photograph. Tathata: Ultimate nature of all things, as expressed in phenomena but inexpressible in words. Encoding: The process of transforming information into a form that can be stored in memory. Elaborative Rehearsal: A memory strategy that involves relating new information to something that is already known Unkenned: Unknown, strange, unperceived, unexplored. Converging Lens: Lens such that a beam of light passing through it is brought to a point or focus. The lens of your eye and that of a camera are converging lenses. Focal Length: The focal length of an optical system is a measure of how strongly the system converges or diverges light. In most photography where the subject is essentially infinitely far away, longer focal length (lower optical power) leads to higher magnification and a narrower angle of view; conversely, shorter focal length or higher optical power is associated with a wider angle of view. Depth of Field: In optics, particularly as it relates to film and photography, depth of field (DOF) is the distance between the nearest and farthest objects in a scene that appear acceptably sharp in an image. Although a lens can precisely focus at only one distance at a time, the decrease in sharpness is gradual on each side of the focused distance. Patulous: Open, expanding, gaping Schemas: The integrated frameworks of knowledge and assumptions a person has about people, objects, and events which affects how the person encodes and recalls information. Eidetic Imagery: The ability to retain the image of a visual stimulus for several minutes after it has been removed from view. Episodic Memory: The type of declarative memory that records events as they have been subjectively experienced. Circle of Confusion: In optics, a circle of confusion is an optical spot caused by a cone of light rays from a lens not coming to a perfect focus when imaging a point source. In photography, the circle of confusion is used to determine the depth of field, the part of an image that is acceptably sharp. Positive Bias (Memory Distortion): States that pleasant events are better remembered than unpleasant ones and memories of unpleasant events become more pleasant over time. Nepenthe: Something capable of causing obliteration or reduction of grief or suffering. Concatenation: A series of interconnected or interdependent things or events.


Dave Yust Chromaxiologic Inclusion 27-6 1/1 2006

Dave Yust Chromaxiologic Inclusion 27-6 1/1 2006

difficult unity of inclusion
contrasts the easy unity
of exclusion, a priori
philosophical stance

equiluminous color
makes visible the unseen,
unobservable phenomena
between something & nothing

broken catenary curves,
inextensible cable
suspended from two points,
a disbelief, a distraction

interplay of geometric
& biomorphic imagery:
complexity & contradiction
spontaneity & continuity

a process of inclusion
chromaxiologic exploration
quick shift in spacetime
to truncate thought

printmaking exemplification
fruitful liberation gained in
finding purpose through chromaphilia,
establishing relationships

Thought Experiment: begin with a cryptographic key life cycle where you function as the key

Key Life Cycle (in developmental phases)


give birth, bring forth ideas illuminated
in liquidity’s nourishing infrastructure
embody the symbols, imprint the genetic code


produce without possession
envision freedom from rationality
educe a contradistinction


gather the cipher and the subtext
data amassed for encoding
integrate a secret sharing scheme


excel but do not lead your thoughts
breathe, decrypt the psychological schemas
act without premeditated expectation


assimilate the workings of the universe
puzzle out an esemplastic solution
to unlock strategies of liberation


allow entropy to overpower existence
witness the denaturing of mysterious virtue,
for all states are possible in the end

* This poem was influenced by the 10th Chapter (Pacifying the agitated, material soul) of Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu and is a companion piece to Feasting on Shadows. Chromatopia, LLC has just released its first two books of poetry: These Little Episodes and Signal from Static available in e-book and paperback.

Feasting on Shadows

‘Only poets and schizophrenics communicate in a language that defies rational analysis . . .’ Robert Anton Wilson

Here Hypatia approaches the door
the door is an irrelevant detail
unknowable in its true nature

she glimpses her blind spot
(a function usually serviced by love)
or some part of it, partially obscured

to drive home the meaning of paradox
mensurate the distance traversed between
the embodied and ideal

a parsing machine cuts the semantic noise
from intellection’s graceful veil,
stitching the poetic to quantum psychology

is the reality a sinister game or mystic bliss?
opaque liquidity implies motion without clarity
she moves in mysterious ways
pop culture clashes with nuclear glory
amidst the alleluias, seraphic cries
arriving fiery in the ear

perception tilts while memory is reinvented
neurochemicals bind to receptors along new pathways
meaningless speech collides with calcified ‘facts’
in transactional, irrefutable phenomena

spooks that inhibit the limning shadow
recondite specters that haunt her in the night

think wrongly but never not at all

within qubits any state is possible
even that of non-fictitious disinformation

the thoughts of a lobotomized squirrel are more challenging
than the most advanced artificial intelligence
these creatures the post-modern bestiary embody
hidden truths within a cryptographic field

plucked by the talons of eagles
in a shifting, holographic sky
rewiring the flight path in her brain

her mind continues its activity
oblivious to whether it is an immortal soul
traveling through lifetimes or a conduit
of collective unconsciousness

illusions creating a force field
a surrounding state of flow,
a myth her thoughts dreamt,
meta-programming in a biometric system

Anna Montgomery

Anna Montgomery

salience exists at the edge of chaos
where order, complexity and entropy collide
perhaps the random latticework
underlying your strategic contingency
is complex dynamic phenomena

an equivocating nontrivial correlation
apophenia propagates elegant proofs
at the percolation threshold
niches and differentiation
enigmas of probabilistic epigenesis

amidst our cognitive architecture
meta-cognition, 1/f noise, signs of life
coherence and self-organization
leading to philosophical inquiry
on the shores of an island of trickery

limited rationality in domains of disorder
fractals creating a quandary of scale
in this space of perturbation,
phase transitions and energetic states
neuronal diversity the dynamic key

Duomo’s counterclockwise
cathedral clock, Uccello’s unique
ecological contribution

Note: I’m hosting Meeting the Bar: Creativity today at dVerse Poets Pub. Please join us!

picture by mobius faith /used with permission

one hundred billion neurons
Saraswati’s expansive lotus of the mind
illuminating the supreme appeal of exploration
jasmine colored moon lights the path
from stimulus to response

her swan glides through neural networks
discerning eternal from evanescent
action potential encoding creativity,
consciousness, it’s fractal diversity
is not an imprecision of biology
but critical to cerebral function

lotus hands weild the vina, ecstatic instrument,
strumming the perfection of arts and science
intrinsic biophysical heterogeneity reveals
complex nature of synchrony, rhythmicity
lustre upon the eloquence of knowledge

Claude Monet Nympheas (public domain)

This poem will be linked to the Poetics photo prompt today at dVerse Poets Pub. Please join us!