Beneath you will find the introduction text to my poetry serie at random 1 – 20. HERE you can buy the e-book for €9,99. 

In 2009 I found through Google’s website [I was searching for “computer writing”] a software program called Pyprose. Pyprose was built by professor Charles O. Hartmann. Mr. Hartmann teaches English at Connecticut College in the United States of America. With this software program the poems in “at random 1 – 20” were initiated. Pyprose is a word which is a combination of the first two letters of the Python programming language and prose refers obviously to prose, but in this context it was used for poetry. Pyprose contains two databases. One database contains an American-English dictionary and the second one contains syntactic rules.

By activating these two databases a computer text file opens up. The person behind the keyboard generates sentences by pressing the space bar. These sentences are made at random by connecting the words and the grammatical rules. Actually thesesentences make no sen[ten]se at all, but in fact they actually do build real sentences. The syntactic rules which form the basis of the digital program generate texts. These texts can be seen as useful or as totally meaningless according to your own beliefs. I then translated these texts into my native Dutch language by using the translation program Babelfish. The digital software and the internet translations made the 20 text files even more incomprehensible than they already were. I edited these texts into comprehensible [?] poetry while retaining most of the words that were generated by the computer.

I used synonyms, antonyms and/or had to find words to fit better within the supposed direction that the poem asked. The basics of these poems have a content which is made at random, and at the same time they are full of meaningful elements. Men, and as such the creator of these poems, tend to see specific meanings within a syntactic environment which have to be expressed. Not one of these poems can be seen as completed. They can be seen by the reader as meaningful or as meaningless as they prefer. Most of these words aren’t mine. The poems are up until a certain degree. I have to admit this degree is closer to 100% than it is to 1%, only because I wanted to make the poetry human. It took me 5 years to finish this project.

I published these 20 poems under the Dutch title “willekeur 1 – 20” [which means arbitrariness] at the end of 2014. In 2015 I started to translate the Dutch poetry into English with the use of Google Translate, Interglot, a digital thesaurus and my personal linguistic knowledge of this language. Ever recurring themes in poetry are easily to recognize. The tone is set. These words were typed. This is not easy poetry. It pinches. Shows the wrong and the good as well. Gives meaning and nonsense. For some of these poems it is even hard for me to understand what they express, because I did not write them. I tried to make sense of the words the computer spoke to me. I can’t confirm that I have succeeded in it. This is poetry that can’t be categorized as belonging to life experiences of mine. These poems are reflecting modern time.

“Why all this work?”, you might be wondering. I think that is a fair question. Because that is a question I have asked myself many times since I started creating this body of poetry. Here maybe a meaningful response. We, or at least those, who live with and in the digital world, are familiar with this virtual membrane that has surrounded our lives for some decades. This is the new matrix that has replaced the old one.
A new shell has grown around us and has created even more distance to our inner nature. This distance is greater than ever, but the virtual world that contains ones and zeros conceals and reveals simultaneously. Paradoxically it puts the desire for reaching out to and connect with the inner core, truth itself, in a higher gear. This desire is more and more exposed than ever. As such these poems are about the new [dis]order and the renewed awareness of the one and most true identity, the information [?] and knowledge [?], reality [?], and the attempt to [re]connect with it.