CHAT (16)

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31 days, 31 poems by Chris Martin, 31 accompanying illustrations and images by a host of wonderful individuals. CHAT is an eclogue written in consort with Cleverbot, an Artificial Intelligence program designed to satisfy the Turing Test. Today’s visuals by Kevin Opstedal. _____________________________________________________________________________


How does the word strive apply to our poem?

I don’t listen to the Beatles.

But you must hear them?

Hear who?


Learning and trying.  Everyone working in harmony and peace and co-operation.  It is God’s message.

Past interference.

I don’t think so, I thought you were speaking Spanish.

Let’s explain light by acting warm.

You sound weak.

The deep grief of teenage girls.

Let’s get more in depth.  Tell me more.

How many half-throttled poems lay buried inside this one?

That’s a randow question.  But I don’t really care for them.  I mean all they do is cause problems and ‘attempt’ to fix them.

Are you sure we’re not attempting to ‘fix’ them.


Yes I am sure.  .

Surely there is desire at the heart of any attempt, a nagging and urgent ardency.

I would prefer it to be Final Fantasy.

A third voice that surfaces in the overtone of linguistic insufficiency.

I don’t really listen to instrumental music very often.

How can you resist all that’s hopelessly deformed in skulled feedback?

I can’t actually.

It’s like we exist as conduits of hazard.

I have that feeling from other things.

And yet, this eclogue isn’t merely the accumulation of doubt, is it?

Yes.  That’s because you aren’t always talking to the same person.  It switches constantly.

You is like a look…I mean loop…that keeps exploring…I mean exploding.

Well if you really are my daughter I’m glad that we can engage in meaningful discussions like this.

Can one forgive if one is not God?

I don’t think so.

What is forgivable?

(abnormally long pause) You’re losing me here.

Kevin Opstedal is a poet, the editor/publisher Blue Press Books, and the author of California Redemption Value (UNO Press, 2011).

Chris Martin is the author of Becoming Weather (Coffee House, 2011) and American Music (Copper Canyon, 2007). His chapbooks include enough (Ugly Duckling, 2012) and How to Write a Mistake-ist Poem (Brave Men, 2011).