A collection of experimental poetry by KRONO9 arranged in the form of DNA base pairs.
Preamble to Code Poet
“Big things have small beginnings.” - David from the film Prometheus.
After my first read of the Code Poet manuscript I was forced to take an inventory on the current state of internal and external public dialog. The verbal juxtaposition of poetic styles, Tweets, file lists and stream of consciousness word play engineered by Kronos9 codified in the manuscript immediately echoed the monumental changes to the mechanisms which we have relied on to communicate. The 20th century, had given birth to an ever more entropic verbal universe which is only now reaching adolescence. Each new communication modality is locked in a struggle for supremacy. Nowhere is this more true than in the ever present “cloud” where Tweets, battle pokes who in turn assault blogs pursued by the unending barrage of APPs - carpet bombing our mobile devices with pressing Alerts. Think for a moment, are we actually more alert? Do these shinny new communication channels clarify or occlude useful context or is this whole thing fundamentally changing neural pathways? It is recreating us in it's own image?
On completing what was perhaps my fifth read (with more than a few edits in tow), I found my intellectual DMZ with Code Poet in a memory of Apple’s now defunct HyperCard technology. Never heard of HyperCard? That’s fine, I’m an old editor. HyperCard was software written for the Apple Macintosh back in the late 1980s. It was a pretty shitty interactive authoring system. However, when I first cast my eyes on the screen - I swear I saw the future again. It was essentially the Max Headroom / Andy Warhol future where everyone would be their own publisher, TV (now Vimeo, YouTube or Netflix) personality, music star, or film maker - you get the idea. Everyone is now capable of capturing their 15 minutes of fame.
The web was only a few HyperCard stacks from away from reality back then. Clicking on HyperCard ‘hot-spots’ were soon to give way to hypertext links and all of today’s interactive, expression technologies - well who knows what tomorrow’s innovation will bring. Today’s realities birthed these poems which BTW share more than a “passing glance” or “the tip of th hat” to our current struggles. The challenge to be heard by creating libraries of personal content which are at once - expressive - relevant to our peers and capable of maintaining context. Booking personal tickets to the super-mundane.
Kronos9 has tapped into that same intellectual, visceral zeitgeist perhaps? His work is immediate, fevered - like someone in a hallucinogenic trance. Settle into longer reads by stringing together multiple poems and through the fog, a meta-narrative comes into focus. The challenge in reading these experimental poems is rather like making sense of someone else’s web surfing while looking over their shoulder for five minutes. You will certainly “get the gist” but risk never fully “knowing” where all of the clicking, reading, posting, watching, and listening will end up unless we commit to long term observation. Same with these poems which act as a poetic peek into the anonymous web poet’s history buffer.
Getting to know Kronos9 beyond the words, I listened to the Kronos9 vs Mont Carmel album “Phreaking” as a sound track during the last stages of editing. I essentially read the text as if listening to lyrics on a new album. In that instance the work over long, lazy reading came focused into view. Egad “she wants anal” (a quote from the poem “Somewhere Near #Mayami” one might assume Kronos9 is surfing porn - gives way to the soft verse of the poem “Pirouette”:
“know you soon go home
vast with air friendly mountains
way bellow classrooms”
Just as George Lucas’ inspiration for C3P0’s aesthetic was an exercise in a grand larceny of the Maria character in the Fritz Frilling’s film “Metropolis.” Kronos9 unabashedly commits an act of aesthetic larceny of the 21st century Internet’s style. When we unwind the threads of his influences, clear eyed - the truth of the work is revealed. The disjointed, staccato nature of 21st century Internet are ripe within his poetry.
True of virtually all literary work worth reading Code Poet is rotting with conflict. Gliding above the poems’ surfaces we see the undulating tell-tale signs of maggots eating away just below the surface. Themes battle for supremacy, poetic form, voice, narrative all battle for supremacy. Therein lies the brilliance of the work and ultimately the challenge for the reader.
Continuing the theme of conflict between the “demon haunted world” and the “beautiful entropy of the poetic world” is the poem titled “Elysium” - an exploration of the demons of GMOs which flows into the pseudo-mass extinction of honeybees metastasizing into “the Hens of Oz.” Products (Soloflex), song titles and lyrics (All is full of love) to joie de vivre figures like Gambrinus (the folkloric hero who invented beer) through to Sci-Fi characters like the Furyans of “Chronicles of Riddick” fame. All the while, Kronos9 is fluidly disengaged from any semblance of deep reflection on core themes - no. Instead the words scroll across the mind in hyper-link fashion - fluttering from a solitary concept, to an image, to a sound, to a vapour trail. His poetry provides the reader with a peek into a sublimation process through which the web undergoes a transmutation from an ether of electrons - directly into liquid text eschewing the intermittent “solid state circuit” phase of solid matter.
Consider his approach to traditionally Haiku. In Code Poet, the Haiku is re-engineered into the testament to the ultimate Immediatist gems. Each word is a sharp crystallization of an errant flash of thought. The work constitutes something more akin to a type of hyper-poetry - a new form. He is a bizarre Internet-Dadaist, grappling with the new post-web, post-meme, post-post-modern road which ultimately leads the reader to a desolate postmortem landscape.
“Crawling the cracks between walls of church state school & factory, all the paranoid monoliths.” - Hakim Bey from the book “T.A.Z.: The Temporary Autonomous Zone, Ontological Anarchy, Poetic Terrorism”
Kronos9 is crawling the contemporary cracks of genetic engineering, consumerism, post nationalism, web porn and relationships - in the dark armed with night vision goggles. Like Marcel Duchamp dubbing “The Fountain” a work of sculpture or in more recent history George Harrison’s penning lyrics to the Beatles song, “Savoy Truffle” by cataloging the names of products from candy store shelf, interlaced with Hindu philosophy and wit. In the hands of Harrison much as the urinal was in the hands of Duchamp it was reborn as art - perhaps Kronos9 is attempting the same alchemical transmutation?
Perhaps this is what modern poetry will be when it emerges from the chrysalis. An art form where the artist declares him/herself an artist once again. Unlike Harrison and Duchamp who had to contend with formal critics - Kronos9 contends with nothing beyond the endless sea informal of wikis, bloggers and random comments posters of the web thus far. I suspect that as the Internet evolves and transforms so will Kronos9’s compositions in response.
A hard drive!
Not solid state -
Softly humming hard drive fan
Kronos9 is perhaps tuning into the Matsuo Basho channel.
- Enzo23 (Editor)