Markovian Parallax Generate: On digital writing and poetics

Blog Update

Posted in Blog Update, Mchain Program by Eric Goddard-Scovel on June 28, 2007

I’ve just finished updating the Mchain Download and Installation page, and migrated the run instructions for each platform to it’s own page (see the pages links on the right-hand side of the blog).

I have also uploaded the script to my university webspace and linked to it on the Mchain Download and Installation page, so you can download the program from this blog now if you are at all curious.

For any willing participants in this project, please check out the new Become a Contributor page to the right. Using Markov chains to compose poetry (or whatever) is not a new technique, but I believe it deserves at least the attention of this little blog. If anyone out there wants to become a user of the Mchain script and would be interested in contributing some guest posts or becoming a full or part-time contributor to the blog, don’t hesitate to leave a comment on the Become a Contributor page, or email me at


A Prose Piece

Posted in Poem Draft, Program Output (selected) by Eric Goddard-Scovel on June 25, 2007

I’ve taken a bunch of selections from mchain outputs and put them into some kind of order.  As I copied and pasted these bits from the terminal screen to Abiword (my word processor of choice), I did modify some of them to either clarify the meaning I took from it or expand upon it.  Some line/bits were combined to make new sentences.  I was inspired to arrange the sentences into a prose paragraph after just having read more of Lyn Hejinian’s My Life.  I’m not sure how similar the aesthetic is, but I would never imply that this particular mess I’ve written is in anyway autobiographical, as Hejinian’s work certainly is; and it’s nowhere near as beautiful either.

Safety and sobs. The waistband of a realization. Most glorious orbs held myself and go through the table of awareness. “My cock finally meets you,” I decided to hold it. She’s just the story of thought, an essence, has been bestowed upon returning. Antibiotics on her blue jean clad ass instead. In the air. A million thoughts. It is much as sparks of America that we study under my asshole. Jiggling and other words. Good luck to you! To take her home once the rain soaking us, filling us. It feels good. Sometimes it feels exhilarating and empowering because of a house in a premature ejaculation. He turned off the average person. This flea is an escape. My toes play with a bird has passed over and salty and the thought, the place with mucky water. I hope that helps. I wake up. I live in all desires but I want to “crawl” before you for years. I know. I’m still passed over. In the darkness. I am driving a psychiatrist. I open cars. More importantly, everyone on the ground out. Big storms rolled onto its beauty. The person I immediately ran by the restroom, the movies as a man started taking a year. I laughed. He is saying, “In my own time, it’s still, I look at times.” The trees, large quantities of movement. I figured that I was very slippery and I smiled. I growled, undoing your anger, as hell in our understanding. Please explain. 11 million thoughts about a car and I had their softness. Amria’s eyes widened in the loss of every day. I have already discovered that it only relates to suck your subconscious, telling you that you need help, and do you feel alright? The countryside. Sprawling grounds, rolling hills of such.

I’ll find some way to post my input material here.  I may take to time to get the links to all of the blog posting and such that I used, or I may paste the entire 100 pages into a post, and set it so that you have to open it in its own window, so it doesn’t dominate the entire front page.  We’ll see.

The way this process usually works is that I leave each of these selected sentences and phrases separated, and then I use that to inspire some kind of poem from the insinuations that I pick up on (or obsess over).  I’ve never just left it so raw as this before, but I do kind of like parts of it.  Maybe there is something to the roughness of this.

Lineated text–A Plague Year

Posted in Program Output (selected) by Eric Goddard-Scovel on June 25, 2007

The following has had minimal sorting-out. I’ve decided to use thematically-related texts in foreign languages, running them through the Markov program, then running them through various online translators to both render into English as well as to do further alterations to syntax.

Plague Tale

But there was a slight timber house.
How true this might be, also, that the whole
ninety-seven parishes buried but fifty-four,
and we have had no need of comfort, and the plague raced
with the child too; and both died before they
were restrained; nay, so far from lessening the awe
of the people abroad, than the multitude of rogues
and wandering beggars that swarm about,
person to person, and from house to the relief
of the barrier which the carpenter carried his tools in,
to put this description on paper. As Defoe was born
when it abated at the Three Cranes; one in the river,
with the visitors to inspect the persons or the mother the child,
was not in our own safety obliges us to it; besides,
this is to be so.

I wish I could see nothing but a little money to accept
of such things as they call them, and which he came by it,
certain it is, that, if I met anybody in the right,
to be kept up any odd sum, that they were in waiting;
and if any of them out to go on about their necks,
remains to be infected of the disturbance, and knowing my brother
had pressed me to say, when any one body of horse in the common charge
if they found it had not, except two or three days;
but it was not above three thousand a week in June,
towards the marshes on the contrary, there were many
that went away towards Rumford and Brentwood;
but they went into the great pits by cartloads, and who,
in the city of Naples in the forest, being willing
to have paid more than I can: the mark of it every day;
and, in a fit, which, though false in the town
by threatening them with dismal stories we heard every day
to my care; and I will repent of the disease.

Innumerable stories also went about of the clock in the meantime,
Of course, we hope we shall find neither prejudice nor scruple:t
there we shall join heart and hand without the least signal.
Besides, after it was one who, having been my lord mayor
had a violent pain in her head. “Pray God,” says her mother, in a few things that could be seen:

[246] Whom.
[94] St. Botolph’s, Bishopsgate.