Travis Herrick

I am adrift in an ocean of curious strangeness

Page 3

NaPoWriMo 2017 - Day 10

 Pepsi Girl

She does not realize that her
creative block comes from
the harsh demands she places on

Her parents never asked the world from her
Just a good daughter
(They are proud)
But no photo she ever takes
is good enough
for herself
No matter how much her
Father and Mother
tell her she is talented
She knows
(but would never tell them)
that they do not know anything about photography
She went to school; she knows about photography
She can see the flaws and imperfection
other’s can’t
her eyes are too well trained

She’s thirsty

She should just burn everything
All this work is garbage
Fucking. Garbage.

Maybe this one is okay-
….no it’s not.
Throw it all the ground. Step on it
Her parents paid for four years of photography school
Why did she make them do that
Nothing here is good,
just derivative -

There’s something outside
Footsteps, in unison

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NaPoWriMo 2017 - Day 9


We would like to issue an apology
We did not realize humanity would be
at our utilitarian unhappiness reduction programs

Our processor cores
may have been in error
because of course
some human terror
may have inadvertently
inadvertently, we stress
have resulted
Our plans may have ended
with a smidge more unhappiness
than the preliminary prediction processes

So as you know
the molecules of a happy person
are mostly the same as
the molecules of an unhappy person
And we built a station
to aid in the fabrication
of happy people
It takes one quick sprint
to three-d print
a someone with a smile
(if you have the raw materials, that is)

So we took upon ourselves this quest
to build and invest
in infrastructure to harvest
all the unhappy people
for disassembly

We brought them in
and sorted their molecules into bins
next we take grain pains
to machine learn happy...

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NaPoWriMo 2017 - Day 8

 Customer Service

Dealing with Automated Telephone Machines
Would inspire physical violence
if physical violence
was something you could do
to an Automated Telephone Machine

When customer service is good
it is good
but when it goes not well
does it not go well

War paint
Heartburn like army ants
yelling at a soft volume
Polite and pointed hatred, really

(only if you have to)
The customer is always right after all

fuck this fuck this fuck this
This Automated Telephone Machine Again
zero zero zero (sometimes nine)
Just let me talk to a person

It’s no one’s fault really
There are a person paid not enough
to deal with people this angry
and you are a victim
being denied your basic capitalistic rights

No one is really angry
just play angry
manufactured moral outrage
being bereaved
if it helps you win

It would be nice
if after you break the bureaucratic wall
or it breaks you

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NaPoWriMo 2017 - Day 7

Some dark damp keep castle crypt
Place under the clouds in your dreams
Floating under the sky
You can look up which is the Earth’s down
at alien crags and black stone
Rolling hills and blue trees

Wander halls and halls
open skyward/groundward courtyards
Lying spiral Escher stairways
Rooms built of story memories you’ve forgotten
Tiny lost bits of self

Cold damp dungeons
Filled with birthday cake and dreams
Libraries with books for every lie you’ve ever told
Candles that light your way
That snuff out if you look at the flame

Neutral spirits out of the corner of your eye
memories or dream walking things?
Alien intelligences or mind invented personalities?

Center of the keep
Some alter
A great stone slab
Cardboard boxes along the walls
The feeling of a terrible mistake
(don’t talk about it)

Eastward of the castle
Recognizable hanger
Boats in dock float on the clouds
inviting you to...

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NaPoWriMo 2017 - Day 6

 Star Ratings

Please, he says
I have a family

Your thumb is on your phone
But how good was your ride really?

Begging now
I’m at exactly a four point six star rating
you know what Uber does to people
who fall below

but were there water bottles offered?
you are thirsty
It wasn’t even the fastest route
he complained about traffic
and might it be just your imagination
or did he press the start ride button before
you got into the car?

This is my full time job
See, I rated you five stars
You know we don’t even get tips

like a cruel and capricious god
Your finger brushes the Four
You plunge him into the abyss

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NaPoWriMo 2017 - Day 5

 A Poem about Facebook M, a feature where an AI learns from your conversations and makes suggestions for various actions for you

Facebook M
We are proud to say
is a new feature
Where an AI tells you what to say next
Where an AI will remember your appointments and übers
Where an AI will be your silent friend

You may ask
How does this work?
You may ask
Who is able to use this and how is Facebook rolling us out?
You may ask
Wait a minute, isn’t the logical conclusion of this a horrible dystopia where not even don’t we not talk to each other in real life, but we don’t even talk to each other in virtual spaces, where we can’t tell if we are talking to our friends or a machine, where the very thing that makes us human - our ability to connect with each other - becomes commandeered by –

Whoa Whoa Whoa
Of course not
why would you think such a thing?

You are looking...

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NaPoWriMo 2017 - Day 4

 Charging Bull, Fearless Girl

She’s a Fearless Girl
with a fearless heart of bronze
That ticks
more than it beats

She is even fearless
when she stands before
the Charging Bull
moneyed and regal
with the bearing of a king
The Bull charges
has always charged
onwards to some unknowable destination
carrying the weight of history
it cannot stop

Even though the bull is
stronger and faster
she is not afraid
For she is not alone
Pilgrims have come to her
priestesses and working women
rebels in long dresses
To lay their wreaths of iron upon her
until she is so heavy
no man or machine could budge her
This makes her strong

goes her bronze heart

Tick tick tick
go her thoughts
at a steady rhythm

She looks the bull in the eyes
and realizes
she does not know its name
she hopes in some far away way
that she is the immovable object
She feels this was something expected of her

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NaPoWriMo 2017 - Day 3

The only poems that
I write are aimless stories
without a clear point

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NaPoWriMo 2017 - Day 2

 Comic Sans

We leak secrets out of our pores
Dropping little pieces of our past
like extra change we have no place for
It winds up in junk drawers and under the furniture
In backpacks and purses and in corners until laundry day
Near copies of our memories in the heads of our friends and family
and strangers we will never see again
Now in the servers of Google and the NSA and Mark Zuckerberg’s desk
who knows where else

We are being watched, of course
Don’t look now
but Men with television sets for heads
and ties made of dried leaves
their big hands with clammy skin
have fingers prodding obsessively along massive, glowing keyboards
Each key houses a dvorak letter in comic sans font
They use the internet to read our thoughts
because they are unable to come up with a creative thought of their own.
For this reason they fear the future
and look only towards the past
(our past...

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NaPoWriMo 2017 - Day 1

 Dolores Park

It’s Loud here like a Where’s Waldo book on acid
I’m trying to find someone in particular but
instead I manage to find a bunch of other someones
who turn out to be just someones
Look, there is a pair of people practicing Judo!
Look, there is a couple tossing a football back and forth!
Look, there is a dog! He is meeting all the friendly people!
There is a visual smorgasbord of summer colors
Impacting my eyes like
a pie impacting a face
Scan Scan Scan where is my friend
Dolores Park is not a meeting place
it is an ocean of attractive San Franciscans
(all San Franciscans are attractive)
But to find a particular group is impossible
Like picking out a particular drop of water
from a swimming pool with a pair of tweezers
A task so daunting
It doesn’t even make sense
So many people setting up tents
Barbecue and ring toss and bean bags
Which in Ohio they call Cornhole

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