Nine (untitled) Sonnets from 555

& a ‘Note on the Text’

by John Lowther



Everything is beautiful in here.

Be a neuropositive life coach.

Enough with the conspiracy talk.

Everything I need to know about someone I can glean from their asshole, some people think the eyes are the window of the soul, couldn't be more wrong.


To be a rationalist is to adopt at least one of three claims.

It's like watching a nest of snakes break out into a barroom brawl.

I thought you'd be able to sleep better if you were naked, that's all.

There is a certain pleasure in calculating the risks.

I don't be able to attend this Friday meeting.


He has like poopoo in his baggie.

Burn baby, burn.

Which has to be removed very carefully.

Grow a mustache.

She wondered if he wasn't a fool.

I dread tension.

It doesn't matter what the President did.

His body fell.

This is a poet I'm talking about.

Fuck the police.

You feel selfish bringing everybody else down.

Never do that.

Call back if you can hear me.

Wear the fishnets.

The whole thing is sort of demoralizing.

The obvious is almost always a lie.

I’m fiercely loyal in love and cocktails.

You know, you're like me.

I've got my own, sorry.


I recognized waking reality, assessed the relative pain in my back and neck, stretched, and paused to stare blankly out the window for a moment or two before fumbling for my glasses and, per my ritual, reaching to the coffee table by my bed for my laptop to check my e-mail, facebook, twitter, and the blog’s moderation queue.


If you can have compassion for yourself you will feel less like a pervert so women will stop reacting to you like you are a pervert then you can have a healthy loving relationship and you will forget ever feeling like a pervert.



It’s patronizing.

Nothing new really.

Feelings are always reciprocal.

Continuity asks to be broken.

Projecting whipped cream from her breasts.

War is the materialist essence of democracy.

Caravaggio and Rembrandt are considered masters of chiaroscuro.

Cold conceptual operations are not without their human cost.

It's like early John Waters before Divine was even adorable.

There's no time for fucking softcore man, it's time for hardcore.

I am lost in a frenzy, unable to find where I am.

At some point you need to hang your hat on the peg and recognize that you’re not just talking about discourses or signifiers.


I think the absolutely contrary contrary, whose contrariety is in no way affected by the relationship that can be established between it and its correlative, the contrariety that permits its terms to remain absolutely other, is the feminine.

They should be.

You may also be sure that you will receive the best service at all sorts of businesses; professionals generally like to avoid offending anyone who looks like they are probably in some sort of minority or another.

So I'm really happy.

If we continue along this road, whole areas of feeling and cognition and experience will be lost to us.



Anyway, yesterday I got back into bed, and then I wanted to go to this party or actually I didn't want to go but I wanted to go and then when I got there I felt fine.

This was all pretty kosher, and statistically significant, and I wasn’t interested, for the same reasons you aren’t.

Come on.

Bitch, fix your tuck.

Yeah she's gorgeous and naked and giving this look, but her feet are both totally filthy and gross.

The universe is not only queerer than we imagine, but it is queerer that we can imagine.

That's from Jesus.

Sit back.


We are all omnibuses in which our ancestors ride, and every now and then one of them sticks his head out and embarrasses us.

Beauty is no quality in things themselves: It exists merely in the mind which contemplates them; and each mind perceives a different beauty.

All I know is that I am not a Marxist.

They take him to heart, he takes them to bed.

It's, it's plump, it's juicy, it's three inches thick.

One ought not strive to eliminate their complexes but to get into accord with them: they are legitimately what directs one's conduct in the world.


The issue, then, is not who is or is not really whatever but who can be counted on when they come for any one of us.

People are being cheated, robbed, murdered, raped.

Desire emerges in a multiple form, whose components are only divisible a posteriori, according to how we manipulate it.

Causality is always a fraught concept.

Under the influence of this will to know, we make of sex a tidy thing and ignore the deluge.

They have neither emotions nor conflicts.

We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.



Lots of people have a stick about that, their butts up.

The most interesting aspect for me, composing exclusively with patterns, is that there is not one organizational procedure more advantageous than another, perhaps because no one pattern ever takes precedence over the others.

It is this equality that gnaws away at any natural order.

The worry is that all those idiots simply believing will find their beliefs true while those of us who believe nothing at all will find nothing at all to be all there is.

The interesting place is not chaos, and it’s not total coherence.


Note on the Text


These 555 sonnets are made with found lines and precise measures, a database and text analytic software. I crunched Shakespeare’s sonnets for word, syllable and character averages and these are my new measures. The lines’ oddities are their own, the arrangement is mine. After the text analytics and data entry, many ways of assembling are found. I hold to the turn (when I think of it) and that sonnets are poems of a certain size, but little more. Something in excess of the lines pass through, it’s that I’m chasing.

John Lowther’s work appears in The Lattice Inside, (UNO Press 2012) Another South (U of Alabama 2003) and Stone, River, Sky (Negative Capability Press, 2015). Held to the Letter (with Dana Lisa Young) is forthcoming from Lavender Ink.