The Uncollectable Poems of Thomas Colthurst

A Sonnet for Lena

O dear Lena, your beauty is so vast
It is hard sometimes to describe it fast.
I thought the entire world I would impress
If only your portrait I could compress.
Alas! First when I tried to use VQ
I found that your cheeks belong to only you.
Your silky hair contains a thousand lines
Hard to match with sums of discrete cosines.
And for your lips, sensual and tactual
Thirteen Crays found not the proper fractal.
And while these setbacks are all quite severe
I might have fixed them with hacks here or there
But when filters took sparkle from your eyes
I said, "Heck with it.  I'll just digitize."


When the world runs out of groceries,
We'll rely upon the proceeds
Of an intergalaxtic charity ball.

First there'll be a space parade
And then, on to EarthAid!
For dining and dancing in free fall.

Enter Centaurian ladies!
Enter Betelgeuse gents!
So chic to help the lower sentients,
So cool to be among the stars.

Milky Way Morguls and Super-Nova Kings
Flash their latest neutronium rings.
Twenty nude Procyians as their date,
Each at a quadrillion joules per plate

We do appreciate your generosity,
Your astronomical philanthropy.
To feed a planet and stock its malls --
Heck, that must take a lot of balls.

But we'll just sit here meekly
And watch it on our tvs.
There will be naught but a soft breeze
When the world runs out of groceries.

one hundred syllables, written especially for you

For every x such that x such that x
There is a y such that y such that y.
For every three that comes before a four
There is a lie that is a lie that is
a lie.  Whenever z equals z and
You are next to me, you can be sure that
I will say nothing that means anything
at all.  Once my words had meaning, now they
hide behind these preenings and still my heart
is less than less than less than less than yours.

internal observations

I woke up this morning in awe, surprise,
a children's book -- the starship Enterprise
had carried me to a winter planet
which was my own, less the granite, damn it.
Sure, I know that nature can rearrange
and turn normal to strange.  But a snow change?
Streets lined with the skin of a dull white cat?
Who ordered that?  We stay inside, get fat,
and watch clouds fill our front porch with dandruff.
It's tough.  But one world flipping is enough.

Shall I contrast thee with a summer's day?

e.e. just had no shift key.
Emily meant to fill in those blanks.
E.T.'s dictated Shakespeare.
Plato's dialogues?  Schoolboy pranks.

What would I give up for Moore's law?
My pancreas, your spleen.
For some worlds are stuck in ruin:
no ghost, no machine.

Valentine's Day 2000

Candy we buy the day after on sale.
Restaurants are crowded, and Hallmark just sucks.
Flowers make me sneeze or else imagine
our love measured out in boolean plucks.

Thousands of presents did through my mind sift;
in the end I give you only this gift:
scarcer than kindness and rarer than hope,
the unalloyed love of a misanthrope.

Something rather than nothing

Why is there something rather than nothing?
Why ain't there naught but a void?
Why are there flowers, protons, and hours?
Galaxies, pizza and Freud?

Some say that what is just is what is.
Some say its all due to God.
Some say that what can be somewhere will be.
Some say its an illusion, a fraud.

I say we're all just incredibly lucky
To be conceived, much lest be born.
A universe of nothingness would just be plain sucky:
A loss with no one to mourn.

Creation myths

Some say the world is made of air.
Some say of water.
From what I've coded of software
I hold with those that favor air.
But if the world were to have a daughter,
I think I know enough of sex
to know that water
would flex
but hold together.

Dreams of a Final Haiku

Since there are only
one thousand syllables in
the English language,

there are less than one
thousand to the seventeenth
potential hiakus.

Make them all, then rank
and you will find that these are
nowhere near the best.

Woody perennial

All your life you have never seen anything so 3-D:
it is a tree.  It is bark fingers fisting through earth to
a blue cervix sky, surrounded by a green condom (leafed
for her enjoyment).  Or perhaps trees have unsafe sex and
the leaves are frozen semen which rustle under backlit
breezes.  Or maybe they are just the lungs of a lonely
introverted undersoil whose exhales are sunlight all
around the world.  Please raytrace my tree.  Please backup this near
memory:  you are on a high branch, looking down on my
sexuality (a metasequoia, thought extinct 
till found again in western China, or an evergreen?)
telling me how you were raised in a desert and thus do
not understand the aesthetics of photosynthesis
except to say, "I want this wet life forever."  You jump.

Celebrate the fog

Hold a cup of water right against your skin
Blow some bubbles into it, let the air rush in
Hide underneath a blanket, roll over like a dog
Can't skip around a streetlamp when you celebrate the fog

Descend on down the staircase, smile with your teeth
You must entertain us till we throw away the wreath
So open a wound and use the pus to flavor our eggnog
Goodbye we must be coming to celebrate the fog

Celebrate the fog, celebrate the fog
I can't even not see you, in my eyes there is a frog
A perfect mist of molecules, and I'm the only clog
Only the dead really know how to celebrate the fog.


barbershop paradox                    false infinities
a thousand reflections                of synchronized me's
between two mirrors                   one future, one now
my thoughts bounce as far             as my mind does allow
and my eyes now clear                 of dreadlocks of hair
stare at the prospect                 that nothing's really there
for history's a looking glass         in which everything looks worse
full of hows whys                     and who did what first
and I'm just noise                    amplified by nature's feedback
who can't look forward                without not looking back.

A poem called 3^2 + 4^2 = 5^2

Two whole days
I stayed in
the bathroom

-- You should never
open a door
when you know what
you will see there.

(When I opened it,
I found a mass of
transparent walkers,
staring at me from
the periphery.)

The 344th bit

The 344th bit was on,
and I remember it.
The 344th bit was on,
which I guess changed the hue a bit.
It seems so disproportionate
To remember just a single bit
And while I understand if you care not a bit
For me it provides a kind of respite
And hope that after my flesh does quit
The universe will remember me, for a bit.

Ring Finger

A flesh desert of
thirteen slight lines from
knuckle to knuckle
center five warp hairs.
Not even the trees
have anything on these
early purple sunsets.

sempre stacato e p

I was trying, trying to get you into that mode.
You know, the mode where you like me.

You were trying, trying to get me to acknowledge.
Acknowledge that you were dangerous.

We were talking, talking about the time.
The time we talked on the telephone.

It was so different then, we didn't have to pretend
to be women and men, nothing had to depend
on a chance stray remark, "do you like Bach?"
Our love's fallen arc has quite lost its spark.

We were trying, trying to let it go.
Let it go the way all things eventually go.

You were talking, talking about the way.
The way you figured out our pattern.

And I was just thinking, thinking about how
How it isn't so.

The world minus you

The world minus you
would still contain your shoe
would still contain your clothes
would still contain your pantyhose.

It's your body we would erase
upto the limit of your face.
The boundary would still be there
rubbing checks with the air.

The world minus you
would still contain your poo
would still contain your every act
would still contain your digestive tract.

Yes, removing you makes a knot
(simply connected you are not)
The world becomes very twisted
if we pretend you never existed.

The world minus you
would still contain everyone you knew
would still contain all your friends 
would still contain all your loose ends.

The universe is running but you aren't on.
No one could tell that you were gone.
What a horrible non-torment
to be the world's complement!

your happiness function belongs to only you

At this stage, freedom is a search problem:
Find the life path with the fewest steps from
here to your desire, your heart's ransom.
Or, given these friends, this job, this wisdom
max the utility of the system.
(If you could, would it lead to rock stardom
or contentment in a loving foursome?)
Search space explosion is but a symptom
that we started from a bad axiom.
Our lives follow not mind, but momentum.

The Ballad of Violet the Red

I sing now the ballad of Violet the Red
Who slept all her nights on an invisible bed
Who sat in a throne made from tiny loafs of bread
And who never never never had any street cred
Oh, she never never never had any street cred.

Now, Violet the Red had a beautiful face
Like you'd find on a milk box or an old Grecian vase.
She had the body of a harpsichord or maybe a base,
and she kept both her nostrils always covered in lace
Oh, she kept both her nostrils always covered in lace.

And Violet the Red, she never left her room.
She never searched for a dragon or even a groom.
She never felt sea-sick and she never felt gloom,
But by the end of her life she had played all of Doom.
Oh, by the end of her life she had played all of Doom.

And that's what it says on Violet the Red's tomb.
And that's what it says on Violet the Red's tomb.

9 x 11

Despite shaving six thousand stubbles,
only today did I notice the
tented roof along the razor's end, 
the inverted trench interfacing
sharpness to strength, created in a 
flash of industrial grinding just
to dull on endless hair trunks. So small!
So vital! And so now I can ask 
life to implement future on me 
with steady ligaments, a quick knife, 
and to kindly carve me on my knots.