A. B. Clarke

Four Permutations of Three Words

by abclarke

Is this it?
Is it this?

It is this.
This is it.


by abclarke

Why don’t we paint the freeways?

Yellows, reds, greens, or blues?

Flowers, children, gay mosaics?

Why are they grey, lifeless, and morose?


by abclarke


Opiates of the masses

by abclarke

Image result for opiates

In the early days of the United States, when communities were the only way to survive, religion was the opiate of the masses.

As time progressed, and the family rather than the community became ascendant, television became the opiate of the masses.

As the individual became ascendant, the Internet became the opiate of the masses.

And today, as individuals are lost, opiates are becoming the opiate of the masses.

The evidence suggests that humans require opiates — perhaps, together, we should choose a different kind than the one we use now?


by abclarke

Long time ago,
Rock strong, alone.
Water comes.
And crash.
Long time ago,
Rock strong, alone.
Water comes.
And crash.

Now Rock is Sand.
Now Water brushes Sand.
Now Crab nests in Sand.
Now Water caresses Sand.
Now Dog frolics on Sand.
Now Water teases Sand.
Now Child plays with Sand.
Now Water kisses Sand.

And Sand ponders,
Long time ago,
Had, God forbid,
Water never come,
Would Rock strong, alone,
Have had the strength
To go to Water
And crash?

Artificial Intelligence

by abclarke

Talking with engineers about artificial intelligence reminds me of when I was fourteen and talking to my friends about sex.

Everyone is interested in it.
Everyone thinks everyone else is doing it.
Everyone claims they are doing it.
And everyone thinks it’s going to be awesome once they do it.

Few people are actually doing it.
Few people know the messiness of it.
Few people understand it.
But those few people know — it’s pretty awesome once you do it.

A Digital World

by abclarke

In a digital world, without power you’re dead.

In a digital world without power, we’re all dead.

Reminds me of something…

by abclarke

Florida is a short, stubby, dangling appendage lurking beneath America’s pot belly that every once in a while does something the rest of the US regrets.

The Fuck Bucket

by abclarke

Dear you,

About your problem and the fact that I have not addressed it yet: I think you may misunderstand. It’s not that I don’t want to give a fuck about it.

It’s that each day I get up and grab my bucket of fucks. Then I look at my list of problems, reach deep into the bucket, and give one fuck here and another fuck there. I go down that list and give fucks all the way. The issue, my friend, is when I get to you… and please forgive me, because I really do care… The issue is when I get to you, and reach into the bucket, there are literally no fucks left.

My bucket is out of fucks.

Hope you understand.



A Wave

by abclarke

A wave has a start and a finish, a crest and a curve, but no name;
It is not called George, nor Henrietta, nor Tyrone.
It has neighbors, but not friends.
A wave begets waves, but has no kin.
And tells no stories of the waves before,
Of the time Grandmother Surge crashed into the octopus,
Or of the storms Grandfather Whitecap foretold.
A wave has a place and a time, but no permanence.
We do not secretly meet our lovers by the old wave.
We do not sit idly under its cover, in the shade of the breakers, whittling hours.
A wave is fleeting.

(I watch you watch as we idle on the beach,
Your eyes flickering to the next, the next, the next,
As strangers with buckets dig around us.
We have no name,
No kin who speak our name.
No place.
We will finish and the world will move on.
They will build their castles,
And never know I held your hand.)

And yet to the surfer floating,
It is the wave.
To the boat roiled,
It is the wave.
To the village crushed,
It is the wave.
To the bird diving,
It is the wave.
To the heart swimming,
It soars.
It crashes.
It rises.