A. B. Clarke

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.

Epiphany at the Fair

by abclarke

Some of us have moments of sharp clarity that, once known, change our lives forever. Where our view of the world is shown, through experience or through realization, to have been hitherto incomplete and inchoate. Where we are brought screaming into a new reality.

Our culture lionizes these moments of enlightenment — but in truth there is darkness to them. There are many masters, eyes now opened to the world, who wished with fervor they could but close their eyes once more — to put the thought formed, the knowledge gained, the epiphany realized, back in the box whence it came and throw away the key forever.

But alas, we cannot.

Once the revelation is upon us, we are changed. Our future actions are changed. Our friendships are changed.

This was the thought that ran through his mind, as he repeatedly banged his snout in remorse against the food hall table.

Oh, how he wished now he’d stuck with Piglet as they’d meandered the county fair together.

Oh, how he wished he’d stayed to play putt-putt with his best friend, rather than wander off to the food hall alone following his belly.

And, simultaneously crying and wiping the drool from the corner of his mouth, how Winnie the Pooh wished he’d hadn’t ordered, tasted for the first time, and then been transported into ecstasy by the honey-cured bacon they sold at the corner stand.

To My Lying, Stealing, Hurtful Temptress

by abclarke

Steal from me
A passing glance,
An idle fantasy,
A kiss inside a covered doorway as heavens shower outside.
Rob my loneliness like a midnight bandit.

Lead me astray
From myself
With dances of us,
Symphonies of we,
Conducted with your smile.

Lie to me.
Tell me that out of billions of stars, and billions of planets,
Of billions of places and billions of people,
Of multitude of multitudes,
You and I are destiny.

Hurt me.
Crush my hand when I’m sick.
Smother my fear when I’m lost.
Capture my joy as we age.
So if you die before me, I cry a thousand years.

A Collection of True Statements

by abclarke

You are alive.
You will die.
You are part of something larger.

You cannot do it alone.
You will not do it alone.
You will do it.

You are all alone.
We are all alone.
We are all alone, together.

(see A Collection of False Statements)

9 Word Tragedies (9)

by abclarke


9 Word Tragedies (8)

by abclarke