Spool Five

Terminal Prompt

Today’s prompt was to write a poem that is also a prompt:

Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem . . . in the form of a poetry prompt. If that sounds silly, well, maybe it is! But it’s not without precedent. The poet Mathias Svalina has been writing surrealist prompt-poems for quite a while, posting them to Instagram.

Some years ago, I listened to a wonderful talk by the philosopher Marcia Sá Cavalcante Schuback. The talk was about the ‘sketch’, and ideas about being in ’exile’ and in-between. Anyway, one thing that stood out to me, especially in subsequent years learning more about networking and working in a datacenter, was a parallel she drew between the lines of a sketch and the material connections made by wires.

For some reason, that was the first thing that popped into my head today when trying to think about a poem that is also a ‘prompt’.

        Terminal Prompt - April 4 2022

    A poem an a sketch have a lot in
    common.  Both are made from lines -
    lines of flight and lines of
    convergence.  Both only require a
    pencil and some paper.

    Some lines have current that pass
    through them.  These are called

    1. Find a wire, and try following it.
    2. If you find the wire's end,
    3. Sigh.
    4. Go and find the other end.
    5. If you find the other end,
    6. It was not a very good wire.

There are a couple of ‘if’ statements in the poem, so just for fun I also decided to write it out in ‘bash’.


# Poetry Prompt 0.1.0

[[ find_a_wire ]] && try_following_it

try_following_it () {
    if [[ you_find == wires_end ]]; then
        echo "Sigh."
        while [you_find -ne 0];do
            echo "It was not a very good wire"

Mon Apr 4, 2022 - 309 Words