John Lowther

Twelve Sonnets from 555

Civilization is refuse, cloaca maxima.
Strange claims are circulated, all the more arrogant since unprovable.
Sometimes I am very shocked by what I’m being told.
My very survival incriminates me.

I had no time for religion after that.
It just angries up my blood.
As delirium, it goes a long way.
The taste for deciphering counted for something in this.

I am a human being who unnerves some people.
And intentionality in this regard becomes moot.
Slowly an order forms around me.
A number of critics have called the work autobiographical.


By constantly representing itself as a kinetic spectacle and disavowing its energetic
               lack of autonomy, modern subjectivity establishes its colonizing relation
               in regard to all sorts of energetic sources—whether those are natural,
               physiological resources, or affective ones: desires, affects, becomings.
Comforting words.
You're lying.
People are monsters.
To be very blunt, I reiterate that in most social interactions, we recognize each other
               by our faces rather than by how our genitals look.
Share yourself, completely.
We're not friends.
You flatter yourself.
It's a shame you're not alive to experience disembodiment.
Does nature have WiFi.
Take pleasure in this.
One order, one voice.


The body is the only concrete instance for desolate individuals aspiring to enjoyment.
In such open situations, a new form of life has to be invented.
You are about to view content that may not be suitable for minors.
Nobody ever has the right to declare himself depositary of the Spirit's self-knowledge.
I say no and ask the taxi driver to turn the radio up.
They can kiss my ass on the pink.

In the center of the shop there was a void, a huge hole.
Commercial spaces can still be sacred.
The mouth is a sacred and intimate portal.


Batman pumped Superman's cock and fucked his ass with the Kryptonite.
A fellow who is always declaring he's no fool usually has his suspicions.
This is Mickey Mouse shit here.

Some dumb ass—that would be me—backed into someone's mailbox.
If this picture doesn't make you scream and squirm, you'd better see a psychiatrist, quick.
Great depth and smoldering sensuality don’t always win.

Those idiots wouldn't know adorable if it cornered them in a holding cell and raped them
               with a plunger handle.
Andy Warhol, however, can be excused for simply rolling over and barfing in his grave.


Life without theory is gray, a flat stupid reality – it is only theory which
               makes it green, truly alive, bringing out the complex underlying
               network of mediations and tensions which makes it move.
Free time is a euphemism for the peculiar way labor, as a factor of production,
               not only transports itself at its own expense to and from the workplace, but
               assumes primary responsibility for its own maintenance and repair.
When you make music or write or create, it's really your job to have mind-blowing,
               irresponsible, condomless sex with whatever idea it is you're writing about at the time.


You have to release the anal sphincter if you're going to be happy.
Eros undoes the self.
Presto change-o.
Embracing the need to objectify and be objectified, to fetishize and be
               fetishized, to play the willing victim as well as the victimizer,
               opens up a mine field that will be difficult to traverse, but it is
               a more intellectually provocative and honest terrain from which to
               understand who we are as complex sexual beings.
Keep fucking playing with me.
Short sentences pack more punch.
Lick me on Facebook.
The ad says “no recip” and you read the ad.
This is not a metaphor.


In countries with better health care, the more likely women would pick a feminine
               looking man and visa versa.
Fashion never sleeps.
We cannot think the unthought without turning it into a thought.
It is hard to know what you are talking about in mathematics, yet no one questions the
               validity of what you say.
The precum made a long string.
The theater of queer love employs politics, poetics, and aesthetics in equal measure.
Explicit attacks on the idea of interactivity are rare.
The nonexistent is whatever we have not sufficiently desired.
Everywhere I looked cocks were spurting like gamboling lambs.


Indeed, in pursuing worldly success, people generally impair their chances of gaining
               personal satisfaction.
Absolutely everything.
It’s all so hopelessly diminutive, primitive, fundamentally unserious, notwithstanding
               its pretense of directness.
Excitement, then confusion.
Hence the oscillation between hyper-motivation and depletion characteristic of the
               contemporary worker.
Time to exponentialize yourselves, people.
The media paid little attention because there was nothing especially scandalous.
We’re definitely not talking about one-night stands.
Such elemental complexity is always held to be infinitely multiple, nothing more or less.
Modern science can acknowledge no other than this epistemological stand-point.
Healthy-mindedness pure and simple seems unspeakably blind and shallow.


Everything is about to become horrible.
Cryptography is going to be everywhere.
It marks a fundamental philosophical shift.
We should take this declaration seriously.
Two qualifiers are in order here.

It is tangible, tangible to the point that it ought to strike the lovers of tradition, the fact
               is that a tradition is always, what I would call fucked-up.
An app I downloaded spammed my contacts.

At every period of history, people have believed things that were just ridiculous, and believed
               them so strongly that you risked ostracism or even violence
               by saying otherwise.
Everyone is smiling through the suspense muzak.


Your idea seems to be that if you just prove that other people’s beliefs are incoherent, they’ll change
               and things will be different.
Well was gonna do things today but lasagna happened.
Usually sixty percent of items will not even be forgotten once.
Try an eggbeater kick.
Sad but true.
Rush hour much.
Quantum mechanics is just counterintuitive and we just have to suck it up.
Psychologistic accounts won't work here.
Only my dermatologist knows for sure.
Nice try, anti-feminist.
My penis is a goat.
Look like a booger.
Just for fun, but only if you think insults are fun.


I’m the dude playing the dude disguised as another dude.
I’m sorry you think I’m lying, but I’m not.
I’m taking that as a compliment.
I’m perfectly aware of the fact that the reader might not always “follow” the various actants,
               time and place in this performance of social heterogeneity, where we switch genders
               and contexts with alarming abandon.
I’m purely a physical piece of machinery.
I’m a statistical fiction.
I’m not denying I said it.
I’m leveling.
I’m still not really sure.
I’m glad it’s funny for you.
I'm saying this without the slightest irony.
I’m bitter and I’m angry.


Mirroring body language or speech patterns is often promoted as a technique for
               establishing rapport in pop-psychology advice.
And even more starkly, there’s a very clear trend in the data, where each step up
               in waiting time results in a higher risk of death.
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.

Science, then, in this strict sense, assumes on the contrary that there is no
               co-naturality between subject and object.

Held to the Letter, by John Lowther and Dana Lisa Young is forthcoming from Lavender Ink in 2015. More than you need to know about him and this database-driven sonnet project can be found at Lowtherpoet.
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