Ellipsis' collection, Three is available today from their website and will, eventually, be available to purchase from Amazon. It features my story "Authorsoft tm". This is another ooooolllllldddd story - maybe 15 - 20 years old - written in a period when I was still looking for my own voice but had been enormously influenced by Baudelaire's prose poems. So I ended up writing a load of short-short stories (which I called prose-poems, like Baudelaire's, as at the time the flash form didn't really exist) which featured my usual vision and ideas albeit written in a tone of voice that was very heavily influenced - overly so, in fact - by Baudelaire.
I liked most of the ideas, however, even if at the time I recognised the writing style was derivative and not "honest." Thus, most of the "prose-poems" that were written in this period languished on floppy disks then memory sticks and then finally the cloud until recently. Some ("The Chaotic Butterfly," "A Fresh Perspective," "The Friend We Made"), now that I have my own authorial voice and I feel (somewhat!) more in control of the form (which now has a name - flash fiction!) have been totally re-written and subsequently published, while others, like "HumourChip tm" and "Authorsoft tm" just needed a bit of tweaking, editing and polishing.
So anyway, enjoy "Authorsoft tm" (and other excellent flash pieces) in Ellipsis' new collection Three, available from here.
Also, on a somewhat related point, here is the companion piece to "Authorsoft tm", "Poetsoft tm". Now bear in mind that I am not a poet when reading this although from a conceptual point of view I think that actually works better for this piece in terms of its subject matter. I do think this was actually published in some poetry pamphlet at some point almost 20 years ago, but it was such a small scale photocopied thing, I really can't remember its name.
"I really love you, and I think your body's great!"
I type onto the screen.
Direct from a machine.
Alphabetical index and simple colour display,
Place the cursor on the poet
I've never heard of this guy,
But let's look at his style,
Put the cursor over "cummings"
And access the algorithmic file.
"i really love you and i think your bodys great".
What? Is that all? Don't tell me that that's it.
Oh no, I think I've been ripped off.
Trust me to buy this shit.
But hang on. The sixth Lord Byron,
There's a name I know.
The manual says he's a romantic,
So let's give him a go.
"O radiant love shining 'pon dusky flesh
Of beauty that ne'er will fade."
Yes, yes, this is what I want,
This is bound to get me laid!
But I'm a sensitive Millennial man,
so let's try some Plath
(for a woman's point of view).
After all, even if it's rubbish
I can always make it new.
"In darkness blood milky-weeps from cracked and swollen breasts..."
Ugh! I've seen enough!!
For what I want this is just too poor.
I'll press delete and cancel.
And try one poet more.
So who the Hell is this one?
His name rings a bell;
I can't remember what he wrote,
But apparently they did quite well.
"O radiant love shining
the breasts of the dull secretary,
Eh? What's it say?
I don't know what it means.
But then judging from the looks of her,
I'm sure neither will she.
But now I think I'm finished,
And that was a lot of fun.
Because, like the advert says,
"Art at the touch of a button",
But a readership of one.