Three Sonnets from 555

The men cannot be trusted.
A naked woman, young and pretty, is doubtless the exemplary form of the object.
Needless to say, sexism emerged as a source of outrageous super-profits for the capitalists.

A woman unzips a man's pants and masturbates him in a darkened section of a bar.
She used it to play for time, to avoid an issue, often to change the subject.
Well, I guess I said something and she got her feelings hurt.

Men as soldiers for the state, women as the slaves of men.
You can be assembled by what support you refuse to give.


If being alone is not the goal, the best explanation for everything else falls apart.
It’s difficult to see what the category of the subject really contributes to any of this.
She was drunk and lonely and knows I still love her so used me to feel a little better.
Neither word nor name represents anything, but together they move matter, as if by magic.
Being a fucked up woman is an absolutely healthy response to living in this culture.
No auto-blocking is available at all, but you can block specific phone numbers and addresses.


A thinking woman sleeps with monsters.
You too can live your best life and mirroring mine is a good place to start.
She functions as a work of art, a performance simply by her presence, without even doing anything.
Similarly, the opened mouth, the heightened lips, the fixed gaze all serve to support the transformation of the body into a commodity.
Such elemental complexity is always held to be infinitely multiple, nothing more or less.
Maybe the only privileged thing is my face.


Note on the Text:

These 555 sonnet are made with found lines and precise measures, a database and text analytic software. I crunched Shakespeare’s sonnets for word, syllable and character averages and these are my new measures. The lines’ oddities are their own, the arrangement is mine. After the text analytics and data entry, many ways of assembling are found. I hold to the turn (when I think of it) and that sonnets are poems of a certain size, but little more. Something in excess of the lines pass through, it’s that I’m chasing.



John Lowther was a member of the Atlanta Poets Group from 1997-2012, before going solo. The University of New Orleans Press published The Lattice Inside: An Atlanta Poets Group Anthology in 2012. John and Dana Lisa Young's book Held to the Letter is forthcoming from Lavender Ink. Other sonnets from 555 have appeared or are forthcoming in Otoliths, The Gambler, atlpoetics, Futures Trading, and Uut. John also works in film and photography. He's currently writing his dissertation in an attempt to reimagine psychoanalysis if the facticity of intersex and transgender lives had been taken as foundational from the outset.


Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Wednesday, July 6, 2016 - 00:31