From Which Precision, Despite It All, We Are Sentient

I really struggled with this Strange Prompt, and found I wanted to do something that warped and played with language sounds first, and meaning second. Then I was reading Stress Fractures, a great book of essays from Penned In The Margins, and was reminded by Ross Sutherland’s essay about the potential for multiple Google-translations to invoke creative weirdification. So, I

  1. Looked up definitions of sentience
  2. Found a couple of quotes about animals, and race, including one by Jeremy Bentham
  3. Smooshed them together and ran the text through Google translate into several languages (Igbo, Shona, Maori, etc) and back into English
  4. Made the final version into a poem


Big thanks also go to Jules Clare, for this contribution:

Your experienced senses
Have their recompenses
In past and present tenses
Sitting on stable fences

Feathered winded eyes
Deceived by precise lies
Everything and everyone dies
Supermarket Sweep buys

Resplendent incisors taste
Portuguese Paella paste
Fluffy dough to baste
Interlopers lunch in waste

Sometimes I feel your touch
Flagrantly too much
I ignore emotional feelings; I am butch
I am living life, not in a rush

I always listen hard
I’m a poet, a bard
Reading from a scripted card
Placing an audience off guard

I often smell like Hell
I’m saved by the bell
From a personal prison cell
Others find it hard to tell

I am into personal space
Losing it is a disgrace
Winning an indescribable race
Vanishing with a trace

I rely on my balance
Connected to my parlance
I am in the mood to dance
I prance and take a chance

I have experienced senses
They can’t break down my defences
Committing personal offences
They will suffer sensual consequences



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