Note on the Procedure

This poem was generated by taking the phrase "Clear Eyd Fox Quickn Brown Hoax" - my own variation of the old typewriter repairman's infamous "a quick brown fox jumped over the lazy moon" - and running it through a computer. The work was generated and built within the UNIX C Shell. HTML was the protocol used to facilitate design of the piece. Word wrap was determined by Netscape's default display parameters. (Internal truncation of title words was also guided by Netscape's pixel width on a standard monitor.)


Each section of text was generated by using the UNIX grep utility to parse the poetics log files for the entire year of 1995. Thus every word in this text was written by persons posting to Poetics, that is, one or more of the approximately 200 subscribers to Poetics. The input string was altered in some cases ("browning" for "brown," for example) to keep the output within the 3 to 100 line range which I chose as optimal for this composition.

Text Preparation

Each section represents the unedited output for the grep returns on the indicated expression with two exceptions. (1) The "clear" section was truncated at 41 lines due to an excessive length. (2) Multiple repetitions of header lines were trimmed in the case of repeats due to hits based on threads. Images were retrieved using identical or similar source words through the Alta Vista search software. The first usable (i.e., non-proprietary) image encountered was incorporated into the installation.

The Input Phrases

Details about the input phrases are as follows:

Title Word Grep Word Search Word
clear clear clear images
eyd eyed eye image
fox fox fox
quickn quicken quick images
brown browning brown
hoax hoax hoax images

Note: for images, first "search word" + "images" was tried (to force retrieval to contain image files. If this did not work, "search word" + "image" was tried. As a last resort, if nothing could otherwise be found, the search word on its own was tried, even though it meant looking through hundreds of hits. Interestingly, "fox" was the most difficult word to search because of numerous movie and sports hits containing proprietary material.

Date of Generation: 12 November 1996.