A Writing Exercise Using AI Art

{The following is a writing exercise based on AI generated art that I recently created with an app. The app uses words (and other prompts that you can input) to create the art. I’m not sure how actual artists feel about AI art, but I would imagine that it’s not regarded much differently than other computer enhanced art or graphic design. Even if you’re not an artist, I think it’s an interesting way to spark creativity for poetry or fiction. It’s fun to play around with. There are several free apps out there. This art was made with the Dream by Wombo app on iPhone. What are your thoughts on AI art? Is it just another creative tool, or is it a threat?}

The Portal

On a forbidden floor of the Resurrection Hotel in Horsewhip, Florida, a room reeked of sour milk and ashtrays. Some poor soul in a rush had chiseled the seven off the door to room 667 and replaced it with a six—scrawled in Sharpie.

[Art created with dream.ai wombo app.]

Most of the town’s residents were busy that late August evening –polishing their shiny work ethic, staying late at the office, or heading out to a second job after grabbing some fast food. They were too preoccupied to notice the sudden drop in temperature. They didn’t pay any attention to the summer squall forming off the coast. It was offseason. The beach was empty.

What no one realized was that the Governor and some friends were having an impromptu meeting at the musty hotel downtown in the room formerly known as 667. No one was allowed on the floor. There were seven participants. At least two were known members of a fledgling out-of-state alt-right group.

While the room’s occupants engaged in light conversation, no one was aware of the slight shift in the energy that surrounded the hotel. If someone were to walk by, they might sense a wave of heat rising up from the pavement. They might experience breathing difficulties.

And if you were to look up onto the sixth floor, at just the right moment, you might see one of the windows pulsing and flickering like a beacon signaling an unknown satellite somewhere in the darkness above the earth—signaling at first under the cover of stars and later in broad daylight—in a language you could never understand, conveying a message you could never hope to decode—not in this lifetime. Not in a thousand lifetimes.

End of Shift

Seraph (click here to learn more)

Almost midnight,
when my shift ends…
and in walks a thief
at this dark hour.

But I’m no prophet,
no vessel,
though I speak with a seraph
every night at this station,
and it beats its blinding wings…
each eye gazing at lowly me.

{This poem is based on a prompt from the poetry community dVerse:
Create a 44 word poem (called a quadrille) using the word “eye”.}

The Singing Heart

image from pixabay

The crowd stared at the naked young man, at the heart beating outside his skin, and at the well behind him, from which he had been extracted by the elders. Twenty years ago, when he’d gone missing, an inhuman singing began here at the well at the center of the village. A chanting in the night.

The pastry chef, who was awake at odd hours preparing his sweets, heard it first and woke his wife. She told the neighbors, and soon everyone was listening in the dark, losing sleep.

By God’s grace, a small hunting party returned from the woods with news of demons–demons with hearts beating outside their scaly chests, singing a cryptic but pertinent riddle for the discerning:

Only mouths are we. Who sings the distant heart which safely exists in the center of all things?

{This was inspired by a prompt from Sanaa at dVerse for Prosery on May 10, 2021. Unfortunately, I’m much too late to join in, but I wanted to credit the source of the prompt. Prosery is a regular feature at dVerse that requires participants to create a piece of flash fiction of 144 words or less, using a line of poetry that is provided. In this case, the line is from “Heartbeat” by Rainer Maria Rilke. The line: Only mouths are we. Who sings the distant heart which safely exists in the center of all things? must be unaltered and included in the total word count.}