Experiments with MidJourney and My Writing

I recently started working with the AI art generator MidJourney. Many of you may not know this but I have Prosopagnosia (faceblindness) and so I don’t visualize things the way that many people do. I’ve always wanted to create beautiful visual art, and photoshop helped me to get part of the way there but I never felt like I could create something from my words in a way that made sense for others visually speaking. The cool thing about MidJourney is that I can take my own written work, poetry and prose, and create something visually unique.

I am looking forward to using MidJourney and potentially other AI software in concert with my writing in the future. There is so much potential to collaborate with AI and develop new and unique landscapes of thought and experience.

On that note, Everything in this post is directly inspired by one of my novels, my short stories, or my poetry. Often I simply entered lines of my poetry and the result are many of the more abstract imagines, such as the ship made of leaves, the teacup in space, and the skull rising out of the road.

Which are your favorites? Which ones do you think best represent my work? Leave your thoughts in the comments.


Pronouncement & Ruin (Poetry/Art)

This pair of poetry and art come together as a pair. The poem is titled, I Sat And Watched The Pronouncement Of The King For The Last Time and the artwork it inspired is titled Ruin. More recently, I’ve been putting the poems up on Tiktok but unfortunately this one is a bit too long for that format.

I Sat And Watched The Pronouncement of the King for the Last Time

I sat and watched the pronouncement of the king for the last time

From a tower up on high

Little rose pedals cascaded below, showering corruption alongside their scent

From the eager promises lolling on the lips of a lunatic dictator

The crowd hung on every word

Oh my!

Could he rally such a cry

From tears and jeers of all those who loved him,

And loved to hate him.

But no one seems to be able to get enough of his blather

They consume his every word,

And let it bring warmth and hate to their hearts


I sat and watched the pronouncement of the king for the last time.

For the queen held no power these days,

A living, moldering corpse, propped up by high fashion

Her distraction lives in the expectations of pomp and circumstance

A role model?

No.

A comedy,

A farce,

A prop.

Her righteousness is twisted through a veil made of her undergarments

We lust after her curves and seek to suppress her for our lecherous gaze

So we can make use of her body and discard it when finished

She’s not expected to perform anymore,

For her silence is more desirable.


I sat and watched the pronouncement of the king for the last time

When art hung in tapestries like dead hanging flesh on a rotting corpse

Its soul depleted for the pleasant, the normal, the expected,

Its lukewarm flavor brought to you by your favorite sponsor

Did you see them?

There, below the dais, the mistrals sat in rows of confused passion

Blowing trumpets, bent by the will of the dictator, to change their sound for his delight

And soon their skins will be stripped by the costs of commonsense

Their only sin, to create,

Instead of creating profit


I sat and watched the pronouncement of the king for the last time

When horses were quartered to feed the starving in the streets

So that the poor could dine on the less desirable entrails

And “use the whole animal.”

Undercooked and underpaid they gobble without napkins and nod in agreement when told,

No one wants to work anymore

All the while, the dictator’s allies swim in rivers of gold and blood

With naked slaves serving their whims

And women and children work in foreign lands to satisfy their superficiality

The lords and ladies dance until their decadence destroy all civility

And the enemy is exaggerated to hide their own extravagance

Squandering potential, they let others bet on a maybe, as they cross borders,

For More Empty Promises


I sat and watched the pronouncement of the king for the last time

As fires consumed forests faster than fracking could till the blood of the earth

And men sat in armor on pale horses, blaring lights and sound in the spaces where hope is barren on the storeroom shelves

Where those who protect water were doused and drenched until the last barriers crumbled

And no decency was left

They will die thirsty,

Drenched in the water they needed,

Sucking water from cloth, they will taste the dyes as their eyes close one last time


I sat and watched the pronouncement of the king for the last time.

When the dictator’s corruption grew to great heights and fed on the flesh of all the loathsome worshipers,

As they cast the names of gods around like so many useless hens clucking

When outrage was worth its weight in gold among the bards of the king’s courts, where they made empty promises to capture a captive audience

And whispers of ‘Gods’ will” gagged those who would speak against his crimes

For what is divinity but tyranny,

When they quack about “the Secret”

When change is promised at every step if you just visualize harder,

But theft was the only true golden rule.


I sat and watched the pronouncement of the king for the last time

For the torches are already burning in the hands of those who see the truth

And the trumpet trumps his lies when blown from below

Where the wisdom of crowds grows in magnitude

And so, I sat and watched the pronouncement of the king for the last time

For his end is at hand

It’s Release Day for A Luminous Liminality!!!

It’s release day for my newest (and sixth) book, A Luminous Liminality: A Collection of Poetry & Art. The book represents 10 years of my artwork and poetry and is my very first collection of poetry and art. This last week I got the first proofs of the book and I’ve included some pictures of the final product. A Luminous Liminality has both an ebook version and a paperback version. I recommend the paperback version to get the full experience of all the color images. Please note that prints are always available for my artwork. You can find my artwork at this page if you’re curious about it.


The book is broken down into three seasons. A season of sentimentality (poems and art about emotional life), A season of reflection (Self reflection and reflection on our culture) and, A season of transformation (realization, personal growth, change). I really wanted to show many sides of my life and experience in this book. There are poems about love, loss, hope, bitterness, frustration, hope, persistence, growth, and meditation. Oh, there’s even a poem on anthropology. The book is really about my journey over the last ten years.

I hope you enjoy it. You can find it on Ebook from all your favorite digital stores and on paperback via Amazon all at this one link. Simply click whatever service you’d like to use.

A Luminous Liminality: A Collection of Poetry And Art (My First Poetry Book!)

A Luminous Liminality Book Cover
A Luminous Liminality Book Cover

Hello everyone,

For those of you who have been following this blog and website since it’s inception, you know that I post a lot of my digital art and poetry here. Well, I decided it was finally time to create a book of both my poetry and artwork from the last decade. I’ve been working on this more in secret for the past three months or so, though if you follow me on facebook (where I do most of my posting) you’ve heard me hint about it. So today, I am not only revealing the cover, but the preorder link. Now, keep in mind, if you want a paperback copy of this, you will have to wait till release day, because unfortunately, at the moment, Amazon won’t allow paperback preorders. But the ebook preorder is live and you can find the link here.

A Luminous Liminality will be released on September 17th, 2022. Some of the poems (but certainly not all) are available on the Poetry page on this website. You can check them out for some samples.

How To Lose A Debate On Purpose (Poetry)

A piece of poetry and artwork both titled “How To Lose A Debate On Purpose.” A quick note, a number of these pieces of artwork and poetry are being compiled into my first poetry book at the moment. It will be out before the end of 2022. More news soon!

©Loridian’s Laboratory LLC and Michael Kilman 2022

How to Lose A Debate On Purpose

It’s time to lose,

To concede,

To let the important human connections supersede

Our need,

To. Be. Right.


Our need to be right?

All that does is cause endless fights.

Until we cut the power and turn off the lights,

On. Our. Rage.

We can never get on the same page.


It’s easy to forget that the world is full of our siblings,

And get caught up in all the quibbling.

It’s all our relations beyond just sisters and brothers.

From other fathers

And other mothers

Hurting them means we will never recover..

All. Our. Souls.

And If winning is always your goal,

Then all that says is that you have a desperate need to take control

Rather than roll,

With the punches.

There are no free lunches

There are only connections,

And they are clear,

Upon. Further. Reflection.


Everyone wants to be happy,

No matter how confused,

They are in it to win it and never want to lose.

So you must be soft and yielding aligning with Taoist-like views.

Flow like a river and you will find a way to defuse,

These culture wars before people choose to…

Take. Up. Arms.

Our whole culture is sounding an alarm.

Whether you live in a city or a farm,

You need to learn to listen to prevent harm.


Listen. To. Understand.

That’s the best plan.

If you listen to win all you do foster opinion.

You never get below people’s skin ,

In a way that makes the space for compromise to begin.


Listen. To. Understand.

Instead of making demands,

Choose to lose in conversation,

When it makes sense to understand someone’s fixation.

Their obsession isn’t going to go away,

If you just block them and ignore what they say,

That way just leads to more disarray.


Listen to practice empathy

It doesn’t mean you have to agree

It doesn’t mean you will ever see

Eye. To. Eye.

But you cannot deny

The people come to their views to try and feel satisfied

And to avoid pain,

Even if they are driving in the wrong lane,

Or maybe they just got on the wrong train.


People are people wherever you go

And most just want you to sincerely know

Who. They. Are.

A Wintered Heart (Narrative Poem)

A Narrative poem titled A Wintered Heart. The artwork I created goes by the same title.

A Wintered Heart

A heart of winter, a wintered heart,

She lay quiet, the letter torn apart.

Her tears streamed, like rivers to the sea

And she tried to make bargains, and made endless pleas


An age had past, and cold crept in

No smiles, no warmth, and no new life could begin

The fresh dark tears of the next mornings song

Rose up her cheeks and sapped her strength so that she could not go on.


There she lay, no warmth and no light

A mistress of time, without the slightest delight,

Waited, she waited, with her breath deeply bated

But once the cold crept in, her permafrost was fated


An act so unkind had birthed her present dread

And soon, she had sores from her long days in bed

That act of greed, and a lust for glorious stone

Had left her heart broken, now widowed and alone


She sat there all winter, in endless defeat

She lay so still, mice nested at her feet.

And as the spring time came, the sun drew in

And pressed on her face, lighting her skin.


It planted a seed below her dread,

And as the sun shone that morning, she swung out of bed

Her pain, had nested rot in her heart

And she could not bear the thought of no more love

AND no more art


And so that day, she made her demands

At the canvas she threw red paint and smoked contraband

But from her mess, came a new kind of love

A love of life, hard won, from travels above


Her wintered heart still, held great sway,

But she got a little better with each passing day

And new mediums of art caught her attention,

And she found small victories with her creative affections


So she took one step, and then one more

And one day soon she found herself outside her front door

And found a new canvas to shed her grief,

Though when she spray painted her mural, the cops chased her, called her a liar and thief


Though she had not finished and ran and hide

She planted a new seed on the cities west side,

New murals sprung up in tangent with her own,

And she started a club, and though at first people groaned

About the “grafetti” and the murals, it became a place for many to call home.

And though many of the wealthy had made their gripes

Soon the color that flooded the city brought new life


Community gatherings of collaborative art,

Helped her to get a kind of political start

She found that art brought so much relief

To help people shed the weight of their tragedy and grief


She started centers all over her city

And named them Wintered Heart, to make light of her season long self-pity

For she knew that seeing the signs swinging above

She would always remember her long lost love

And She would honor him with every stroke of a brush

Or spray can, or clay, or charcoal or the burning of sagebrush


Her wintered heart had planted a seed of hope

In place where so many felt at the end of their rope

And they loved her, and taught her a new kind of joy

That’s found in friends hearts, without any romantic ploys


Winteredheart… they chanted her name,

With love and respect and begged her to enter the political game,

Soon after elected mayor she made the city her new project,

Used art, music, theater, and poetry to help them remember self-knowledge and respect


Through her acts, she brought great change,

For the city filled with color and it helped her to rearrange,

The divides and the differences that people perceive

And she taught them that it was, in each other they should believe.


Still her wintered heart held great sway,

For she barely forgot about her lost love for more than a day

Her heart still long for his eyes and his lips

Or to run her hand through his hair with her fingertips


But she smiled, and felt, the joy of all she’d done  

Many victories, in her community, she had won

And her heart was frozen but happy at the same time.

For even a Wintered Heart, can find new rhythm and new rhyme.

Cover Reveal for The Children of AEIS!!!

The Children of AEIS, the fifth book in my sci-fi series The Chronicles of the Great Migration, now has a cover! I am so incredibly happy with this cover. The artwork for this cover was created by the very talented Jon Stubbington. Definitely check out his amazing work.

Though I don’t have a firm date for release for the book yet, it will certainly be out before the end of spring of 2022. The Children of AEIS is the penultimate entry into this series, followed finally by A Hand to the Stars.

From the back of the book:

In the penultimate entry of the Chronicles of The Great Migration, Alexa Turon, Runner 17, Major Daniels, and their allies must learn the secrets of the mysterious AEIS and the underground city of Lastion if they hope to discover the key to defeat Miranda once and for all. Above, those aboard Manhatsten scrambles to deal with a new crisis from ROAM.

But from the ashes of the Battle for Langeles and the conflict with the Children of Gaia, a new power rises, one unlike any the world has ever known. It has only one goal, to consume.



What is the Value of Art?

Here is a bit of spoken word poetry I just wrote called, What is the value of Art.

“Center of All”

What is the value of art?

It is our birthright, our education,

it’s the smashing of all our limitations,

it’s the last breath as death collects us

In an ever winding energy nexus

It’s the movement of words and thoughts and dreams

Of a plurality of reality, and a sequence of scenes  

It’s what’s delicious and nutritious for the mind and soul

So luscious and rich with wonders to behold

It’s our essence and presence as a universe to witness

A study of truth and the quickest path to fitness

Of our species survival all threatened by meaninglessness

In the hearts of greed where we find only deafness

Or daftness and a lack of meaningful madness

This Art is our madness, our collective sadness,

All balled up and beat up long past the gladness

It’s the laughter of life and the meaning of love

It’s the universe in our hands and as below so above.

So you ask, what is the value of art?

It’s all this and more

For our humanity

is lost

if we lose

it’s core.

Ache in the Bones.

It’s been quite a while since I did any poetry or artwork, so, here’s some new stuff. I call this one Ache in the Bones


Ache in the Bones

Aching Bones

My bones ache,

And it’s something I can barely take.   

But I look at myself and try to break from the heartaches and earthquakes of those woes and worries that I just can’t seem to shake.  

Do I enjoy them?

Do I employ my messes to solve my problems and downplay the stresses?  

Or do I conjure up more problems and conundrums, unsolvable riddles and endless questions

Do I ignore the suggestions?

See?

I see.

I see what I do,

I know what I’ve been through and am starting to understand the things that I do

To increase my own suffering and the karma that I accrue

Programmed

It’s the underlying program at work,

It’s the ways that I was a jerk,

Or the way that I lurked around my own blindspots to ignore to rot

Most of my life I followed the toxic attitudes I was taught,

Never letting myself see the light,

Instead, I fight

I fight for the right to bury my head in the sand, rather than expand

My mind, or maybe find the things that I hide behind

You just gotta move forward?

What’s forward is back,

How can you choose to move forward when you’re stuck on the wrong track?

You gotta attack those toxic flashbacks if you wanna bounce back from the blackest night

If you ever want to be alright

What happened to me wasn’t my fault

But that doesn’t mean I have to keep pouring salt, on the wounds from the assault

If I just live in default mode and lock it in a vault, how can I ever erode the pain or decode this heavy load?

Healing’s a lot of guesswork,

Like I’m not even supposed to be here, I’m just an innocent clerk

But That’s my party pity, my last attempt being witty

Before I deal with the pain…

But trauma? Trauma is like an oncoming train, and you can’t refrain from standing on the tracks that live deep inside your brain

But it’s just a game, just some lame excuse to frame my history in an event to pretend like some of it was a mystery

Things happen to us.

But we happen to others too.

Recovery from trauma might make you feel pretty blue, maybe you can barely stand the things you went through or the debts you accrued

But that doesn’t mean I can take it out on others,

Others are my sisters and brothers

On the path

And can you do the math? If we keep walking this path, we’ll face the wrath

Of our actions, of our overreactions and we will find ourselves making factions, rather than taking the course that leads to the best actions for all beings

I’m far from perfect, but I’m practicing seeing,

Practicing just being,

To be a better human being.



Strange Reflections a new serial on Patreon

 

Strange Reflections Cover

I just launched a new serial story on my Patreon page.  For those of you who don’t know already, some of my stories are either exclusive to Patreon or early access for Patreon Subscribers.

My new serial, titled Strange Reflections, departs a bit from science fiction and delves into a world of horror and mystery.

A short blurb:

A reoccurring nightmare, a library full of occult books, and a strange underground passage, for Amanda it’s only the beginning.

Check out my Patreon Page where you can find this story and one other from the world of the Chronicles of the Great Migration!