Limewire has many handy features you might expect of such a program. (More at its node.) But tooling around this morning I found one amazing feature. Limewire poetry.

State Property 1
i just want it to be over
summer of sun
come let it all down
its like that instrumental

Near the top of the screen are three tabs. The Search tab on the left is where most people spend their time. There is a Library tab on the right where you can browse through your media folders. The middle tab, Monitor, primarily shows you who is uploading what from your machine. But there is a small pane there called “incoming searches” that is disabled by default. When you enable it, a list of all the search queries coming into your computer (and being checked against your library) is displayed as lines of raw text.

take me home, country house
sapphire plugins
red titan white men gay blue
man made god
fuck off

Sure, lots of the queries are for specific porn and music titles. This gives the poetry a certain constancy of theme. But many times the titles are vague enough, or misremembered (country house?), or unfamiliar, so they don’t register as a title. Or even if the song titles do, they can read as charming pop culture allusions. But the random smattering across my screen this morning shows that most people aren’t typing titles. They’re listing qualities and contents of the things they really want. What’s more poetic than that?

youre unbelievable
here with me
memory christmas my
dead man

Are people gaming the system? I don’t think they’re trying. The program doesn’t bother searching your own computer with your queries, so you’d never see what you typed. And with the huge number of queries going on, even if you were trying you couldn’t rely on getting your lines close to one another for any deliberate effect. It would be a strange person who would blindly cast lines into this ephemeral stream of unknowing collaboration. Though sometimes, you wonder.

fat bitch
get down on it
caring your love with me
hey hey what can i do
God bless a girl in love

Sometimes the words that come across your screen are simply beautiful as is. Untouched. Found senryu. Sometimes it takes a little shifting of lines, but it’s the most beautiful random poetry I’ve yet found, written by a poet I can trust. If you have the program, give it a whirl. Sometimes it’s voyeuristic, sometimes it’s insipid. Sometimes it’s like scraping the secret heart of the internet.

i will come to you
only you when boys tell youre
vertigo other

All lines of “poetry” on this page were verbatim Limewire search queries.

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