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  • Jeremy Hight

Six GIF poems // Jeremy Hight

From Jeremy, a note on the process:

I post on Facebook asking for gifs and people post for about a day.

I then look at the wild range of gifs for a while till a theme emerges in my head and write in sequence

a poem that is interpreting all the gifs in the order posted.

I write the poems fast like the memory walk poems

I used to write (holding an old memory and writing of its details and incompletion). Usually 5 to 10 min tops to make it flow freeform from the gifs not from me overthinking. It has been a fun experiment.

Death and life in a day

That sun grins warm fire above

and mortality is a couple holding hands (one of chaos and possible ends and one of sea calm)

the great unifier is that skeleton beneath almost to at once wave in greeting and disappear

in the skin of smiles and the skin of photos and that veneer that is now and moments end to end

life at once feels infinite like the unskin of open space and gas and stars

and the finite ends of burrito with so much unseen inside

the fates and chance and the calculus of others and things is a cat sitting in wait

the end of it all will see those bones melt under soil or to ash like candle

goodbye a fog in the air and that residue shimmering on the edges and surfaces of memory

a million things may go wrong and seem to fall from that robin blue sky

or rip open as though the very ground is suddenly wound and its weeping

as though time and space are both the cigarette intentionally lit to burn to nothing

and the freak fire that sometimes seem born in the unflesh of instants and the air itself

and yet seconds and inches and steps is both and ever forward tumbling

and a nimble cat of balance in it all

again there is that sun above

that embrace as though the shared floodplains of the palms of lovers holding hands

of falling and standing

of the ever forward

and the illusory standing still of such things as present and a singular moment

as though cut from that very dermis of everywhere and everything

Frankensteinian is the sense of pause as though it is one new body

Not the parts of so much before

The hours arrive as though blank empty plate

Filled in with the facile brief sensory shimmers

Like so much fried chicken

Like eggs laid geometric as some house of things to consume away

That sometime dessert of a temporal sense of balance

Atoms gnat storm ionize to either the beating on the head of sensation and vampiric memory

Or anointed present as though that award ..that singular island…

And it is all both the hiker ever moving

And the water ever in wait

The symbiosis co-dependent of shooting out into a trillion stars

And standing as though even the grass and birds and air is too at rest..near asleep

Death is the thumbs down of bloom and the unbloomed

It is the sad faced blank

The death in office metal and clock

The death in the dull suit pressed daily to wear

The death in stasis and the dull immaculate

Life is that errant laser

The absurd as much as that window teethed with light and things beyond

The stomach pain that is a reminder that one is alive

As much as the torment of the chaos in living

It is the glasses held down face of shock and disappointment

And of wonder

The slapping hand as though of sentient tree full of shiny red apples

Temptation and failing

This is the duality of playing with a fork while wracked with hunger

The dichotomy of rabbit run and wolf’s teeth at each turn

The raging bear and snapping bird of both fear and risk and that inner honey sweet inertia

It all spins endlessly like a chicken in a disco

Regretting nothing

Waiting to move

Lights erupting spans of color in all direction

As the very floor for a moment feels sure cement and ashen

And to move may end with the sunset calm serene day’s end as warm embrace

Or the unblooming anti- flowers of a world twitching forever somewhere somehow

Toward undoings

Toward erasures

Toward war

But all this will wait…for now all the fates and chaos

The rage of dissolution

And the quiet of things in some sort of balance

The shadow and fog creep of death and the grave

And the firework blossoms of as yet unwritten joy

Hold hands


In wait

In sun


It is as opaque and absurd as a dancing mime pumpkin in a graveyard

It is the layered architecture of a taco floating in open sky

And a tumbling

Ever tumbling seeming backwards infinite

Cthulu holding tentacled a book of everything and nothing

The deep well to hollow eyed gaze

Of a chicken seeing ground where once was crowd

Dirt where once was kin

Soil where perhaps was the fleshy mirror

Of another

To reinforce maybe



That gravity within despite storms and float and that ever fall

And absence is the crowd

And one is but a trillion sad atoms

A dust storm of matter and nothing between

It is the fall of bits of paper before

A celebratory hunchback

In that instance


When things seem to actually move together

In the right places

For once

One’s hand hitting the other in a near miss

Yet clap ripping the air as sound

And that awkwardness just maybe has some balance

The winged skeleton within relaxing for a time

On that goofy cloud that is skin and face and presence

Wednesday (itself but skin over bones moving as they do)

And the waves chaotic will break skeletal to foam and shore

But the seeing

The eye to cerebral cortex to brain meat in skull


May ride that wave for an instant

And identity may be triumphant for a bit


Amongst the chaos

Of remembering

And forgetting

And becoming

And sustaining some name or names

And the eventual dying

And the child once owner of these eyes

Shimmering in the hall of memory

Shot across these aging arms and taught skin

He once cried

He once laughed

He for moments was just that tricycle and its turn

As much as that fear that squalled near surely infinite

And that crowd of self rises in indecision like inner tides and wave

That age fearless for a moment was all

As was that terror and loss sure to eat the world

And existing at all

That persistence

Is death and some kind of creation and magic all at once

While the primordial ancient wide mouthed great toothed

Beast of all else rages on

A T Rex hungry mouth

Of minutes and hours

Of doubt and that sure confidence

The trillion little deaths and births that make up a day

A week

A year

A life

Yet still somehow we are here

boats against storm

flesh and bone against minutia and giants

Gnat to Hurricane

and even the air cool or warm at this moment touching its very edge

Against your skin ceases and calms along its shore


It begins like a car full of youth and possibility and that bit of chaos of the un

Written and unborn moments and the possible open raw from the usual familiar

Or math or measure

Like a blood red leaf anew amongst the summer oxygen and sun

As though cartoon dog days of summer must begin

Their evaporation away

And yet it all spins on

Like orbits and planets and sun angle and numbers jagged elbowed

And the cold steel of measure

And yet something arises with the mystery of night dark leather

And the sinew of guitar string bends to loud sound of things new

And sudden of the shade and cool and heat of fall

As music breaks into the air to hang for an instant

Astronautic before caressing the ear

And the snows of winter and the arctic polar vortex

Are for now but a white cat struggling partially exposed

Into the box of these transitional and transititory days in time

And the spin of planet’s orb

And that sweater or coat from summer’s heat and simple clothes

May scream dork in that other atmosphere within

The storms of mind and skull and the chill of past

And scream scream scream the awkward like the itch of fabric on dermis

The itch of chill onto once heat wave open sky

And the day is into cool evening drunk with atmosphere

The sun like a cigarette in its holder on the finger of day to night

And there is a dark elegance to breeze and leaves turning

Noir lips to skin of October

A dark shimmering beauty as stars unfurl in the vault of night

Now cooler as though breathed slow to one’s skin

Shimmer to a physical kiss of air along the face and body



Perhaps a forever for a moment

And yet there still is that whisp of summer like a curious cat

Lost and looking but bright and of the warmed endlessness not of chill and stars

But afternoons and water and all those embers now of summer cooling


But almost


And it is as though sky is of quieted gods and heroes of lightning and rain

Summer’s now silencing and departing

Winter’s as yet unborn to this earth

And like sweet baby elephant’s ears

The air lifts

And falls

Still a bit warm

Still a bit cool

And the silence of midnight between the cars and sirens

Between the airplanes and transient music

Between the dawn fire

And the sun resting cold into western horizon

It is now


The immeasurable beyond the inches and degrees

Of things and air

But the breath of the pause

In land and sky between

A new day

It dawns near invincible

Sure as new year’s resolutions and muscle memory

Morning be it adorned in fog or early sun rides horizon to sky to all

Like a sassy Mona Lisa….assuredness and mystery at once in minutes and atmosphere

As the corpse bride moon lies pale and dew melts away

And seconds blink ok ok ok dutiful as the lids and lashes of a blinking eye

And something primordial and molten and unformed is to be soon

The shape of a day as yet just melted cheese lava pour

And shudder and shake and stutter and stall is the early hours

That sky and that grass and that number and name on a calendar

But a hungry mouth await milk and cereal

To consume and taste with all senses

To enjoy or to drown

As the late morning races near yet out of focus and context

A shaggy dog hug beast on a perpetual shore

Of becoming

And being

And the fates and the quantum algorithmic butterfly effect soup of elements

Is a dancing Halloween monster ever looming before pale background

At once warming and alarming

With details washed clean beyond the most immediate

And the face of a day is to be a cartoon morphing loop

Smashing each instant to the grains and dust of past once in clear view

And that face of early morning fades and hides away

To past and past perception like a cartoon

Face blanking out into that molten cheese lava of what was once becoming

And afternoon rides in stunned and a chaos of bright detail

Like a child’s birthday party glowing red bright detail like hats and surprise and the hurricane

Of too many details to experience at once in the glow

And the hours and sky ride cooler into evening like penguin surging a frozen wave

Never cresting

never breaking fully away

and day shape shifts to beauty or beast

the cooling colors and temperatures of the range from discovery

to some unseen monstrous betrayal

and yet that cool morning in recall glides on now in memory

like a gentle cow riding udders

and day beats its drums against the skeleton crowd of night sky

at sunset

dying embers to the charcoal night with stars soon to fall

as night was long believed to great weight

and vapors to again fall

onto this earth

and the day is done

it fades to that horizon to glint on last wine colored shard of cloud

gelatinous in memory and against the cascade of night

till the far off light of perhaps another dawn


Memory is that bear once spotted in a forest so clear to each single hair and element of light

In now cartoon sky and a mouth full of impossibility and forgetting..teeth like piano keys now

And that field that summer that honey warm sun and forever

Now broken in places to holes and the sweet squirrel on that tree now with a ten foot tongue

As that forever unmoors to break to past

Memory is digestive

It is acids like stomach

And that sky with that first kiss so sure and fine in detail

But sketch of charcoal and ash now

Before dancing cats where once was childhood breaking away lip to lip toward adulthood

And present to future is that black open great celestial nothing before things

As yet unborn

And present twitches and spasms on

Time ever the cigarette glow mini sun flame to ash and away

And illness comes on the carousel of days infecting some random Saturday

The moths of time already eating those dull soup drinking hours to nothing

And the farewells are not just funerals and ships and planes off to adventure

one must mourn or cheer the very minute..the oatmeal dull measure

Of hour as it dies tired into the very next and on and on

May a thousand hands in some warm sea sunset wave farewell to the episodes

Of a day

May that piece of bacon that morning decades past sear into memory with all the other

Billion small forgettings as though with a face a conversation and name

Erasure into the open maw of past is legion

While memory is but synaptic smoke

From a cigar made to trash once lit alight and aflame in a moment bright and so present

And past is smiling pigs in suits and cartoons bursting impossible musculatures underwater

It is the amber insect shard remnant and it is the filmic shreds bereft increasingly

Of context of that forever…of those names once surely almost of the same body now forgotten

And there is the typing dog in a bed against these tides at least

The desire to remember and that shared name in written or verbal conversation

A held hornet in words

And thankfully there is the grinning joyous hallucinatory frog of perception in this dullard fog of detail present

The eyes great mouths hungry

To devour


This now as it has already begun to slip to memory and recall to the rivers and mouths of past and future’s as yet unborn hungry mouth with perceptual teeth sharp as knife end

And these words are already mottled with the seeds of forgetting


Meaning rests in letters at times cozy like a cat making a burrito of itself under covers

Other times it breaks wild like a coke binge cheetah

And now it rides semi hieroglyph in emoji and in the words implied in filmic loop gif

And metaphor when the collision of images and ideas fails is wtf…like that police song

The metaphor is the Frankenstein monster of language..the sewn collision of parts where

The bread recipe details of language cannot capture such layers and masses as love or war

Yet it the great shimmering beauty…the hurricane level power in a few words…concise

But mundanity and the unsaid are the true the beasts

And cliché and tedium in words hangs low and dull but in time dies into last breath out

Like dying skeleton cirrus corpse of thunderstorm but the gust births anew..always has

And block and desert of dry river before expression is eventually but a tiny robot punched

To smithereens by a once lying and still dog

And like a dancing heart or jet streams over years and wind it progresses on and books and sentences

Rise up like cloud from vapor…like rain from once blank dull sky

And in this smart phone narcotized moment it can seem language has died down to dullard text

Bored in bondage by apps and repetition like apps are opiates and the world is bereft of deeper meanings

And on the lines of streets cities crowds pass clotted..shadows and bees..grouped and alone

Yet such negatives details and constructs like “modernity” lie like ghosts and ether

Die into the rage of moment…of the burn of the necessity for words and the odd cuniform

For the odd sculpture garden in snow that are these bent black lines in this field of digital snow

And the mullet in the 80’s was just a haircut as “now” like “modernity” is only born in the as yet

Still and unformed future and the pale human desire to look prescribe and define

What was once just the visual and emotional noise and chaos of senses and space in time

Nostalgia, time and categorizing for some comfort…those are the true vampires

And all the bits flurry gnat atomed past and around and words and moments and a dermis between

Things and people and the unknown and politics and fire futures or scorpion stingers in past and memory

And desktop computers die to past..laptops fade….smart phones become wearables…

Reality becomes augmented or escaped into virtual and yet language..the ancient..the dinosaur

Before shiny present to future


And text feeds image…as image feeds text…a raining and a bleeding…paper to torrent..screen to flood

And words cloak…and can conspire..can limit….can encode…but can also break free…redefine..

Break false binaries and closed simplistic assumption like the containers all words are (semiotics)

And like a cat in a robot suit words are avatars…texting is skin and bodies and things beneath deep

And this text is as ephemeral as smoke….will be lost in time..extinguished in erasure and forgetting

As all things simply race face bendingly forward as they have in the great invisible

Politics a group of raving cats of illogic to ego zit popping in actions and words

And this is but a ghost

Seen by few

Made somewhere no one else saw

To fade

Unless for a time some soul holds some piece of it for it touches in their inner fires…beyond this dermis of silences and distances…this crumb ..this archipelago to break free into another


Jeremy Hight writes poetry, fiction and text art experiments using different forms of social media and tech.

His short story collection about identity and social media (I am the ghost here) was published by be About it press . His short story collection made by watching sci-fi films and taking out all the tech ( What Remains) was published by Free Dogma press

His collaborative text and image new media project (Carrizo Parkfield Diaries) that worked with Psychology, Seismology and memory is in the permanent digital collection of the Whitney Museum in New York

He lives with his soul mate Lisa and awesome cat named Samson.

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