Tag Archives: Electronic Literature

Mad Black Buddhist: E-Poetry

Designed and written by: Patricia M. Dennis

During the midst of a pandemic, my 3rd eye began to cry. Please explore the instagram experience by following @mad_black_buddhist

Patricia Dennis’ Mad Black Buddhist: E-Poetry is the account of experiences that the author had during the beginning of the year 2020, through the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and how she choose to deal with those emotion. Using original images created through procreate, interactive slides through google slide, and instagram a social network, Mad Black Buddhist is a testimony of poems that helped Dennis express herself in ways she could not have.

Author’s Description: Mad Black Buddhist: E-Poetry was created from poems written within my Spring 2020 Advanced Poetry class with Dr. Susan Rich. Here I was able to express myself in ways I could not imagine myself doing. These poems are a testament of how I copped with my own emotion during the COVID-19 pandemic. My poems are reflects of my emotions and feeling that I dare not to face on a day to day basis. I decided that I wanted to share these poems, in hopes to share that its okay to go through whirlwind of emotion why confined to one space. I created these images months after writing the poems to reflect on this period time of my life. I have been able to face my inner thoughts with open arms and empathy for myself. I utilized the easy navigation of google slides to transfer my literary and artistic creations to others.

Please click here to view the full goole slides of my Elit piece!

Adding A New Poem

My apologies for missing last week’s class, I was knee deep in cutting sweet yams for Thanksgiving. But besides the point, I am pretty happy with the direction my e Lit piece is going. As discussed the prior week with two of my fellow e Lit scholars, I have been plotting on turning my poetry from last semester into some form of a digital piece. I am continuing with the idea of using instagram as a medium to host my art and poetry. I am in three posts so far, and I have about 13 more to go! These past two weeks have been my most creative weeks since starting the semester (perfect time to get creative again!). Alongside continuing with creating my art work, I ran across another poem that I have recently created that I would like to add to my e Lit Poetry experience. I know this was not created along with the other poems during my spiritual journey through COVID-19, but it is a great reflection on how I can now recognize and embrace all that I am. Below is the draft format of the poem that I will be refining soon.

This only the draft : )

Through the use of hashtags that either mirror the poem, imagery, or current moment at the time, this is where I am using the sense of literature to connect with others through the open space. The map out for the rest of my project is to create a piece everyday to post on my instagram. Please follow me e Poetry on instagram: @Mad_Black_Buddhist

Thoughts on Final Project

So here we are.  First, great job by everyone with their presentations this semester.  All of them were informative, engaging, and I think we all were able to understand electronic literature a tad better because of the work each of us did, especially for me because of my technical limitations.  With that being said, the time has now come for us to embark and create our own electronic literature piece.  I may have a better grasp on the genre as a whole, but I am not entirely sure that I am completely ready to do that.  Not that I do not want to or that I am not excited about it, but more because that it is intimidating, and I’m sure I am not the only one that feels that way coming into this.  

As far as what my initial thoughts on a project like this would be, I chose to go down a route that is something that I feel can do alot of good while also allowing me to create the kind of story or reading experience that I am imagining in my head.  I am, thus far, thinking about doing a hyperlink story surrounding a person who is suffering from schizophrenia.  First, I think back to some of the elit that we have read about this year that utilized hypertext as the primary navigation tool and used the images and sounds in the background to set the stage for the piece as a whole.  The idea is that the reader is actually playing the role of the “voices” in the person’s head and the selection the reader makes is what the person hears, so the story progresses from there.  It is still just a concept at this point, but I think this could be a very interesting and important piece as far as helping people to understand this issue that some people walk around with everyday.  I began to look at some of the tools that Dr. Zamora left for us on the class website, and there is so much there, it is almost overwhelming.  However, there are definitely multiple tools that I think will be able to help me procure whatever it is that I end up deciding to go with.  That’s my blog, see you guys soon!  

Mad Black Buddhist: An Instagram Experience

Can you all believe that we only have four classes left for the semester? Through the course of the semester we learned about my different genres of electronic literature. This is the point of the semester where we get to create our own piece! Honestly speaking, I had my idea for my elit project since the beginning of the semester. It was inspired by a class I took last semester titled, Advanced Poetry Writing. From this course, I birthed a Chapbook of poems titled Mad Black Buddhist. From these poems, I went from finding my poetic voice to facing a full on pandemic. Through these poems, I was able to have a spiritual awakening that would set me on the path of open mindness. 

In yesterday’s class, I was paired with my lovely Nives and the brilliant Tom to figure out the beginning elements of my projects. Below are some notes I took from our discussion: 

Poetry – Drawing – Music. I want to turn my poetry from my Chapbook: Mad Black Buddhist. These poems are a reflection of me during the earliest stages of the pandemic 

I decided to turn my poetry into an instagram experience, which ironically, due to being on my phone so much is one of the main elements that made me go a little crazy during the early stages of the pandemic. I am looking to add artwork to each post of poems.. Maybe add a video and audio into it.. Still doing some research!

Hunt for the Gay Planet

This weeks piece “ The Hunt for the Gay Planet” was as interesting and fun to navigate as they come in our electronic literature journey.  The premise is fairly simple to figure out.  We start as some kind of space explorer who needs to make decisions on which planets we are going to descend to on our exploration.  As we settle down on each planet, we go out to explore for a bit and get a sense for the kind of piece that this is going to be.  The screens are pretty simple and there was no sound or anything in the background, so the onus seems to be on the reader to put together the setting themselves in this instance, meaning, there is not much there in terms of aiding you in setting the mood, so the reader is going to have a bit more license over how this piece interacts with them than in previous pieces that we’ve gone over that had visual and audio presence presented with the work.  Nonetheless, still very interesting and thought provoking.  

I think the theme of this writing became clear whenever we, the reader, would do a deeper and deeper dive into the planet that we were currently visiting.  Each time that we had seemingly come to the end of the journey on a particular planet, we seem to reach some kind of cross roads where there are a group of men hitting on our character or some artifact that illuistrates what a “traditional” lifestyle may look like, which our character does not seem to like very much and seems to get sick of fairly quickly. 

Finally, we end up in a bar like setting and are led on to the planet “Lesbionica” which is the type of planet that seems to fit what our character is looking for.  The, the path that I went down eventually brought to the Queen explaining that people had been “afraid of our kind” and made a deal confining her people to this “paradise” as it is being described in this scene.  I chose the pathway that turns our character to a rebel that takes the queen’s throne by storm and believes that she will lead this planet and its people to the takeover of other planets and such.

I found the overtones and messaging in this piece to be a very creative and interesting look into how people of different orientations may feel.  Not saying there is a coupy to try and take over the world, but more a commentary on the yearning to be free in a world that has not always afforded them the right to be that.  This was one of my favorite pieces thus far due to its simplicity and the storyline itself.  I can’t wait to see what Tom and others have to say about their own experience with navigating this piece. 

The Hunt for the Gay Planet

This piece was an interesting satisfying piece! In The Hunt for the Gay Planet, we are thrown into a hyperlinked adventure to find the planet of the gays. I was most attracted to this piece through the actual literature rather than the technical aspect (me inner literature fanatic jumped for joy)! This piece differently had some surprising turns I did not expect. As per usual with my elit blogs, I will break down the different aspects of this piece.


The navigation for this piece was pretty straightforward. Using hypertext as mediation for game-like play, we follow our heroine (I do not believe they gave us a name for the character). By reading short passages and clicking options that are hypertext in hot pink, us as readers get to choose what our heroine explorers. When reading the Editorial Statement it states:anna anthropy’s The Hunt for the Gay Planet is a text-based Twine game that uses the medium of Twine to comment more broadly and bitingly on the status of queer representation in videogames.” Through my first go around of the game, I was a bit confused on the aspects of the twine being a form of representation for queers in video games.

Gay, Lesbian, and Queer Theory

When looking at literature in different lenses, what I mean by lens is by using theory. Of course it be most fitting for my use to use Lesbian, Gay, Queer Theory (the hyperlinked texted will take you to a presentation I made for my college students to explain the theory). If many of you can recall, I also used this theory to dissect my elit piece earlier in the semester. With that being said, I want to target the Basic Concepts of theory to dissect this piece a little more.


Homophobia can be defined as dislike of or prejudice against gay people. I know this may be a stretch of a claim, but if there is an entire planet dedicated only to lesbians, that is saying something..

Homosocial Activities

Before reaching Lesbionic, we are hit with the scene You swing open the metal saloon doors and step into a bar. It’s full of men. All men, tangled in each others’ tentacles. They stare at you like a poo just stepped on their shoe. Homosocial Activities is any social or interactive activites happening between two people of the opposite sex. Obviously, this scene (alongside other erotix scenes), shows these activities but it does not necessarily have to be so extreme. Acta such as kissing, holding hands, or any other romantic gestures can fall in this category.

Homoertic Imagery

“You step out of your ship, your eyes adjusting to the foggy light. The first thing you see is two forms on a bench nearby. A topless chick is pressing a mohawked femme down against the bench, her hand busy between the babe’s legs. The femme’s leg is over her partner, the painted claws of her toenails scraping the chick’s back. In public! Unmolested! Their eyes burning into each other like two stars colliding. The look in their eyes is fire. The curl of their lips is freedom.”

This piece did not imagery to guide us as readers, but through the vivid descriptions of scenery between characters, I was able to paint my own pictures! 

Deeper Reflection – My emotions

When experiencing this piece, I was brought back to my highschool years where I “explored” my sexuality. I felt this connection with our unnamed heroien who is exploring the galaxy to find a society that will accept her loving the same gender. I found it interesting how with each planet our character lands on, the small dusty pLanet is Lesbionic. Quite honestly, I think it was a bit much to make the dusty small planet the gay planet. This piece sheds a light on aspects of literature that still needs to be discovered. LGBQ Theory is still a new theory that seeks to bring awareness in not just literature, but many different aspects of life.

Redshift and Portalmetal/

Redshift and Portalmetal was a really fun piece.  I think what I enjoyed the most about it was that there seemed to be a real concrete story that I found fairly easy to follow, which I have not always found in some of the other things that we have read this semester.  I love how this story is so mysterious in a way, meaning that in the transitions from one part to another, you truly do not know what to expect.  When I got to the juncture where there seemed to be an issue with our protagonists (we’ll call her that) passport when being checked at the border was some anxiety inducing stuff.  I felt my heart begin to beat just a little faster as she was trying to make it through, and I frankly was not entirely sure why she would be so worried, so I found this to be really cool.  The visuals and the audio in this piece also played a pivotal role in the way my feelings were taken for a ride.  Jumping from this almost dystopian kind of red background to a cloudy terrain with the waves crashing coupled with the woman who seemed to be in a place where she was uneasy or even in danger added to these effects.  This may have been my favorite piece that we have examined to this point if I am being completely honest.  

Unfortunately, my tech limitations have stopped me from being able to go over the Redridinghood piece, so I will be paying extra attention to Karel’s presentation in our class this week.  

With all that being said, I have had a very difficult couple of weeks trying to manage everything going on and I imagine that I am not alone.  Hang in there guys, the home stretch is upon us.  I know we got this!

Now here is a song I cannot seem to get out of my head!

The Beauty in Change: Redshift and Portlalmetal

This week’s elit piece I will be diving into is Redshift and Portlalmetal. I truly enjoyed the concept and navigation of Redshift! Through the use of a working website, we explore through the eyes of narrating character, Roja, as she escapes her dying planet. Through beautiful sounds, videography, and interactive text, we share Roja’s story and adventure as she explores life on other planets.


Due to me being extremely tired at this point in the semester, I decide to go the video route first. It was easier to have the video navigate the piece as I view and read, compared to the working site (I ended up going through the working site to fully experience the piece). From the working site, it was pretty simple to navigate by clicking the text that would appear at the bottom of each part of Roja’s narration. 

Deeper Reflection

This piece had so many elements that you can go into a lot of detail that it was really hard to narrow down. So I will try to bring up the most apparent and interesting ones to me:

Roja’s Character:

I find it really interesting in the choice of name. I looked up the meaning of Roja which can be translated to Rojo, and both terms mean the color red (which is the theme color of the piece!).  Both words mean the same, the colour red. When used to describe a masculine object, you use the ‘rojo’ form of the adjective, and ‘roja’ for any feminine object. And just like any other adjective, I believe numbers must be matched too. I thought this explanation was really fighting for the character herself due to Roja being a transgendered woman of color. The idea of one word meaning the same thing but put into a different context makes me put Roja’s character scheme in a different perspective. Through her doule we are presented multiple times with the necessary of packing her hermons (whcih virtual to transgender indviduals). Since I was so obsessed with her name and the color association of it matching her personality, I decide to do a deeper dive into understanding the mean of red: 

Red is the color of fire and blood, so it is associated with energy, war, danger, strength, power, determination as well as passion, desire, and love.

Contemporary theme of climate change:

This piece cleverly put together to discuss the current issue of climate change. Roja puts her feelings of sympathy, empathy, and disappointment of what is going on with Earth (I believe she is addressing Earth). Also, I am a little curious about the time period this is taking place in. Even though this issue is contemporary, the idea of boarding space shuttles to leave for another planet makes me question what Earth are we on with Roja?

I also find it interesting who the Earth is transitioning into what Roja sees as a waste, does she reflect this on her transitioning as a person. Through be a transgender woman and deciding to make a drastic change in scenary and life, how she handing it all?

Who is Cora’s girlfriend Cora?

I am not sure if anyone was wondering the same question (or I am bad at picking up on things), but what is the significance of Roja’s girlfriend? Does she symbolize something within the piece? I just was a bit curious and wanted to get it off of my mind.

Overall Reflection

 My overall reflection of this piece was that I was not actually left too stuck (hooray!). Not that I can speak on the experience of be a transgender female, it was interesting to compare to current topic into one space. 

Letter to Lunis: My Doubts as an Elit Scholar!

This week, I will be focusing on the elit piece, Letter to Lunis. This week’s post might be one on the shorter side, I did not quite grasp the concept of this piece. Even though the navigation and language within Letter to Lunis is very clearly and simplistic, there is still some self doubt in my true understanding. So without further adieu, let’s jump into Letter to Lunis!

Overview of the readings

To be quite honest, this week’s reading has me completely stomped. From the overview descriptions of Letter to Linus, my understanding of this piece is that it uses a hypertext cube as a navigation. The poetry appears in random orders, depending on which part of the cube you are choosing to click.

Deeper Reflection

There was not too much deep reflection due to my misunderstanding of the piece, or the lack of understanding all together…. I wanted to take time to reference one of my fellow elite scholars, Amber, in her experience with this piece:

“My experience of Linus was certainly one of disorientation. The order I followed from the beginning resulted in, “Away the sun, shut off language, lock up the revolution, blow out the public, break in your feelings, and cut down resistance.” After I reached the end, I went back through a few times to see if rearranging the order would help me understand any better, but I feel I was left with more” 

I felt a little unsure about my own understanding of this piece, so I decided to read Ambers and see what she has to say about it (FYI she is very intuitive about a lot of our elit readings!). Seeing that she had the same questions and ideology about this piece, I do not feel a s bad. But I am looking forward to what Sun has to say about this piece when she presents tonight! 

Some of the significant textual elements

The main textual evidence that was apparent to me is the use of the hypercube as the digital medium of hosting the poetry. I was bit curious about what exactly is a hypercube, so I decide to look up the definition:

“In geometry, a hypercube is an n-dimensional analogue of a square (n = 2) and a cube (n = 3). It is a closed, compact, convex figure whose 1-skeleton consists of groups of opposite parallel line segments aligned in each of the space’s dimensions, perpendicular to each other and of the same length.”

From this definition brought me to wonder… I am really that lost on the concept of this piece.   

How I choose to navigate this text

I choose to navigate through this piece by simply following the instructions in the opening of the piece. Like I stated early, this piece was pretty simple to navigate through. There was no specific order that Letter to Lunis required us to follow or figure out (at least to my understanding).

Aiding Alice

Exploring Inanimate Alice

Inanimate with Alice was a lot fun to experience! From the engaging design of the interface to the actual literary aspect of the piece, Inanimate Alice is another favorite I would chalk down in my elite collection. With that said, I will be breaking down this piece to give different aspects of how I experienced it!

Overview of the readings

Inanimate Alice takes us on the adventures of 14 year old Alice. From the extended version of the elite title, Inanimate Alice (episode 4), that this is not Alice’s first go around! But for this particular episode (which is also the first time I am meeting Alice!)We follow Alice in her new life in England. Through images, audio, clickable activate text, and the conversation we have with Alice. The center point for this piece is watching Alice impress her friends and almost falling to her death! Typical antics of a 14 year old.. But let’s jump into the deeper reflection of this piece.

Deeper Reflection

The deeper reflection I have with this piece is the connection I can make with Alice. Moving to a new area and finally feeling comfortable is such a reassuring feeling, and we get that through the way we interact with Alice. I am trying not to talk too much about the media yet, as I wish to save it for the other aspects of this post. As a 14 year old, the need for consistency and friendship is an essential part of growing up. Alice talks about this as we navigate through her world and the new adventures that she is going through. This piece is kind of like that come of age, in the case of doing the most ridiculous things to impress friends. I choose to skip out on going through the “teacher’s edition, so that I can connect with Alice even more (glad I did that!)..    

Some of the significant textual elements

To be quite honest, all the textual elements were very significant for me in this piece! From the audio, clickable polaroid pics, and the interactive game element had me hooked. To go into further detail, I was a bit curious about what this gadget was that held a vast part of the information. So guess to be more specific, the textual element that I truly enjoyed was the gaming aspect. The first half of the piece gives a back story and walkthrough of Alice’s life. I am assuming there are great details in the previous episodes that also give these details. Having that information was useful and engaging, then being thrown into this kind of navigation game to get Alice out the creep factory safely definitely defined the experience with Alice.  

How I choose to navigate this text

Like I stated previously, I choose to navigate through this piece by choosing to regularly navigate through (sorry for the word jumble). I enjoyed that this piece was both a “traditional piece”, if that is a thing, and a game interface. 

Current Feelings

I just wanted to vent real quick on my current status for this current semester. Even though this has nothing to truly do with the elit piece, I thought this would be a good humanistic feeling to share with you all. This semester has definitely been one of my hardest. I wanted to share this with my fellow elit classmates/audience to shed some light on this feeling, just in case any else is feeling like this. I believe that I am doing my best and trying to produce the best work I can. So this little rant is for anyone who is feeling overwhelmed.. You are not alone!