Sunday, November 02, 2003

poetry in SPAM

well, I always thought there was poetry in canned SPAM but in email SPAM?

So, I've been studying SPAM (ie junk mail) as a part of my ongoing project about writing poetry influenced by the internet in the way the internet changes our language and creates it own form. I wrote a few blog poems a few months ago and wrote another poem by taking lines from email communications. So, I thought it would be interesting to write poetry in SPAM form, but what is SPAM form?

In my study, I was going through the SPAM and copying it over to a text file to peruse later and that's when I noticed the extra text.

For example I found this (actual text seen in bold):

Some moments after, the two funnels of the frigate vomited torrents of
Our US Pharmacy is Open to You!
but the time came when he had made himself in some way
Full Selection of US Licensed Prescriptionsinstitutions of his country. But there is danger that the
We Now Have Xanax, Valium, Levitra, and Faster Acting Viagr@ SoftTabs
From US Pharmacies, not Mexico or Pakistanwhen she should find her lover so barbarously snatched from her, narrower horizons. For what, after all, does it matter that
Discreet and Fast Next-Day Shipmentsthose about the ascent of the Western Sacred Mountain. It is
Prescriptions written by US Doctors
she fell into violent hysterics and kept her bed for several days.
Browse our Selection

went running or hopping up from the beach towards the bushes as

Block Future Offers?

Crazy, isn't it?

They do this because many spam filters, filter based on the proportion of hot words to regular words. For instance if they see 10 words and sex is five of them, then it's most likely spam. To the computer it looks like a regular email with full paragraphs. I'm not exactly sure where the hidden text is from. But certainly, there are SPAM programs for sale that compile the messages for said spammers so I'm sure the SPAMing people don't know either.

It certainly gives the my SPAM poetry a whole new twist. Playing not only with the letters we see but deliberately hiding others.

hmmm....will ponder this more...

BTW, I get enough SPAM as it is, so you don't have to give me any more for my research.

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