“The Dark Side of the Wall” by Bob Bonsall

Screen shot from “The Dark Side of The Wall" by Bob Bonsall. A black background with a poem on the left and a list of names on the right. The text is written in white. Text: “Baaaaaaaaabe! Come to mother baby, let me hold you in my arms./ Call the schoolmaster!/ The lunatic is on the grass/ Waters takes over-/ Ooooooh, Ma, oooh Pa, must the show go on?/Run rabbit run/ I am just a new boy, stranger in this town./Waters takes over-/ Us and Them and after all we’re only ordinary men/ Teachers leave them kids alone/ Vera! Vera! What has become of you?/ Gilmour takes over-/ Oooh, Ma, Oooh Pa, must the show go on?/ think I’ll buy me a football team/ Have you broken any homes up lately?/ Waters takes over-“. List of names on the left, below the title of the poem: “Nick Montfort/Scott Rettberg/ J.R. Carpenter/ J.R. Carpenter/ J.R. Carpenter /Talan Memmolt/ Eric Snodgrass/ Mark Sample/ Maria Enberg/ Flourish Klink/ Andrew Pletkin/ Brendan Howell/ Adam Sylvain/ Leonardo Flores/ Alireza Mahzoon/ Senny Rae Tempest/ Helen Brgess/ Judy Malloy/ Bob Bonsall/ Lyrics from Dark Side of/ the Moon by Roger Waters/ Lyrics from The Wall by/ Roger Waters, David Gilmour, and Bob Ezrin.” From the names “Nick Montfort” to “Judy Malley” all the names in between, including these two, are marked over by a line and are written in baby blue color.
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This generative poem creates a mashup of lyrics from two famous Pink Floyd albums: The Wall and The Dark Side of the Moon. The poem is organized into tercets followed by a single line in which Waters or Gilmour “takes over,” signaling shifts in leading roles in the band, which has a history of turbulent power struggles. Each tercet is assembled from lines from each album, lending both coherence at the line level, and intriguing juxtapositions that reveal some of Pink Floyd’s poetics.

Those curious about the long list of crossed out names on the right hand column should know that this another brick in a wall of remixes of Nick Montfort’s “Taroko Gorge.” This particular remix has been made from Montfort’s 2012 version of the poem, which credits the remixes done to date.

Yeah… so… about this mess. My apologies to Nick Montfort for the uglification of his elegant code. My great thanks to my wife Leigh for many hours spent trying to take the butchering I had done and make some semblance of sense out of it. I am a writer first, and at best a hacker second, although not much of that, so she had her work cut out for her. If this works at all, it is due in large part to her perseverance (quoted from the source code).

Bonsall and his wife Leigh have connected the “Taroko Gorge” remixes to a world full of remixes, covers, mashups, tributes, and live performances— the music industry. This is one of collaboration between writers, musicians, graphical artists, recording professionals, editors, and many others to produce something as elaborate as an album, which is then enters the public sphere, where it will continue to have a complex existence full of variation and reworkings.

Who takes over when a work has entered the public sphere?