City Life

From theVERSEverse’s GenText series, City Life, is a collaboration between poet Ana Maria Caballero + artist Ivona Tau, with generative text from a poem co-created with AI writing tool Sudowrite.

Caballero sketched a rough draft of the twelve stanzas of City Life during the funeral of a close friend’s father. She sent Tau these notes, which Tau took as inspiration to create the poignant, urban visuals for the piece. Using AI as poetic conspirator, Caballero crafted the final version of the poem.


Tau is an artist + researcher from Lithuania who works with AI as a medium in visual arts. Her goal is to find + evoke emotions in artificially intelligent tools, this way making them more human. By collaborating with machines, she also explores her inner emotional states. Tau holds a Master’s degree in Mathematics at Warsaw University. Currently, she pursues a Ph.D. in Computer Science at the Polish-Japanese Academy of Information Technology. She received highest honors at the Digital Ars 2020 contest for her two projects: “These humans did not feel” + “Unseen Warsaw”. She is one of the top-50 creators on Tezos + her work was sold at Sotheby’s in New York.

+ is poetry’s home in the metaverse, a literary gallery where text is art, poetry is technology + language is limitless, founded by Ana Maria Caballero, Kalen Iwamoto + Sasha Stiles. theVERSEverse offers specially curated 1/1 visual poems by critically acclaimed poets + its GenText, which explores the craft + creativity of GPT3-powered generative text. Each stanza, or GenText block, from the poem is paired with visuals offered as a limited edition series.



In the city with blunt edges,
life comes forth—
against the crafted rock of sidewalks
our feet forget black dirt.

Water, light, concrete, and time—
elements that we compress and compact.
Cranes of metal cut the sky,
then, a solitary pigeon flies by.

I am here to sing, I state,
but the day swings back, and I fall hard.
I grieve amongst the infrastructure—
columns and footers underpin my call.

You were here, once,
in this built metropolis, with us.
You loved to swim,
your body bronzed by my sun.

Do I cry for you?
Or do I cry for every father—
for mine?

For all my high-heeled asphalt walking
I remain a daughter:
a fruit who at its core
is summed up as seed.

In the funeral mass, I hold
the thin wafer—memory of a father—
on my tongue before I swallow.

Bread breaks within me,
becomes me,
but I remain hungry.

After the ceremony,
bodies form a single row—
we wait for a moment
to embrace the bereaved.

A faint breeze blows,
stirs frail leaves,
while beneath the red-tiled ground
soft dirt sustains my feet.

World of tree,
world of cut stone.
Place of passing through,
land of soundless bone.

I take one step forward
within the breath-held line.
It is always almost my turn
to mourn.


in loving memory of C.C.