This suite of three exquisitely paced narrative poems tell stories labelled as allegories of “Genius,” “Ambition,” and “Envy” yet structured as instructions for the design of bottle imps. <—-(This would be the place where I would normally place a link to a resource, but it is unnecessary for this work because Poundstone has put together a meticulously researched and insightful FAQ page.) In this FAQ page, he makes a case for these automata as fitting metaphors for electronic literature, because they are life-like creatures that are animated by mechanisms to produce a looping behavior on a scheduled performance. Indeed, these poems enact the metaphor very well as looping Flash animations used to deliver a narrative through tactical portioning and formatting of a prose text into lines, stanzas, and other visual organizational structures and carefully scheduled delivery of each portion. The careful attention to line structure elevates the prosaic language to poetry, and its scheduled presentation to e-poetry.
Engagingly witty narratives, gorgeous graphic design, and poetic complexity, presented with impeccable timing punctuated with sound— these are works worth savoring.