Before the contemporary internet, the touch-tone phone was king. Many of us flash back to the not-too-distant past, and immediately think of the pterodactyl screech of a 14.4/28.8 dial-up modem while others will likely relive nightmares of finding their way through customer service prompts.
Write at – and with – the inexplicable.
“I have been thinking a lot about poetry and music. What are the different ways we can translate poetry into music? What would music look like as a poem? Let’s find out.”
“Finding the Oulipo’s methods tremendously useful, I searched for and created other experimental writing prompts, not only for my workshops, but also for my own poetic practice. Here are some particularly handy examples.”
As a kind of generative obstruction to mess with, a few constraints follow. Claw at the latches. Take them as a dare.
This prompt is the homophonic-interpretation one that I mentioned in my introduction. It involves reading a poem in another language that you do not speak.
I am most often interested in seeing what language can do that it didn’t know it could do — in finding the imaginary solutions to questions we never thought to ask.
“To my delight and my unceasing distraction, eminently eligible bits of language are everywhere around us.”
Thirty-five years ago, it was extremely simple to develop small programs combining computing and language — you could type one in within seconds of flipping the computer on. It’s a bit surprising to me, given such a starting point, that literary art hasn’t really extended itself into new, exciting, computational territory the way that architecture has.
Concrete Poetry and Conceptual Writing are entwined around the issue of negotiating the “thicket of language,” reframing our language back to us, only slightly…