Finders Keepers: Fail Better


By News & Resources Editor Martin Elwell. Send me your found poetry news.

I thought I would open this week’s post with a bad poetry joke: An original genius and an unoriginal genius walk into a bar. The original genius orders a screwdriver. The unoriginal genius says, “I’ll have the same, but hold the vodka.” The bartender says, “We’re all out of orange juice, but I can make it new.”

Erasure in the Shapes of Ana Mendieta

AMEThe Poetry Foundation directed me to this post by Jennifer Tamayo on Fanzine. I had not heard the story of Ana Mendieta before (see here), but that didn’t make me immune to the power of Tamayo’s erasures.

I couldn’t find Ana Mendieta so I dug her up from a language that had worked hard to obscure her.”

Standing Up for Falling Down

In this excellent post, Russell Dillon covers language, poetry, hip-hop, skateboarding, and his own take on the similarities between failure and success. His unique perspective on the place of code in language, art and music is definitely worth reading.

Decoding here exposes a personal (flaw?) belief that a poet’s job is not only to put their hand upon a thing and name it anew, but to use the materials wrong, often reappropriating them from their initial purpose in the process. It is this belief, and my spastic rationalization of it that allows for a simultaneous construction and undermining of capital A art. Here, we exist as scavengers within the shadows of a former avante garde, hoping to break or fuck something up in such a way that it might shed light in the direction of what’s next.

Wikipedia as Music

If I knew Wikipedia sounded like Pink Floyd, I would have started listening a long time ago. Here is a website that generates music based on Wikipedia’s Recent Updates feed. All you need now is a laser show!

Bells indicate additions and string plucks indicate subtractions. Pitch changes according to the size of the edit; the larger the edit, the deeper the note.

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