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…
Go to your bookshelf. Starting at the very top, take down the 10th book from the left and turn to page 10.
When we speak of “translation” we usually refer to the process of turning a text that is written in one language into another language. But if we think about translation more broadly, we can imagine a diverse range of experimental processes that can spark new writing.
Sometimes erasure is an end in itself, but sometimes it’s a beginning, a starting point for collecting a Robert Smithson-like “Heap of Language” from which to construct poems. In that spirit, I’m providing a few prompts for collecting words.
It has been helpful to turn to this prompt, utilizing language from other poetry that I love, but altering it in a way to come up with alternative words and syntactical arrangements that I could never dream up on my own.
Use a text to draw a field of stars.
Evaluate the text with a particular eye for discovering, within it, that which you can love. Because the thing has not failed you. Rather, you have failed.