Thursday, April 9, 2015

In the Land of the Strings of Language Arranged on a Page that Never Becomes Paper

One could say, it has been said, that writing a poem about poems, or even writing a visual/slash/concrete poem with "poem" as a text, is trite. But the concept of triteness bothers me. It's too easy an explanation, too trite. The sensors in our body give up after a while. An hour in a cesspool, and our noses perceive no smell. A light too bright, and we can no longer see.

But that doesn't mean that something done again, though differently, isn't better than the other attempts. Our minds are sometimes too small to accept possibility.

Take a look at my friend mIEKAL's vispwoermd "qpOoEEEMM." I write the poem as I decrypt it. I see it as PPOOEEEMM. But even that is so wrong. That presentation is a string of letters along the same horizontal axis we're expected to read a poem, but this poem works on two axes. The p is mirror with a q, the o ringwaves out from the center of itself, the M reduplicates. But the E, majuscule, unfolds itself upwards and downwards. 

This is a simple poem, but that doesn't reduce its value; it probably enhances it. The poem allows us our own attention to it. The sharpness of its typeface holds us. And the poem, a gift to a love, expands from a center. It blossoms.

It replicates the success of a poem: how a few words (or maybe only one) grow into something much grander, much deeper as they flow into the water of a human mind taking them in.

But mIEKAL began earlier in the month that is International Pwoermd Writing Month, with an even shorter poem, but a beauty. "nnnu" appears to be a Saroyanian m (with an extra hump) followed by a u, something like an exaggerated letter mu.

And that would be fine, but the poem moves us by the obvious trick of it. How a concatenated triad of n's, with all of its filled humps rising up and swooping down then slip down into the empty and down-and-up-swooping u that ends it.

So simple, but a meditation on these letters we've learned so well that they are as much a part of us as our DNA.

We end with the latest and most complex of these vispwoermds, "qhhiiillllosssoqhhy," which translates into "philosophy." What this poem is is a diagram of the process of thinking: how it starts out simply (with a notion), how it grows exponentially, retracts to a small idea, twists a bit, returns to the idea, grows it a little, and then branches out into other thoughts.

The process of thinking, you see, is a process of creating and grow. And with the vispwoermdist the process of seeing works the same. For seeing is thinking.

Seeing has always been thinking.

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