Sunday, April 5, 2015

Take His Pwoermds. Please


Sean Gallagher, maybe the only pwoermdist ever from Alaska, has been working this month in a style of pwoermding almost all his own.

Eschewing the bondage of meaning, he is striving to great lengthy and near-meaningless pwoermds that are held in place by the common sound structures of English but little other connection to language as it is regularly practice. Take his first pwoermd for International Pwoermd Writing Month VIII:

deawiuthylijekaqixazeploinasewutheruminoplythewicaigovewaviqon 

When we search through the word--and searching through is the equivalent of reading such a work--we occasionally come across actual words or fragments of words, which may or may not appear there accidentally: wuther, ply, the. 

More interestingly, we find strangely compelling possible coinages: zeploin, ruminoply, waviqon. These seem almost to mean, because the pwoermd hovers between sensemaking and sensetaking. It doesn't quite not-mean, and it doesn't at all truly mean.

Even in his shorter pwoermds for the month, he endeavors to avoid sense, though always while just skirting past sense:

spleaisch
This is a word suggesting splitting, speaking, pleaching, pleasing, but never at all being those. And even the pronunciation of the word is ambiguous: spleech, spleesh, and even spleezh are possibilities. Sean doesn't want us to hold anything, to have anything. His poetics is one of unfulfilled temptation, of tantalizing ungettedness.

We will never know what "xiwe" means because it doesn't mean. We will see the "ghost" in "ghrousyth," but it is actually the ghost of a "ghost." We will never know the worth of "yuseniqewreathoplynemixacesathixawerth."

pw(o'er)md


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