Sunday, April 30, 2017


One word:


There is nothing else.


Saturday, April 29, 2017


Geof Huth, shell pwoermds (29 April 2017)
The month is nearly over, yet the pwoermds won't be. I likely won't write at least one object pwoermd a month, but I'll still make pwoermds. I am trapped in a cycle, more a cycling, a process, a movement, a sinkhole. I am moving through the word every day, lost in language's ability to give up sense to us and to give up on sense, trapped in the punful life, too much of language to live without its play, ingrained with language, dipped in the baptismal waters, yet never brought back up. I am firmly of the word, unitary but not uniform; the pun, multitudinous and confusible; and the pwoermd, ordinary and revelatory. There is no way out.


Friday, April 28, 2017


Geof Huth, "MENTUM" (28 April 2017)
Earlier this week, a friend said he questioned the value of my pwoermds because they were nothing more than ironic puns. Nothing wrong with that criticism. Tho my pwoermds are not always puns.

I reminded him of an important quotation by me about pwoermds: The pun is the highest from of literature.

I stand by that point.


Thursday, April 27, 2017


Karen and I had our first party at our apartment today, and I didn't even mention pwoermds. Our company was law librarians from across the state who work in the court system, and we had a fabulous (as Karen might say) time.

I did, however, introduce them to a little of my poetry. And I even gave one of them a little book of pwoermds of mine from 1987: the stanes. This consist of a little sued me pouch with drawstring (all sewed by me) holding three stones, each written with a different pwoermd, based on the type of stone it was.

The reader didn't comment on the pouch's contents after reading it. But that's okay. My goal isn't acceptance, and certainly not embracement. My goal is exposure.

I try to make the gears of people's brains roll. Simply that.


Wednesday, April 26, 2017


Geof Huth, "norishmeant" (26 April 2017)

I am writing with ice this month. I haven't done this before this month because I didn't have the tools. Now I do: ice cube trays with holes the shapes of each letter of the alphabet.

While working with these icy letters, I assemble each word, each pwoermd, on a different surface than any previous ice pwoermd. There are two reasons for this. First, I'm interested in providing variety, especially when I'm making the same kinds of pwoermds over and over again. Second, a new surface is a new source of inspiration. This is especially important for my object pwoermds—of which icepwoermds are one type—because these are Adamic works that rename the surfaces and objects they are laid upon.

What I love about making these pwoermds is that I have little time to make them because ice melts quickly and the letters begin to slip over the non-cloth surfaces. I love to make a poem in the moment, without planning. I love to allow myself to write without a net, to solve problems in an instant, to make something that is pure and immediate inspiration.


Tuesday, April 25, 2017


Geof Huth, asemic pwoermd (25 April 2017)

Time goes faster and faster. Even the pwoermds seem faster today. Five days left to this long month, and the deadline poet is flagging.


Monday, April 24, 2017


Geof Huth, "furth" (24 April 2017)
Despite the moderate struggle I've been having during this International Pwoermd Writing Month, it is the fullest month ever. My volume of work (not at all a measure of value) is much higher than previously, likely because I've decided to create ten pwoermds or pwoermd-related things a day, which would lead to at least 300 of these by the end of the month.

However, the struggle to find powermds of different kinds each day has, unintentionally, caused me to write more pwoermds made out of letters alone, pwoermds with no essential visual presentation. Because of this, my little Pwoermdbottle II is filling fast with tiny pwoermds written on cardboard, leading me to worry (just a bit) that the bottle may not be able to hold every pwoermd I write this month.

Not a bad state of affairs, if one is like me and likes to make many things, big and small. I don't even mind if they're all small, just that they entertain, even if only with puns. But more about puns tomorrow.


Sunday, April 23, 2017


Geof Huth, "ink-link" (23 April 2017)
The days get longer as I try to produce these various types of pwoermds all day. The life of a deadline poet is taxing and tiring.

I slept more than twelve hours last night into this morning, but I'm still tired enough to head to bed early (for me) tonight. It is probably more than the minor work of trying to think up one-word poems that is tiring me out. Probably one of many underlying health problems. But we'll see in the end.

Regardless, today was a good day of pwoermds. At least.


Saturday, April 22, 2017


Geof Huth, "0-squared" (22 April 2017)

Too tired to pwoermd, I pwoermd some more: phading.


Friday, April 21, 2017


Geof Huth, "intraswashtic" (21 April 2017)

The pwoermd is found.


Thursday, April 20, 2017


Geof Huth, "emchanted" (20 April 2017)
I'm hungry. What happens to me these days (because of age or illness) is that I become tired and my voice goes flat whenever I'm too hungry, and that is happening to me right now, as I wait for dinner to begin, and while I have no idea when it will begin.

But I'm famished for another reason as well. The evening has begun, and I've created most of the types of pwoermds I have to create each day in April, but I yet to create the final two: the found pwoermd, which I'll probably be able to do with a little searching; and the object pwoermd, which is more of a problem since I didn't even bring any objects with me.

I'm still hoping for someone at my Mid-Atlantic Archives Conference meeting to hand me a good object today, but I really never expected anyone would. I'll have to find an object by walking the streets of Newark later on.

The night might get interesting.


Wednesday, April 19, 2017


Geof Huth, "gnesst" (19 April 2017)

Tonight, I planned for my month's worth of object pwoermds, at the last minute. I am running out of reasonable objects to create object pwoermds with, and I'm heading (via Path train at a cost of $2.75) to Newark for the spring 2017 conference of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference, an association I've been a member of since 1988. So I sent the following note out to the Facebook page for the organization, thus admitting, even more openly than usual, how poem- and art-obsessed I am:

MARACkers, here's a weird request. Every April, I make at least 30 object pwoermds, which are objects I encrust with a one-word poem. This year, I'm running low on collected objects and heading to Newark (not far from home) tomorrow without any objects to make pwoermds with. So if you have any small objects you think are interesting and might hold the kiss of ink (and you're willing to part with them), take them to Newark for me, and I'll remember you as the giver (well, I'll document it). Tonight's object pwoermd is pictured below, along with the archival materials I use to hold them for storage in my personal papers at the University at Albany. This is art, poetry, and archives (okay, and craziness) all at once. Objects have to be no bigger than 4 X 3.5 x 1.25 inches in size to fit in the box. Though I may be able to use other objects for other projects, if you have something larger to donate to this less than essential cause. Thanks.


Tuesday, April 18, 2017


Geof Huth, “Pwoermdbottle II: Day 18” (18 April 2017)

I have run into a new problem this year. I keep thinking I can barely think of pwoermd so, but I've made so many this month that my pwoermdbottle is almost full, and I still have twelve days to go!


Monday, April 17, 2017


Geof Huth, “flyspeek” (17 April 2017)
The word is our fill, if our hunger is for language. We can drink a stream of words cool as water to soothe and temper us. In the desert, every source of water is holy and essential.

Yet even those thirsting will reach their fill. At some point, the stomach can hold no more water, the body won’t allow further hydration. Satedness comes sometimes in the form of revulsion to what one most wants and needs.

In a world with a surfeit of data, so much of it reduced to lettered words, the mere thought of the alphabet can repel the literary person, who searches frantically for an image sans word, a corner void of text, a languageless tableau.

Sometimes, the only antidote to the disease of language is the smallest linguistic fragment one can find. Just a word. Language out of context. The streamless seme.

The pwoermd performs not so much as language than as its opposite. The isolation of language. The reductio ad absurdum of poetry. The last refuge of the word-studded poet.

A poem of a syllable. Or a few. No need to take even a single breath during the performance of it. So small you might forget you ever heard it. Or saw it. Or understood it.

Yet the pwoermd somehow cures you of language, and your parched tongue becomes—once again—wet enough to speak, so you must say and do say,



Sunday, April 16, 2017


A pwoermd comes at you all at once. You might not have time to dodge it.


Saturday, April 15, 2017


Geof Huth, asemic pwoermd (15 April 2017)

In a sense--and probably the truest sense--every poem is found. This is not to say that every poem is a found poem, but only that the mind, often without any external inputs, finds poems that it didn't realize it was making.

All of this falls into my provable belief that everything we do as a human is extemporaneous. No matter how planned an action or event is, it is still guided by the tendencies of chaos and entropy, by the malleability of the human mind, by oversight and error--and by skilled improvisation.

Life, in the end, in the middle, and at the outset, is nothing by acts of extemporaneity. We can control nothing absolutely.

This process of improvisation, which is more a struggle for inspiration through dint of effort, is on my mind as I work through International Pwoermd Writing Month, because I'm trying to create so many kinds of pwoermds and pwoermd-related products each day. I try to keep my mind active and to focus on objects to find ideas in them, because I've so completely wrung my mind dry of all the ideas that are usually churning there.

Ironically, the hardest thing for me to find each day is a found pwoermd. Some days I just run across them. Other days I have to search high and low for words, only to decide that a fragment I see inside a word can constitute that day's found pwoermd.

So the struggle to be a productive pwoermdist continues, now fully half way through this month in celebration of the pwoermd.


Friday, April 14, 2017


Geof Huth, "calme" (14 April 2017)
Even an activity as small (in so many ways) as the creation of pwoermds is controlled by fashions. One pwoermdist finds a new way to make such a poem, and the rest of us start experimenting with that technique.

My overall technique is to try to do everything possible all at once, thus totally accepting and totally abolishing the vagaries of fashion as I move through various modes.

But, in the end, we are all just who we are. We make in our own particular ways, and we changes via those same constraints. Yet there is something bigger than us (not quite a movement), maybe just the practice of a practice, that joins us together in this odd pursuit to make a tiny poem.

One fashion in the western world is to measure the least and most of everything. The heaviest man, the shortest person; the winningest coach, the rejectedest writer. But I have yet to see the Guinness Book of World Records to recognize that the shortest poem (a four-legged m by Aram Saroyan) is actually a pwoermd: a one-word poem, though the poem is nothing but a letter enhanced.

I might, after a fashion, quibble with their choice, since I'd claim this (I think, quite successful) pwoermd of mine is actually the world's shortest poem:


I mean, mine is three legs shorter than Aram's.


Thursday, April 13, 2017


Geof Huth, "burge" (13 April 2017)

Today, I had to answer questions for an interview for a work-related newsletter, and still I found a way to promote pwoermds:

What would people be surprised to learn about you? (not just in the professional arena…do you play banjo, study karate, make the best sushi ever…)

I consider myself the world’s expert in three different but very narrow areas: one-word poems, praecisio, and antidictionaries. I’ve certainly written more about these topics than anyone. One-word poems (which I call pwoermds) are usually invented words presented alone as a complete poem, and I’ll be speaking about this form of poetry in Aachen, Germany, this May. Praecisio is a figure of speech in which one makes one’s point by saying nothing, instead of saying something. Taking a moment of silence, for instance, is an example of praecision: honoring the memory of someone by thinking about the person instead of speaking, because one’s words could never be enough. Antidictionaries are works of literature in dictionary form that do not truly define words even though they appear to do so. The most famous of these is The Devil’s Dictionary, by Ambrose Bierce. I donated my huge collection of dictionaries and antidictionaries, including dozens of editions of Bierce’s, to the University at Albany. I often say that anyone can be a world’s expert in something if they only choose narrowly enough.


Wednesday, April 12, 2017


Geof Huth, "poetigist" (12 April 2017)

Hilton Garden Inn, Room 716, Albany, NY

The pwoermd is fast.


Tuesday, April 11, 2017


Geof Huth, "QUOX" (11 April 2017)

It is too much to ask oneself to make so many unique, even if little, things in one day. The body feels it. The press of time becomes oppressive just before it becomes offensive.

The mind is pulled in many directions, so it is pulled a little apart. Such frenetic making, without a concomitantly intense seeing, hearing, and taking-in, just tires the self.

For days cannot be set aside only for making. There was also the seven hours of driving I did today, the hourslong visit, the conversation with strangers in the bar. The latter was a good reprieve, but it lasted long enough to make the day seem too long.

Too long for what? Too long to make a eight pwoermds, write a few of them down by hand, and write the tiniest essay about the results.

Of course, I might have needed more sleep than I had managed to squeeze in last night (AKA this morning). So we'll see what tomorrow brings.


Monday, April 10, 2017


Geof Huth, "snurl," "swurl," "twurl," "u," and "whurl" (10 April 2017)

Deadline poetry is a danger to the human spirit, yet I encourage people to write poems one word in length every day for the month of April.

The reason for is to promote my kind of poetry and to undermine the other writing months of April (poetry, haiku, novel, whatever) by putatively writing poetry but by merely writing individual words isolated from other words. I do this because it seems easy to write a single poem of one word a day.

Yet the need (let's say, the requirement) to write a pwoermd a day becomes a burden, an impossibility. There are a few reasons for this. The most important is that the fact of the requirement makes a natural act difficult because the natural act of creation is transformed into the unnatural act of being forced (by one's will or outside expectations) to create. Another is that the requirement doesn't allow for rest, so one becomes tired of actively trying to make.

For me, the third is that I make the process progressively difficult every year. This year, I required myself to produce tend pwoermds or pwoermdbased pieces of writing (such as this essay) a day--one for each year of International Pwoermd Writing Month. The process of complying with the requirement has become complex enough for me create a checklist to make sure I create each pwoermd I am forcing myself to make.

So creativity becomes struggle becomes burden.

Yet there is some advantage to this process. Inspiration can be forced, and inspiration (even in small doses) can make one's day. So I surprised myself today with a few pwoermds (especially visual ones) that I actually like.

Maybe none is good enough, but there are, at least, enough of them, enough to allow me to sleep.


Sunday, April 9, 2017


Geof Huth, "sustense" (9 April 2017)

The problem with the pwoermd is also its redemption.

Given the tiny size of a pwoermd, two people (and maybe more than that) sometimes independently create the same pwoermd, and that independent co-creation attacks a western ideal of art as the unique product of a single artist. Sometimes the unrecreations of a previously produced pwoermd are identical to another poet's earlier one, and sometimes they are merely nearly so.

So far this year, I've seen two people each recreate pwoermds close to identical to pwoermds of mine. Maybe these people saw my previous pwoermds or maybe not. But it does not matter. I myself have recreated pwoermds I have produced in the past, because I cannot remember all of the thousands of pwoermds I have made.

The pwoermd is so small that the US Copyright Office will not allow people to copyright individual pwoermds, and that is good and right. The pwoermd is a glance inside language, one many can share without even knowing it.

Being the first person to create a pwoermd does not make one a better poet. It makes one only first, and first is not an important measure of success in poetry.


Saturday, April 8, 2017


Geof Huth, "waxsynth" (9 April 2017)
The pwoermd is quick (usually quick) and short (usually short). It is a form for the poet of fixed time, a form in which almost every exemplar is created out of the pure inspiration of a sudden thought. The poem is a flash (in the pan, of a lightbulb going on, of time).

Yet inspiration results from a life of thinking and rich experience. To be a pwoermdist, one must be a person of the word (in language, in flight, in a stream of sense, in isolation), one must understand the intricacies of a language (the entirement of its shapesoundsense), one must be observant enough to see and remember and document the inspired word.

Just "word," not "words," the singularity of the pwoermd demands it. The pwoermd is so small we can dash around a corner to put it to paper or brain.

In my career (a word in desperate need of parethesizing quotations marks or a suffixing "ing") as a poet, I have often been hit by the inspiration of my inhabiting Martians while walking somewhere or reading a book and then I failed to inscribe it in my memory or write it down, so those are lost possibly forever.

Or the inspiration will return, unexpected, and I will, once again, face a new thought, a new word, a new pwoermd.


Friday, April 7, 2017


Geof Huth, "veign" (7 April 2017)

A poem is not an event; it is the culmination of a life. Every life is in a constant process of reaching its furthest point out, which it reaches over and over again.

In some lives, a poem is created at many of those possible end points. A poem is an accident of life, nothing more than what a human body could create out of words. At that moment, and maybe only at that moment.

A pwoermd is usually no more than an instant's inspiration, a simple thing. It comes all at once. Even unexpectedly.

I don't write pwoermds. I look for them and find them and I write them down. Or they come into me unbidden and I transfer them to another's mind.

That's all it is. Today, I looked at a piece of polished stone. I found a pwoermd and wrote it onto the stone in a few seconds in a controlled run of ink.

And now it is hidden in a box, ready to be found by someone else.


Thursday, April 6, 2017


Geof Huth, "fureignca" and "Approval" (6 April 2017)

Hilton Garden Inn, Room 1001, Buffalo, New York

I am factual and facilitative. I am fraudulent and failing. I'm everything at once and nothing at all.

The pwoermd as object is both a word and a thing, a handleable thing. It is both a word and a name. It shimmers between poles.

If we look at any one thing long enough, it becomes totally foreign. Intense attention shows us reality itself seems unnatural to us.

If we look at a pwoermd long enough, we might understand what we might make it mean.


Wednesday, April 5, 2017


Geof Huth, "slayte" (5 April 2017)

A pwoermd faces us.

No piece of poetry is merely of language. It is also cultural. Myriad cultural significances inhabit even the smallest poem, even the pwoermd.

Take, for instance, today's object pwoermd of mine. It written on, and also of, a stone I found somewhere. I no longer recall where. It had a certain shape and look. A rounded top. Straight sides. A smooth greyness but with parts of its face having flaked off.

It resembles an old, distressed headstone from the 1600s in New York. So the word I thought to write on it was "slayte," referring both to the look of the stone (its essential slatiness) and the cultural references of that stone (death, and the memorializing of same).

This is a small poem, unambitious, not trying for much. All it does is bring attention to itself and its makeup: the language it uses and the surface it sits upon. It causes us to pause for a second, to understand.

The pwoermd faces us.

We face back.


Tuesday, April 4, 2017


Geof Huth, "atened" and "ostracosa" (4 April 2017)
The word takes shape. As we make it, it becomes. From the shadows of thought, a sound arises, a shape finds its place.

The write of pwoermds is not a poet but merely someone struggling to give names to the world. The process is Adamic, simple, element. And each of those words written down mars a surface, changes a place.

The pwoermd names only what holds it. And thus, for the first time, we see it: the thing. Without the help of words, we would not know what we saw, we would not even know how to feel.

Here I am, says the pwoermd, See me. I am here only for an instant. Watch me, before I disappear.


Monday, April 3, 2017


Geof Huth, Asemic Object Pwoermd (3 April 2017)

The pwoermd is a word taken apart and a word put back together. It is (at least often, though not always) fission and fusion simultaneously--the creation of words as an act of paradox.

We separate the fibers of the word so we can figure out what it is. We separate the fibers of another word so we can weave a next word, a tiny textile, together. We fuse words together to see what they mean.

Sometimes, the resulting word makes a kind of antisigodlin sense. Yet at other times, the pwoermd that is made has no shimmer of sense, or maybe leans only to the slightest degree senseward.

Even when a word carries no real meaning, even when wordless writing is completely asemic, we can still assume sense within it, still assume the sounds it encodes, still make something up.

Seemingly senseless symbols and the words made out of them, or those that have now become meaningless, still hold our attention, still tell us secrets, still whisper something about the magic of telling a story with nothing but marks upon a page, marks with no natural meaning that fuse to make words with no actual meaning.

Yet those are our means to communicate. Almost our only means.


Sunday, April 2, 2017


Geof Huth, "sworms" (2 April 2017)
The pwoermd can take many shapes, even the shape of a common word. All that is needed to make a word a pwoermd is to isolate it from other words and to assert it is a poem.

The form has changed over decades to include portmanteaux, unreadable asemic words, and unpronounceable words. The pun often rules over the pwoermd, though, causing it often to be a humorous piece. But humor is serious work. In the world of the pwoermd it is the work of showing how language fractures, how delicate it is.

Many of my own pwoermds slip two words over one another, almost invisibly, so that two words become one and one becomes two. The resulting pwoermd is designed to flicker between one source word and the other, making meaning a flexible thing, forcing the mind to make and remake the meaning of the code presented.

As part of my celebration of this most important month of the year, I have been making soundpwoermds, which require me to create a nonsense word and record it. I don't transcribe it, so the percipient has to decode the pwoermd with the ear rather than the eye, but the result is nonsense. Unless it's not. I've made only two of them so far, and they seem to be meaningless when I record them, but when I listen to them I hear syllables in other languages, I hear the creation of a shared tongue. I hear something.


Saturday, April 1, 2017


I am barraged almost daily by these fragments: of images, sounds, movements, smells. They come at me without warning. I cannot tell what will bring them to me, but they come. They come gentle and hard. They sometimes shock me awake as I'm falling into sleep. They almost never calm me. We call them memories, and we repeat them every day, but we do not see them as their whole.

Geof Huth, Found and Asemic Object Pwoermd (1 April 2017)
We see only fragments. A memory, properly, would be all a person would have experienced: one single memory. If the mind could hold onto its inputs that well. But our memories are tiny slivers of an event, not even the entire event. As a child, jumping fully clothed into a pool. Then hiding behind the wheel of a car. Little more. Barely enough sinew in the memory to hold the fragments together.

We believe, for reasons I don't understand, in completeness and wholeness and the value of great size over smallness. But we only dabble in wholeness and breadth. Our life is that set of tiny fragments we keep secured in our head after most of the rest has eroded away. We don't recall an entire movie; we remember part of a scene, a particular shot, a microscopic change of expression. We don't live in Fahrenheit 451, so we have not remembered every word of it or every scene told within it. We remember a sentence maybe, or a phrase, or the idea of a fireman as one who pours fire, instead of water, onto something. The fragments are what hold us aloft, direct us forward, keep us pointed straight.

That's why the small is something most precious to us: because we can hold it all, we can understand it all, we can grasp its meaning. I write pwoermds because I accept the value of fragments and because it is easier to start with a fragment--a word isolated from any other word, a word all on its own--and think deeply into its possible meaning even than it is to read the shortest of stories.

And the greatest fragment of all is the fragment of the fragment, the rarest thing: the pwoermd you might remember after having read so many pwoermds and poems and sagas and novels and newspapers. In the end, all that's left is the word.


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The 10th Cruellty

The Box of Boxes for This Year's Object Pwoermds of Mine

The pwoermd is the word as poem. Not words, just word. The pwoermd concerns the idea of oneness as singleness. It is a single word presented as a whole poem.

And this is an historical moment for the pwoermd, because on the first of April, the tenth annual celebration of the pwoermd begins: International Pwoermd Writing Month X, which I humorously abbreviate as InterNaPwoWriMo10.

In general, the goal of InterNaPwoWriMo is to write at least one pwoermd a day, but people tackle this task in many ways, so you choose how and when and why you join this fray. Anyone interested in participating and in having me bring a little attention to their work should send me an email, leave me a note here, or contact me via any of my social media venues--and tell me where people can find the pwoermds you'll be making. Already, two people have told me they will be participating.

Since this is the tenth annual International Pwoermd Writing Month, I've set an ambitious plan for my participation in this month's celebration. I will produce pwoermds or writing about pwoermds in each of the following categories:

  1. Textual Pwoermd: A simple written pwoermd
  2. Object Pwoermd: An object with a pwoermd written on it (which object must be small enough to fit in one of the 30 small square boxes pictured in the larger box above)
  3. Pwoermd Essay: Some kind of essay, likely short, about the pwoermd or a pwoermdist's work
  4. Handwritten Visual Pwoermd: A textual pwoermd that includes additional meaning because of the way I have written it)
  5. Found Pwoermd: A word I must find somehow in the world and present as a pwoermd (which will likely be the most difficult part of this month's project)
  6. Trumpwoermd: A political anti-Trump pwoermd (I'm trying to keep from making any of these before the start of the month on Saturday, and if I am lucky these will be in response to something Trump has done on each day of the month)
  7. Pwoermdbottle II: A bottle that I will fill each day with copies of the textual pwoermds and possibly the handwritten visual pwoermds I make that day
  8. Photopwoermd: A photograph I take and then decorate with a pwoermd, so a type of visual pwoermd or vispwoermd
  9. Soundpwoermd: A pwoermd that I will make by saying it, recording it, and posting the audio of it (these will likely be asemic pwoermds)
  10. Pwoermdkname: A pwoermdic name I will write for at least one person a day 
We will see how I survive.