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.

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