Online literary journal 3:AM Magazine regularly published visual poetry of a specific aesthetic they call “poem brut,” referring to handmade pieces with an outsider feel. Today, three of my visual poems appeared in the magazine. You can check them all out here.
I called these pieces “tape samples” because I discovered them while “reading” newsprint sources using cellophane tape, collecting ink residue in a kind of analog sampling process. Maybe this evidence confirms the unfathomable world hidden behind the clutter of advertising and news reports with their nakedly cynical purposes. I’m always searching for these alternate spaces; I find them reassuring.
Since I made the series of pieces in the 90s, they have acquired a nice patina of age as the newspaper sticking to the tape turned brown. The backing paper was always that tan color.
Utsanga is an online journal for experimental writing and theory, based in Italy. The journal’s nineteenth issue, the first of 2019, was released today (March 31) with a who’s who of contributors from the international avant lit scene, including Francesco Aprile, Tim Gaze, Mark Young, Rosaire Appel, John M. Bennett, and many others. Well worth checking out. I’m very pleased to have been included this time with a selection of four pieces of asemic calligraphy. You can check them out here.
The New Post-literate: A Gallery of Asemic Writing is a weblog exploring “asemic writing in relation to post-literate culture.” Scan its entries to find a massive catalog of imaginary scripts and pseudo-writing from around the world. Ultimately, these are scripts or images that look like writing, but have no semantic content. For me, the pieces have the same mysterious pull of looking at lost languages like Linear B, Harappan characters, or Easter Island’s rongorongo script, or even deciphered ones like Ancient Egyptian or Mayan hieroglyphs.
Today, the NP-L published five of my asemic writing pieces, which I made using a brush and India ink back in November 2017. I’m calling them “poems” but they could be prose poems, short stories, or grocery lists. Ultimately, it’s a type of visual poetry. You can check out the pieces here.
Starbuck Leone returns with a new Gonch message for the blogosphere. Mysterious untranslatable language of the feline overlords–or just another lame prank executed by a rather tedious domesticated ape? You decide.
Angry Old Man is one of the best online journals out there for experimental words and images. AOM issue #5 was just released, filled with great contributions from the international avant garde poetry scene. I’m pleased that several of my works are included: three text poems from my “robot language” series–“Paradise in a Pill,” “This is What We Know,” and “Your Body Is Waiting”–plus five video stills that represent part of an alien asemic alphabet. You can view the images here, and read the poems here
The texts form part of a new series of experiments inspired by the Facebook AI units that recently developed their own language using English words with different syntax and meaning. The AI units were intended to carry out customer service transactions and negotiations, and the format of their language seems to be a powerful way to confront and manipulate the continuous stream of commercial messages invading our mental space. I’ve written more about this work here.
Each of these three pieces were initiated by phrases contained in spam emails that seemed evocative of something more mysterious or sinister…like something a robot would say when addressing an audience of meatbags.
Word for/Word is an online journal of experimental poetry that just released its issue #32. Lots of interesting text and visual poetry to check out. It includes three of my Gonch poems, “Cachallanog Agaal,” “Nagan Halloch Cohl Llonagga,” and “Llaanaganallo Hacla Chagalnach Aglacoa,” as well as five images from the Gonchlog. You can read them here; just click on my name in the far right column on the front page.
The text pieces come from a series of new works using a vocabulary limited to words invented from the nonsense phrase “All Gonch.” It’s an attempt to create a new language, imagining also the culture behind it through the shape and structure of the words, that might arise after the death of the current (American) culture and language.
The images are part of another phase of the Gonch project I call the Gonchlog. In this process, I search through consumer magazines and cut out the five letters of “gonch,” then glue them onto accounting paper. The source, its date of publication, and volume number are noted. The intention is to draw out that key nonsense word from these commercial propaganda vehicles in order to find a way forward.