Thursday, May 17, 2007

another thing. wonder about the tactility of making and seeing poems. not necessarily do i mean visp, tho certainly vispo is about the how of language feels as well as looks. today, daniel f. bradley's excellent zine fhole was waiting for me in the mailbox. reading it i notice that some of the texts appear typewritten, rather than composed using word perfect or some other word program. there is a different feel to it, yes. the closest analogy i can think of at the moment is how old film stock looks and sounds, scratchy, warmer, lived-in.

yesterday, talking with richard hansen, publisher of the micro-press poems-for-all, about a recent event he hosted: a day-long making of mimeo pubs using an old mimeo machine. bay area poet and veteran of the mimeo revolution richard krech was one of the featured readers. i don't remember who richard said owned the mimeo press, but the owner did lament the fact that stencils are now hard to come by.

certainly computers can produce pubs very close to mimeo, i suggested. to which richard said yes, but wasn't the point. the main reason is the making of the work. getting hands dirty, manually setting the stencils, ink and rolling out sheets of poetry. it is the tactile that is missing. using the hands in the production of art.

that is one of the reasons i envy painters so. because they can be knee-deep in their medium. they wear their work in their hair, clothes, stained hands. theirs is a physical act in creation that cannot simply be done in writing. language is in the heart, loins and head, but it does not stain the shirt.

so to speak. vispo i think is more akin to the plastic arts so the visual poet does get dirty, wears his/her work on the hands and clothes. but not what i'm doing, such as this, typing directly into our world of digital. that's not a regret or lament, at all. however, now i'm thinking of getting perhaps an old typewriter, if just for the look of the words on the page for some texts. see what i can see.


At 7:55 AM, Blogger kevin.thurston said...

well, you can crack that apart further investigating those who use software for the poetry (visual) and those who are more tactile in their expression. Peter Ciccariello vs david baptiste-chirot for example.

At 9:23 AM, Blogger dfb said...

there are many ways to get your hand dirty :

fhole is a mostly manual i steal the printing and paper from my job so i printed each page one side then the other in small batches
i collate and staple and i smooth all the staples down so they won’t tear the skin of the gentle readers i have cultivated
remember it the little things that separate us from the animals, zinsters and mail artists

no shortage of manual work

yes there is lost of some kind in the typography but now we actually have different type faces and that can be fun, but i do tend towards the standards, it is intimately about content and as a dyslexic the computer has been a godsend
i don’t miss the typewriter much and i write a lot more

DBC work is interested:

rubbings that are scanned into a computer emailed and then printed so he is very hands dirty on and he also uses the technology

Ciccariello work is an example of the worst that the computer can offer empty and visual muddy

but the trekkie’s just love it

At 11:58 AM, Blogger Jim McCrary said...

Richard....someone just asked me why i hand sew the chap books. because someone 40 years ago, john fowler or charlie plymell or john moritz showed me how and the fact that some of my most cherished books are sewn that way. WTF it aint that big a deal.

Memio remember when it was called a Memio Revolution??? The writers - poets and others taking control of the printing process. Go diggers!!!

Today there are printers on every desk spitting out crap to shread...and if you want to save something you do it electronically not on paper but a disk or hard drive.

oh well i am old and have my detiorating memio mags with rusting staples in them and paper falling apart. too bad. i love it


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