“What Why I DIsliek Poetry Distill is it if is it a, a, I, A, become increasing restrictive disease of the as Popeye would sayit the edjumacated, perfuming their big brains as control ovf meaning and mashuremints, with all their Goddamned rults like a government”
Anti- is an online publication “interested in work that blurs boundaries: between verse and prose, traditional and cutting edge, metrical and free, humorous and scary, narrative and lyric and linguistically fragmented.”
I was thinking about the debate, to call it that, between flarf & conceptual writing, and specifically thinking that such a debate was in many respects the healthiest single phenomenon I’ve seen regarding poetry in several decades, because it meant that there were two contending (contesting) approaches to the new, and that you can actually feel the discourse getting off the dime finally of what to do after langpo and just doing it. And that feels so long overdue, frankly.
What we are seeing is the resurrection of some very basic tendencies active within poetry for over half a century, seeing them coalescing once again into shapely coalitions we can actually name. ["¦]Flarf is Projective Verse. Conceptual Poetry is the New York School. ["¦]So where are the new Beats? Is that what slam or def jam poetics are about? I doubt it, actually, given just how completely the key early Beats were into form & literary history, but the whole valorization of the street poet, especially by the numbskulls who confuse Bukowski for a beat, has a deeply anti-intellectual strain one finds at a lot of slams. [links added]
Silliman admits that “that such an analogy as this does a lot of violence to all those named”. Such is the case when classifying and comparing things. But if he’s right, if the new poetry now is so similar to the new poetry then, then you’ll find what’s really new by this comparison (new minus old equals really new). Maybe he’s on to something here.
Poets and spoken word performers from all over the United States are getting ready for the National Poetry Slam this August. Among them, Baltimore’s own slam poetry team, from the Slamicide poetry slam. This year’s team will be coaxed toward victory by SlamMaster Chris August, whose slam poem appears in the latest issue of Infinity’s Kitchen, by the way. If you can’t make it to the National Poetry Slam, then check out a slam in your town. In our town, Baltimore, the slam is in a new night this year, in a new location. Cheer them on!
Check out this recorded mix from the Bending Corners Podcast: an exploration of poetry, scat, spoken word, cadence, and even rap in jazz-n-groove. From jazz scat and spoken word to reggae, afro-funk and early jazz rap in the 70′s right on thru to the modern phusion of jazz, cadence, and electronics. Word to your mother!
lesabres in unlesbares ubersetzen by Claus Bremer (1963). Translated from German.
Concrete poetry is writing with physical aspects. Concrete poetry happens when the physical qualities of words take on a meaning in addition to the meaning of words themselves. The word “concrete” here refers to that physical quality, not the stuff that paves the sidewalk. Concrete poetry goes by many names, and it is defined differently by those who create it. It is also known as shape poetry, visual poetry, letterism, and so on.
In many cases, the appearance of the words overpowers the literal meaning of the words themselves. What you have, then, is an abstract form, more like expressionism than like cubism. The opinion here is that the structure of the words should augment their meaning, but that opinion isn’t necessarily the only one.
Examples of Concrete Poetry
Although it can be difficult to get a book of concrete poetry out of the public library, the internet provides many examples. The examples below are chosen to illustrate the opinion above, but there are many other examples out there. This list should be enough to get you well on your way to enjoying this interesting art form.
Mary Ellen Solt’s introduction to concrete poetry mentions “three types of concrete poetry: visual (or optic), phonetic (or sound) and kinetic (moving in a visual succession).” There’s a fourth type nowadays: interactive (or “multimedia” or whatever you want to call it.) Here are some examples of concrete poetry.