:: Poetry

Poem Brut #105 – Poeme Publique published 23/08/2020

These typewritten poems were initially conceived of as a joke (at the expense of the 20th century?) and should probably be considered as such.

They, unadvisedly, wilfully inherit from the theories of Jiří Kolář and Group 42, though to their credit possess little in the way of Habsburgian nostalgia.

Repeatedly hitting the same key on a typewriter over and over is surprisingly dissatisfying as a means of ‘writing’, and in fact starts to hurt, so the author would not recommend it.

In the 105th of the Poem Brut series, new poetry by Ben Britton.

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Poem Brut #104 – Quilt published 14/08/2020

I am quilting a Grandma’s Flower Garden out of:

Tight fits. Things that just didn’t sit right. That I didn’t know what to do with (rather than call the boss I stashed it). Impulse buys from the market. Gifted fabrics and excesses. Dye tryouts. With paint stains. Some see-through. Ripped robes.

After I finish working, there are still things left over.

In the 104th of the Poem Brut series, new poetry by Eeva Rönkä.

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Poem Brut #103 – Isolation published 06/08/2020

I don’t bake or exercise, so this was the most finicky, screen-free lockdown activity I could find. Each line is made with the same nine pieces of metal letterpress type, which meant printing the same sheet seven times, calculating spaces for each line and colour, and praying with every pull of the handle that the alignment was right on my fussy little Adana press. I’m obsessed with printing anagrams, which seem to draw out material traces of the repetitive, bodily-mechanical process and of the type itself. This lovely paper was rescued from a retired printer’s garage, where it sat and faded unevenly for a few decades. The case of type I smuggled home the day before campus closed is 48pt Westminster.

In the 103rd of the Poem Brut series, new poetry by JT Welsch.

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Housing Haunted Housing (Extracts) published 28/07/2020

to kneel at the Wehrmacht haunt
and vacate all pretence
to uniformity simplicity eternity

to flagrantly defy the
flaktum alpine cottage volkshalle

but brazenly appropriate
the starkness quaintness weight

Enjoy 3 excerpts from Oscar Mardell‘s Housing Haunted Housing, a series of poems inspired by Brutalist architecture.

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Poem Brut #102 – Imprints published 26/07/2020

One day, I took out a piece of paper because I wanted to draw a line. To use the line (and see theline) as a kind of record. I gave myself up to curve – to curving freely (within the parameters ofa piece of paper). The beginning was/is always the same – from a point, I begin by making aspiral; I spiral out into circles, and then, the shape of infinity. When I am done, I take the timeand colour everything in. My hand goes from the act of making a line (a record of its movement)to repeating itself – stroke, after stroke, after stroke. I didn’t think much about weight, not until Isaw the first imprint. An unexpected output, the imprint is a record of the action of my hand; ofmy hand’s actions coming through, leaving marks on the piece of paper underneath the one I had been working on. A new connection – hand to marker to paper; to paper under paper. I have done this several times now – no longer unexpected, the intended output is the imprint. I like seeing the imprint as a record of weight; how each one records the weight of a movement.Each one is also a record of time. Over time, my markers are running dry.

In the 102nd of the Poem Brut series, new poetry by Dimitra Xidous.

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Poem Brut #101 – Mayakovsky Fan published 18/07/2020

So, I’d been looking fondly at the propellers on the lined up dry-docked yachts in Aarhus harbour before I found what I was after. Had long since heard of how Mallarmé would inscribe beautiful handwritten verses onto fine paper fans for his female admirers, and wondered what Mayakovsky would do. Probably not a dumped ceiling fan, but then we make do with what we have and the rest, as they say, is history.

I figured it’d be good to rest the fan on a pile of loose cobblestones, as if it were standing reserve for some retro-futurist insurrection, and the strewn roses a swish in the face of good taste. That each blade took on the shape of a tombstone was an unexpected bonus.

In the 101st of the Poem Brut series, new poetry by Matt Travers.

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(Who She) One published 16/07/2020

i’m on a steep hill
with the vandals
harmed by a lame boss
classical is her maturing
her heart the saving grip
monopoly mind forever trendless
fold up the game kitten
just another boring day
on permanent detention
wicked light beckons
and national herds march on

A new collaborative poem by Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth, Thurston Moore Group) and Matthew Wascovich (Scarcity Of Tanks, Vicious Fence).

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Poem Brut #100 – Hanging by a Thread published 07/07/2020

These pieces are extracts from a journal I was keeping, on and off, in Sydney in the late eighties. Most of them were drawn in Karen’s kitchen, the woman who gave me a home when i was most in need of one. It was an open house, full of music and kind, creative, generous people coming and going. I kept my head down for the most part but was always listening, and often writing things down next to whatever drawing i was working on: bits of conversation, song lyrics, strange new words, wisecracks, memories I was trying to come to terms with and letters i would never send. Looking back at these pages now, I realise they also document a certain sea change in my life, a struggle that was taking place within me between drawing, which I had always assumed was where my path lay, and writing which I hadn’t much tried before. I guess words won out in the end.

In the 100th of the Poem Brut series, new poetry by Mark Czanik.

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Poem Brut #99 – Uncle Alex (Trocchi) published 30/06/2020

Alexander Trocchi has been called a deviant, a scoundrel, a genius, a monster. Semantics, words, letters organised in order to reveal a truth. He was all these things. He is, and will always be, my flesh and blood. The illustrative Cain to my Abel, something bigger and more powerful then me that will strike me down when I raise my body to match him, but I am grateful for the pairing. These poems are scales I have plucked from his Levithan hide. I have assembled them as best I can to show him as best I can. Here’s to you Alex, we’d be drinking whisky were you here but wait for me and we’ll be drinking starlight.

In the 99th of the Poem Brut series, new poetry by Aimee Keeble.

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Poem Brut #98 – three ways of presenting the same poem published 21/06/2020

I try to treat the making of books as a problem of sharing, the solution to which needs to be continually reinvented. It’s a problem that has perplexed, confounded and excited me more and more as I experiment with different forms of publishing. Here are three ways of presenting the same poem, each of which represents a different stage in the creation of a page for a handmade book; each of which, hopefully, offers a different reading experience. In reading the physical copy of the handmade book, which I have on a bookshelf at home, the reader lifts each flap on a given page to reveal the next line of the poem. Unfortunately, I can’t invite every potential reader of my work into my home to read the physical copy of the book, so I share my handmade books at kensparling.ca, where my son Stephen has created a website that nicely captures the spirit of the experience of reading the physical book.

In the 98th of the Poem Brut series, new poetry by Ken Sperling.

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