poemimage

Where text meets image. Where the visual intersects the literary.

Category: text art

One Thing Leads to Another

When I created the ‘wordless poem’ Never More Together (120 linocut prints – The Porcupine’s Quill) in 2014 I sometimes needed to answer questions like, ‘How is this a poem?’

So I wrote the poem Meditations on a Wordless Poem. In earlier versions I related it to the silent process of carving in lino and creating non-linear poetry via images. I recall describing how I warmed lino under a hot lamp (during a heat wave!) so it would be easier to carve. In the poem found below I abandoned such descriptions, focusing more on the metaphysical. One thing leads to another.

In 2020 Konrad Skreta and I co-directed a 32:28 poetry/art (animation) video based on this poem. Because of Covid, and disruptions, or so I tell myself, I am just now getting around to submitting the video (titled Ode to a Wordless Poem) to festivals.

I watched it again today. Konrad embellished my poetry and images (text-art & visual poetry) by composing ever-shifting & evocative geometric and organic designs. & Within a landscape of psyche, perception and shadow the music too, as well as Konrad’s soundscape, is hypnotic. One thing leads to another.

Meditations on a Wordless Poem

The poem is an image & the image is a poem

Poem is an image passing through the body.

Image contains the rhythmic incantation of voice manipulating shapes

And visual balance –

Image passes into and through the body, embracing rhythmic incantations.

The alchemy of poetry transfigures a blank page into a sequence

Of comprehension –

A sequence of psychic incantation configures the blank page.

The process of transfiguring dross and creating gold

Is recorded two-dimensionally –

A sequence of shapes and visual balance enter your body as

Two-dimensional alchemy.

Symbols meet texture in a relationship spanning theory and time.

Theory and time, in place of words, pass through your body.

Epic poetry resembles line and movement

An ancient voice extends invisible realities into song

Songs of prehistory rush forward, intersecting with our surveillance state.

A visual poem is like a city

As the lights go off, a new sound emerges of all that has gone before

Missing words, animals, plants and civilizations are replaced

Epic poetry rushes forward containing new information.

Poetry, pulsing, aims within a sequence of images

Invisible line responds, summoning persona, questing,

Transmitting erotic signals

Light hollows any false reflection

New information transmits erotic signals

The lights in a city fade

Street by street.

As the image is read the pulse of the work transfigures

Surrealism speaks of fragrance and desire

Alchemy embodies fragrance

The alchemical poem juxtaposes human need and the impossible

Human desire interfaces with the surveillance state

The white of the page recorded two-dimensionally

The fragrance of light a dreaming of desire.

Subconscious language is dream entwining both image and word within

Phenomena as natural as the elements.

Original idea & mind entwine both image and dream

Negative space surrounds the image suggesting a missing fragment of verse.

Ecology and psyche blur in the composition of the wordless poem

Suggesting a missing fragment of verse.

The alchemical juxtaposes with the social.

Missing plants and animals pass through your body, a type of social architecture

A type of shorthand evolves, culturally recognized as poetry.

Stanzas and passages translate visually within atmospheres of memory.

Images float in a psychic space of precognition.

Pictograms evolve in the composition of the wordless poem, as ecology and psyche blur.

The fragrance of light is an image passing through your body &

Recognized culturally, in social architecture, as a poem.

Blink your eyes while you turn the page in torchlight & you realize

You are within early cinema.

GIF Experiments: 25 (Exploring Five Lines from Lyon by Pierre L’Abbe)

In the traboules of the Croix-Rousse
the shuffling silk weaver
the bile of vertigo rising in his throat moves left
in the stairwell only the balls of his feet
on narrow circular steps

(from Lyon, Pierre L’Abbé)

Pierre L’Abbé is a poet and fiction writer, he recently translated Palestine, a novel by Hubert Haddad.  

Language in a Landscape

One of the images I used for a backdrop in Zoom during my virtual poetry reading at The Art Bar Poetry Reading Series on April 6th. During the first lockdown I painted this 18″ X 28.5″ work (acrylic & water-soluble graphic pencil on cardboard) while exploring concepts of lost text and mystery languages. My reading (video filmed and edited by Charles Hackbarth) can be found @ https://www.facebook.com/groups/artbarpoetry/permalink/10165105586530503/

GIF Experiments: 10 (Circling a small body of words)

‘Circling a small body of words’ sounds like building a campfire or hunting for survival. I am still dealing with one vignette on page 70. Still walking to Eurydice’s car with her (continuing from GIF Experiments:8) and now answering her question. When creating the GIF I am aiming for a variety of textures and movement that convey emotions.

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GIF Experiments: 9 (Variations in the Middle of the Night)

I woke up at 2:30 am and made coffee. No lights in any other windows.

Thoughts while creating 22 new images for Page 70, vignette #2 from Meme-Noir:

I heard a song that reminded me. Those of a certain age who participated in a counter-culture activity will remember ‘coming down’ after ‘peaking.’ Peaking was a moment when the absolute cosmic explanation for Why made itself known as you rushed straight up into it. Just as you grasped it (inside your head) it vanished. You tried to remember, wasn’t it only a second ago, but it was gone. And suddenly you were ‘coming down.’ Coming down in your body, through your body, was fraught. I started thinking about Theosophy-inspired landscapes and symbols. How those artists would depict peaking. I thought about young people with no tribal initiation or shamanic guidance thrown into powerful hallucinogenic experiences without protection.

Ten of the new images:

 

GIF Experiments: 8 (One line from a vignette)

Because I created such a large number of digital images… to accompany the second vignette from page 70 in Meme-Noir, I decided to create separate GIFs. In this first GIF I use the first line of the vignette only, and approach the words from various angles. How memory repeats significant conversations that perhaps didn’t go the way they could have. That will be more clear in the second GIF to come.

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I appreciate the funding from the Digital Originals program to create GIFS from my recent book Meme-Noir.