The drawings by Guy Beining on the outside (top illustration) and the inside (bottom illustration) of the sheet stapled into Outside the End right after its cover:
Quite a sequence, it seems to me. worth showing in full.
My Scientific American Blog is now here–with a complete table of contents.
AHOY! I finally got Entry 18 done. It is now here. Comments Welcome! Please let me know of any typos or gross factual errors. Warning: it’s me at my abstrusest worst–for over 8,000 words.
Later note: From time to time, I will be revising Entry 18. I hope eventually to correct all the many mistakes in the version first posted.
All I can say about this is that the ink drawing is typical Beining, and I really like it. Tubes instead of lines (wires?) in places seems to me brilliant, for some reason. I have no idea how original it is. It suggests subdermal invasion, but–possibly only to me–tubing and wiring that strange biological accidents leak out of. Of course, the page (the second half of which is outside the end of the book) is mainly a highly sophisticated adventure of theme and variation.
Books can not be harmed from afar the way Internet texts can.
My apologies for the stupid bold-faced enlarged blue words in my recent entries, and for the misspelled words I’ve replaced them with because misspelled words don’t bother me as much as big blue ones. Nothing I know of to prevent them, nor the miscounts I’m now getting.
Verily, I say unto you, spammers should be beaten severely, for the pain of the mental violence they visiteth upon their superiors can be as great as the pain of physical violence that should be visited on them.
I’m hoping against hope to take care of the three or four reviews and the one column I have left to write for Small Press Review today, so am just posting the front and back covers of Guy R. Beining’s 2007 chapbook, Outside the End, here today:
He and Marilyn Rosenberg are just two of a dozen or more of my friends in poetry whom I consider at least an order of magnitude more interesting artistically than any of our country’s poet laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners and others consider worth discussion by our visible literary critics and can’t understand why they are ignored. More for Outside the End tomorrow, perhaps with a few comments on it.
When Marilyn emailed me about the publishworthiness of her bookwork, she mentioned that I had reviewed the page I reproduced here yesterday in an old Small Press Review column. Wondering what I’d said, I looked it up (it’s in this blog’s “Pages” to the right), and like it well enough to post it here.
A New Vizlature Anthology
Small Press Review, Volume 29, Number 2, February 1997
Visuelle Poesie aus den USA, edited by Hartmut Andryczuk. 67 pp; 1995; Pa; Hartmut Andryczuk, Postlagernd D-12154, Berlin, Germany
Toward the end of 1995 a new anthology of vizlature, or verbo-visual art, came out of Germany. It was edited by Hartmut Andryczuk. I was sent a copy of it because I have a couple of pieces in it, but–alas–I got no details concerning its price.
Among the sixteen participants in Andryczuk’s anthology is Marilyn R. Rosenberg, quietly one of this country’s premiere vizlateurs for some two decades. She is represented by a landscape-sketch close enough to an outline to double as a map, thus exploiting the tension of the literal versus the abstract. Her piece is all in calligraphic lines of various degrees of thickness and delicacy that delineate clouds (or mountains) forming above water foaming into being among juts of a landmass. The latter includes an area that could be either a tilled field or a lined page, but in either case is a locus of creativity. At various points in the composition are a Q, and an A (to suggest question/answer), three X’s, a C and a T–and, right together, a W, an upside-down W (or M), and a sideways W (or E), to put us in a Japanese-serene country where a breeze can tilt West to East, and all hovers mystically just short of nameability.
In dramatically unbreezeful contrast to Rosenberg’s piece is John Byrum’s “Transnon,” which consists, simply, of “TRA/ NS/ NON” in large white conventional letters against a black background. With the two cardinal directions missing in Rosenberg’s composition (north and south) in it, and black & white . . . and a backwards rendering of the word, “art,” this work seems almost monumentally engaged with ultimate dichotomies.
Two more map/drawing/poems are presented by Richard Kostelanetz, from an early work of his using text-blocks of pertinent city impressions (e.g., “Boutiques,/ mostly in/ basements,/ their names/ as striking/ and transient/ as rockgroups:/ ‘Instant Pants’/ ‘Pomegranate’ . . .”) to represent various blocks of New York such as that defined by First and Second Avenues and St. Mark’s Place. Very local-feeling, intimate, accurate.
A similar kind of opposition is at the heart of one of Nico Vassilakis’s contributions to this volume, “foremmett” (“emmett” being famous visual poet, Emmett Williams). It consists of a square with two parallel lines drawn horizontally across it near its middle; just above the upper line is “BL”; just below the lower line is “RED”; in between them is “UR.” In the corners of the upper section of the diagram the word, “blue,” is repeated; the word, “red,” is repeated in the corners of the lower section, while “purple” is printed once at each end of the narrow middle section. Another minimalist, almost overlookable piece that teems with the blur of science and sensuality, or where blue analysis becomes, or arises from, a red mood. . . .
Three poems by Dick Higgins carry on this kind of letterplay in homage to Jean Dupuy, ina blom and wolf vostell. The first, just four lines in length, demonstrates the technique: “JEAN DUPUY/ NUDE JAY UP/ DUNE JAY UP/ PUN JAY DUE.” Then, following a charming mathematico-visual tribute to his daughter Amy, Karl Kempton does a lyrical take on the moon that includes a partial reflection of the moon as “wo u,” to magically suggest a fragment of “would,” or moon-distant wishfulness.
Chuck Welch, active in mail art since 1978 as “the Crackerjack Kid,” contributes a moving swirl of words enacting Gaea’s flow which ends with “this dream truss/ clerestory/ Gaea’s blueprint,” but also a medallion-sort of visual poem that I liked less well: it looks nice but too boiler-platedly condemns white C(IA)olonialism and genocide, for my taste.
A “cubistic” specimen of Gregory Vincent St. Thomasino’s Go series is here, too, with a more clearly visual poem from the same series that evokes a rescue at sea, a flare filling the sky with o’s while the excitement of the situation fills it with oh’s. St. Thomasino, and many of the other artists in the volume, provide readers with a short artist’s statement, by the way, which are quite useful.
Others with first-rate pieces in this volume are M. B. Corbett, Harriet Bart, Harry Burrus, Spencer Selby, Stephen-Paul Martin, John M. Bennett (who does terrific things with near-empty frames of the tackily rubber-stamped kind well-known to those familiar with his work) and Paul Weidenhoff. All in all, Andryczuk’s anthology gives a valuable if rough idea of the terrain of current American vizlature.
* * * * *
How I wish someone would tell me (in reasonable detail) why in the sixteen years since then, no one in the BigWorld has ever asked me for a piece like it?! Is it that inferior to the poetry-related pieces in magazines like the Atlantic? Or too different? Maybe too clearly politically-incorrect? Or is it that there is absolutely no one on the look-out for fresh talent? I have little to add to what I said in my column about Marilyn’s piece except that my first impression on seeing it again was that it seemed to me strongly Chinese (which I mean as a Large Compliment) and I again felt enlarged by its Q&A, this time by the ocean seeming to query the land . . . which provided, or was the answer. I was influenced a lot about some of Marton Koppany’s Q&A-related pieces that I’ve recently been enjoying and writing about.
Note: I corrected a typo or two in my column but left some of my now-obsolete terminology as is.
The following is by Marilyn R. Rosenberg, who wanted to know if I thought a version of it worth publishing (of course!):
Nice to see that more people are visiting my Journal of Mathematics and the Arts article than just the forty or fifty to whom I sent free links to it–75 yesterday morning. I’m hoping for a hundred!
A few follow-ups to yesterday’s entry. First about the poem. As some of you will realize, the quotient is one of my “poemns”–i.e., one of the haiku in my 1966 collection, poemns. Two questions occurred to me as I used it: (1) how does the poem’s existence now in two rendering affect its cultural value? and (2) should I make more long divisions using various poemns, perhaps all of them?
I hope having two versions of my poem is a plus. The first is still important as a stand-alone because a simplification toward intensification at the expense of complexity; the second manywheres far beyond but with, I believe, the loss of maximal intensification. In its relocation in a long division, the poemn’s connotative value is diminished, but certain of its specific connotative possibilities are strengthened. I think I would like them read far apart from each other, the poemn first, most happily without the reader’s being aware of its use elsewhere.
I just laughed a bit to myself at the thought that I might now make a third version.
Further note: I consider poemns a collection of visual haiku, but my little boy (me at Harbor View, age 11) is not in a visual poem, but a cryptographiku (my very first one), that being a kind of infra-verbal poem that makes significant aesthetic use of an encrypted text, and infra-verbal poem being (as you all know) a poem in which what counts is what happens inside words.
I also want to say a bit about my declaration that my poem is a major one (as is my poemn–a major poem within a major poem, by gum). That I need all the encouragement I can get, including self-encouragement is one reason for it. Another is the hope mentioned yesterday that some one would challenge, intelligently challenge, me on it. That would have the value of publicizing it, and perhaps educating some people about it. But–most important for me, I swear–I might find out something that helps me as a poet. (I almost never fail to learn something that helps me as a poet from thoughtful feedback, even very mistaken feedback, and am always surprised when that happens.) I would also get a better sense of how my poems are coming across to others, and I truly want to know that because while simply the satisfaction I when I make a poem I like is enough for me, I also want others to enjoy it–which is the main reason by far that I make my poems public. Benefiting materially from a poem would be very nice (I assume, from what little I know of it) but, as I often say, I’d a billion times prefer to make a poem and two or three others like without getting a cent for it than a poem I think tenth-rate but others like enough to give me–well, a Nobel prize for (the money that comes with it being about all that I’d be interested in).
Just an announcement today as I ccontinue to try to get my current reviews out of the way (and do seem to slowly be succeeding in doing so). Go here to see “An Evening in June, 1952,” a nostalikuical long division about (sob) my lost boyhood, mostly the part of it spent in boys’ adventure books, but also actual times camping out. Click once on my poem to see a better version of it.
The codes are simple, but I’ve put hints that help down at the far right, if you need them. Further hints available for $12 apiece at HINTS, 1708 Hayworth Road, Port Charlotte FL 33952. (Note, for those of you keeping score: yes, it is a Major Poem.) (Note, for any knownstreamer accidentally here who laughs at the presumption of my declaration, I dare you to present a cogent argument against it. Not that my declaration isn’t intended as a joke, but only in part. I absolutely believe it. I don’t think all or even most, of my poems are major, but if–at my age–I didn’t feel some were it would indicate that I’ve completely wasted my life.)
This time it isn’t my deadness of brain that is making posting something here difficult but all the work I have to do with emails concerned with yesterday’s announcement. So I’m again grabbing something by Marton Koppany to take care of an entry. It’s called “Seer”:
Keep in mind that it is a Koppanaical ellipsis, so strongly implies an unending string of lenses . . . (That’s why I regard it as a pretty good likeness of ME.)