MINUTE SQUEALS of NOISE
The short poem is never finished. Because it is unfinished it is complete in its effective fragmentation of the reader's ability to understand. This confusion leads the reader to substitute bits of his/her own experience for the gaps in the writer's writing. In a western society which hasnt time to sit still, & reading books is a nostalgic fantasy, the short poem is particularly adapted to breaking the meta-languagistic message barrier. It is this form of a condensed reduced info packet which can be found everywhere: on billboards & magazine ads, tv & radio spots, graffiti & postering, on buses & in the mail. The same consciousness has hybridized the way we think & how we talk.
Poetry & fiction have been replaced by "the text" & the practice of any art has enlarged to intimacy with all arts, with an investigation into the culture beneath the culture. Because information & ideas are bombarding our sphere so rapidly the procedure of invention & experimentation is simultaneous with instant printing, rapid communication & the chameleon quality of the artist. More appropriate terms for the new art may be velocity, impact, shifting, compounding etc rather than "this is a good poem, that's a bad painting." Utility & erotics, perhaps are closer specifics. The sensations received & its usefulness completely bypass the critical facility until it becomes more than an unconscious reaction.
When I hear that a short poem is to be 5 lines or less I immediately think of what ways that limit can be violated. Why 5? How many words can be fit on one "line" at the smallest readable typesize? Is a word a poem? Is any word a poem? & what about a visual/verbal with few words, or parts of letters? Or a translation of an eskimo thought-form taking pages of English to explain. Or what about a poem from the Semioptic gliflingual:
In fact by the implied logic of contradiction, FINNEGAN'S WAKE may be the most complete representation (in English) of the above poem. The compression of data is one of the most useful revelations of the information sciences, that digital representation of words, images & sounds can be reduced to increasingly smaller matrices of data.
Joseph Beuys, when talking about acoustics & social sculpture breaks the process of artistic understanding down to the speech fragment, to the single event, to the thought:
"If you enlarge the understanding of sculpture to the point where it has to do above all with human thought, then the embodiment of this thought in sound and language becomes part of art.. Unsculpted sound without semantic information, like öö; sculpted sound with semantic meaning and logical content; sound waves with neither kind of information: sounds that have never been heard before like the plopping of fat; everything in the scale of possibilities is involved, from noise to concerts."
& graffiti, that ubiquitous visual noise of the 80's, phrases & tags implanting, tattooing & defacing buildings around the world. Finally anyone has an opportunity to "publish" their poems & ideas in full view of the world. A wall is a page, a page which very often has short "poems" by gangs of collaborators.
"Walls are public and large, books are small and private. They can each give the same information, anyone can own books and look at them at anytime. When one sees a wall, it is the impact of the whole that is understood at once -- emotionally more than intellectually. It is only by reading the wall that the viewer understands it fully." --Sol Lewitt
The technology & the apparel necessary to begin operating the future is readily & cheaply available. The language of the future is the language of noise & information. [& for the first time since the tower of Babel there will be one international language, the UniPolyGlotDigitFace. The Universal Polyglot Digital Interface is an unimplemented futuristic synaptic machine conceived at Xerbudox TechNeoLogies, a remote beliefware factory in rural Wisconsin during the wee minutes of 1990.] Ready-made inspiration was heard during endless babesqueak. I can think of many times when the speech I did not understand was the intelligible speech & what made most sense was the multi-layered fragments of babble overheard in a crowd of noise. When will the rhetoric of literature include the that which is beyond the page, even the semiotics of everyday existence. Silence is distractions are omens.
"Noise is manufactured in the city, just as goods are manufactured. The city is the place where noise is kept in stock, completely detached from the object from which it came." ---Max Picard
Miekal And, May 1990.