GNOETRY: A sort of cousin to the now ubiquitously discussed flarf, but also its own thing. It has also been the sometime activity of a few friends here in Lafayette (one pictured left, in business casual). Some of outcomes published on the somewhat newish Gnoetry Daily have been tremendous–funny, restless, bumpy, perverse, etc.
At the heart of Gnoetry seems to be the effort to remove the ego by working purely with source texts and removal of the processes of the subconcious from the selection of text fragments. Not flarf, not erasure–a software generated auto-collage of sorts. What I appreciate about the Gnoetry Daily is that a lot of what’s up there is work in progress or is accompanied by notes on the process and source texts. It feels loose, like you’re sitting in on a kick-ass band practice.
Eric Scovel works purely with The Heart of Darkness in his online chap a light heart, its black thoughts. Many of its concerns are the same ones that were near and dear to my heart when I was writing Pigafetta–re-examining colonialism by subverting the intentions of a text, exposing the failures of the Western consciousness in encountering the Other. Stuff like that and some other things too.
While Eric works with one text in a light heart, other poems put several texts through the digital grinder. Here’s something from Chad’s “Katrina Bikini”
HIS ARM WAS MISSING, AND HE NEEDED HELP
His arm was missing, and he needed help
to mitigate and to accept, etc. For those
who stayed, dressed like dogs, who wore crosses
and spurs, found that the answer was lying prostrate
on the freeway every day: the embryo
body posture, the image of death, flag floating from a trash
can. He leaned over the dusty counterterrorism, and
the volleys fired through the womb, overcome
with militia and praying mantis. His wife
was even reflected in miniature. He asked
if she understood what was happening down
there. In the dark. That some Will Smith would be
the official relief effort. The scale
of mental health crisis. There is no way to follow him.
In a trance, working in that morgue where all the
lights had gone was Bush’s vision of our slaves. Life
spilling out of department of health, part of the cleanup
by Murphy Oil of a deer, turkeys, ducks, snipe,
two children, a few plastic bags, vomit and piss.
The most powerful developers have relentlessly
attempted to turn the blame, to send it
into these animals. We are looking
at the mercy of criminals. These are the extravagant
visions of them with almost no working radios,
vision blurred and distorted the identification.