Wednesday, March 25, 2009

HSR safelittleworld remix

the second piece in my remix project.

some comments about the piece: The 'cut-up' methodology for this piece was more extreme than it was for the Kinkade piece, and the 'remixing' more extensive. I read through the Steiner Rice volume and wrote down individual lines that appealed to me - extracting words from their rhyming couplet context. The role of personal aesthetic was even more evident here than in the Kinkade - as lines that resonated for me may not resonate for another reader. Having written a fair bit of poetry myself, I couldn't help feeling slightly guilty about removing the lines from where Steiner Rice had placed them. But I came across an interesting footnote in the collection I was reading: "This poem combines favorite lines from several other Helen Steiner Rice poems, a practice Mrs Rice sometimes used when pressured to produce new verse on demand."

Using some of the lines I had selected, I reworked them into a new poem, placing lines together with a kind of conceptual flow, and thereby creating meaning by placing concepts side by side. Graphical treatment of the resulting poem had a lot to do with typography. I further fragmented the lines by placing them as broken parts across the page. I liked the idea of having certain parts of the text blocked out. There is a mystery to blocked out, crossed out, twinked out text - it sparks a kind of desire in the reader as you look for hidden words and meaning. Working with the Steiner Rice material and reading her biography, I couldn't help feeling there was powerful subtext operating in her poetry, hidding behind the greeting card rhymes and sentimentality.

In an urban context, graffiti is also blocked out by city officials - as can be seen, in fact, in the photograph I chose for this piece.

To create the text to be blocked out in the poem I used 'latin' place-holder text and then crossed it out with a very heavy typographic line. In the event I actually quite liked the poem with it's 'nonsense' 'latin' interjections, for example "all my dreams were built around you dui te dunt / alit lobor augait iure i send a loving dart" - but kept with the blocked out text concept instead.

The final visable text reads:

but it is also my cathedral

all my dreams were built around you
i send a loving dart
built on ideals of
girls and boys
in lovely rapturous surprise
grant rebirth to man’s slumbering soul
a mere interlude of inflamed fascination
i’d like to be your shadow
across the years, we’ve met in dreams
but to keep the peace we must conquer the soul
become a seething sea of faces
the life he’s dreaming of
it’s the why and wherefore of infinite living
Christ is more than just a figure wrapped in ethereal glow
the comfort of transformation
so rest and relax and grow stronger
life is forever! death is a dream!

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