Distribution Automatique

Friday, July 15

[scroll down to Wednesday,
July 13 for *A Midsummer
Night's Masque* (A time-travel
conversation between Emily
Dickenson, Franz Kafka, Sappho,
Laura Riding, Ludwig Wittgenstein,
Walter Benjamin, Anne Sexton
and others)]

At The Mouth of a River:
a preview of Vernon Frazer's

Geof Huth, in his recent interview by Ron Silliman
and Crag Hill on e-c-h-a-n-g-e-v-a-l-u-e-s {click here}-, states:

"Visual poetry is a borderland. I often use the adjective “brackish”
to describe visual poetry; it exists at the mouths of rivers,
at the point where a plume of fresh water folds into a large
open body of salt water. Some visual poems are heavily
verbal and modestly visual; others are almost completely
visual, merely implying language..."

Visual poetry, hovering in the background
of both poetry and art for decades, is at last
coming in to its own. As with so
many other media phenomena
of late, the web, of course , has
much to do with this. Until now,
distribution of visual poetry, like film,
has remained in the more expensive
range among contemporary trends
in poetry forms.

Crag Hill's blog {click here} and his magazine
*Score* as well as
Geof Huth's blog {click here},
and bloggers such as

Jukka Pekka Kervinen {click here}

Lanny Quarles {click here}

harry k. stammer {click here}

frequently on the collaborative
blog As-Is {click here}
have greatly
helped to bring current trends in
visual poetry dramatically and
quickly into the limelight.
These efforts, as well as
Ron Silliman's {click here}
sudden interest in thisrich phenomenon are clear signals
of a dramatic shift in emphasis
in the world of poetry.

With this backdrop, the arrival of
Vernon Frazer's
monumental *Improvisations* strikes
with the sudden rumble and
clap of a thunderbolt, what Edmund
Wilson called
*the shock of recognition.*
At 8 and 3/4 inches wide,
and 10 and 3/4 inches tall,
the sprawling page layout
comfortably accomodates this
enormous 700 page tome, making
this book one of the longest
and largest work yet of visual poetry-
combining nearly every
imaginable mesh of
print layout and font styles.
One would have to go to a number
of books by Johanna Drucker to find work
of comparable typographical complexity.
The constant alternation of formats makes
-Improvisations- the most pleasurable book
to browse I've seen since Drucker's
work and my favoriate classic of
the form, Frank Kuenstler's
haunting, hard-to-find masterpiece,
*Lens*. Reading the texts themselves
is also consistently engaging,
absorbing and amusing-
Vernon Frazer is a performance
poet working with jazz groups and
has published several CD's.
As Geof Huth says in his recent
interview, there is a fascinating
overlap between the aural and
the visual in much vispo work, a
synaesthetic quality I find fascinating.
My only regret is, having to carry
some groceries home to Brooklyn
from my Manhattan office,
along with Frazer's
book (I received it very recently
and wanted to write about it
immediately) the
book is so heavy I pulled
my back out. But it was worth it!
The book is available from
*Beneath the Underground*
568 Brittany L, Delray Beach, FL, 33446

{scroll down to
Tuesday, July 12 for
*No Exit: Meaning
and Masks in
Monday, July 11,
for Process and Object [in
Wittgenstein's *Zettel*:
Literary Currents
in W and Freud];
Saturday, July 9
for:* Poetry and Thinking:
Thinking for Oneself*
in *Zettel*;}

::see archives for:
Friday, July 8,
*Love is Not A Feeling*:
love put to the test in
*Zettel*; Thursday,
July 7: *The Most
Astounding Things are
Possible*: Thought and
The Infinite in *Zettel*{{