— September 20, 2008 —
For our fourth special feature, we wanted to showcase some of the more experimental incarnations of Japanese form-inspired work. We could tell you how exciting we find these explorations to be, or how clear they are in spite of their experimental nature, but instead we ask you to keep an open mind and let these small poems speak for themselves.
by Gary Barwin and derek beaulieu
Gary Barwin is a writer, composer, and performer. He writes in a range of genres: poetry, fiction, visual poetry, sound works, and writing for children and young adults. Barwin received a PhD in Music Composition from SUNY at Buffalo. His books include Doctor Weep and Other Strange Teeth (fiction; The Mercury Press), Raising Eyebrows (poetry; Coach House), and Outside the Hat (poetry; Coach House). The Original Middle of Nowhere, a new book of poetry, is forthcoming from Coach House Press.
derek beaulieu is the author of 6 books of poetry and conceptual writing. His most recent book is chains (paper kite press, 2008) a collection of non-semantic lettraset-based concrete poetry. beaulieu's conceptual novel flatland: a romance of many dimensions was published in 2007 in a limited edition by Simon Morris’s acclaimed press information as material (York, UK). His second conceptual novel, Local Colour, is forthcoming from ntamo (Finland) in 2008.
Poems reprinted from frogments from the frag pool: haiku after basho by Gary Barwin and derek beaulieu (The Mercury Press, 2005) with permission from the authors. Book information: Paperbound, 112 pp., $17.95 Can. ISBN-13: 978-1-55128-112-4
by glenN robsoN
Unku are haiku-esque minimal poems that revel in word play experiments, enigmas, and the instability (inner stability?) of language. Eschewing strict haiku structure while maintaining its emphasis on an economy of words, unku often conflate binaries into one another: maximal into minimal, noise into silence, complexity into simplicity, and their converses. My hope is to provoke the reader’s active participation in the poems, to force her/him to construct meaning from a razed state where all possibilities are valid, where all preconceived notions of identity, language and logic are dismantled. Unku makes us strangers to ourselves by posing questions rather than painting pictures.
Un speaks from a non-place of silence, stillness, absence, and emptiness where erasure becomes rapture.
Influences that have proved invaluable to my process: Dennis Lee's un (Anansi, 2003), Mark Truscott's Said Like Reeds or Things (Coach House, 2004), Gertrude Stein's Tender Buttons (Dover Publications, 1997), and the selections from still water by bpNichol found in The Alphabet Game: a bpNichol reader (Coach House, 2007).
Constructive comments & questions welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.
glenN robsoN is one half of the sound poetry duo Tonguebath (with Jeff Carpenter). A graduate of the University of Alberta with a BA in Creative Writing/English, glenN continues his voracious devotion to all facets of the avant garde. He writes and lives in Edmonton and thanks you for reading.
"What is a special feature?" you may ask. The DailyHaiku special features section is dedicated to innovative collections of haiku and related forms that work very well as a thematic unit, bring the reader a new perspective on the form, explore the seasonal nature of haiku, or push the bounds of haiku in novel directions. Special features will be posted throughout each year (usually as a surprise) and will also be included in the yearly print edition.
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