Saturday, December 18, 2021

stealth port trait pansemic playhouse 182 -- 01.01.12

stealth port trait 
elf ort rate

pansemic playhouse 182 


card-carrying ember of the event-garde -- pansemic playhouse 530 -- 12.29.12


jim leftwich

half-legible note to myself

card-carrying ember of the event-garde

pansemic playhouse 530 


handwritten non-poems pansemic playhouse 203 -- 01.22.12

handwritten non-poems 

written in my car 

while listening to Radio IQ

pansemic playhouse 203


Thursday, December 16, 2021

Jim Leftwich, Some Personal History Involving Asemic Writing, 1996 - 1997

​​Jim Leftwich
​with AM HORSESHOE, Luna Bisonte Prods, 1996​
and a page of spirit writing from LAFT 39, 1997


Asemic writing did not evolve from handwriting, it​ ​emerged from typewriting, and more specifically​ ​from typing on a keyboard for a computer screen.


Asemic writing developed from typography, not​ ​from calligraphy.


Asemic writing is derived from the manipulation​ ​of letter-arrangements in words, phrases and​ ​sentences.


Asemic writing did not come into being as a​ ​result of emptying the mind and imitating​ ​the processes of nature. It came into being as​ ​a result of activating the mind and analyzing​ ​the processes of writing.


We can read things that are not written. We can​ ​be frustrated in our attempts to read things that​ ​are not written. But we gain nothing and learn​ ​nothing by choosing to call things that are not​ ​written asemic writing. We look at the sand on​ ​a beach, or the bark on a tree, or the ripples in​ ​a stream, and we can if we wish say that we are​ ​reading what we are looking at, or that we are​ ​unable to read what we are looking at, even​ ​though in some ways it reminds us of writing,​ ​but it does not become writing if we take a​ ​photograph of it, it only becomes a photograph,​ ​and it does not become writing if we make a​ ​rubbing or an imprint, it only becomes a rubbing​ ​or an imprint.


Asemic writing began as a kind of experimental​ ​textual poetry, not as visual poetry or visual​ ​writing. It was in a sense a by-product of the​ ​processes of recombination, permutation,​ ​improvisation, and iteration.


Asemic writing has as one of its immediate​ ​antecedents my experiment of rewriting a​ ​John M. Bennett poem while thinking about​ ​Stephen Smale's horseshoe map and the​ ​concept of topological mixing. Words and​ ​letters that begin far apart will eventually​ ​be close together, and words and letters​ ​that begin close together will eventually​ ​be far apart.  The variations are at least​ ​in theory endless. (cf., Am Horseshoe,​ ​John M. Bennett & Jim Leftwich, Luna​ ​Bisonte Prods, 1996)

I took this kind of procedural experimentation​ ​and added to it a subjective, processual stage​ ​of associational improvisation. One source​ ​text could provide the initial conditions, so to​ ​speak, for the generation of a long series of​ ​derivative texts.

The kinds of texts produced via these procedures​ ​and processes seemed at least potentially​ ​destined for asemia. The crucial aspect of this​ ​critical concept was (and is) its existence as​ ​potential, not as actuality.

Therefore, then and now: no such thing as asemic​ ​writing, only a kind of unattainable goal posited​ ​as a source of energy for our ongoing textual​ ​mutations.


My first explorations of quasi-calligraphic faux​ ​writing came the morning after a particularly​ ​intense experience of taking what Terence​ ​McKenna ​has ​call​ed​ a "heroic dose" of psilocybin​ ​mushrooms. I had experienced a complete​ ​annihilation of the self, and not one of merging​ ​harmoniously with the universe, rather one of​ ​being ripped apart, as if in a ritual sparagmos.​ ​The next morning i was sitting in my car and ​I ​started for the first time to write lines of illegible​ ​fake writing. It felt as if I were being guided to do​ ​this, as a kind of healing for the night before.​ ​When I sent some of these pages to John ​M. ​Bennett​ ​for LAFT he called  them "spirit writings". I had​ ​no argument with that name. Later Tim Gaze​ ​published a book of them with that title. My​ ​contribution to the recent Anthology of Asemic​ ​Handwriting is taken from that book, in response​ ​to a request from Tim.



Jim Leftwich & John M. Bennett
Luna Bisonte Prods, 1996

jim leftwich spirit writing LAFT 39 1997

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Wednesday, December 15, 2021

letterrows -- pansemic playhouse 198 -- 01.17.12


jim leftwich


recombinative letterstrings

pansemic playhouse 198


refrigerator magnet poem -- pansemic playhouse 518 -- 12.12.12

jim leftwich
refrigerator magnet poem
pansemic playhouse 518

​jim leftwich, visual poems 2021

 ​​jim leftwich, visual poems 2021


1800 1842 1862 1871 1919 1924 1935 1947 1948 1950 1955 1963 1964 1965 1967 1978 1979 1980 1990 2021Abraham Abulafia abstract abstrasemics aeolian poetics Aldous Huxley alembic Allen Ginsberg alphabet scars Ambrose Akinmusire American haiku Amina Claudine Myers Amirtha Kidambi Andre Breton Anthropocene apophenia archaic revival architextures arrangements asemantic asemic asemic narration asemic writing asemimesa asemous asemous writing athanor bag text Barthes Ben Vida with Yarn/Wire & Nina Dante blotch blurs Bob Dylan Buddhist Junk Mail camera captain beefheart catastrophe poetics Cecil Taylor Cezanne Charles Olson children's art chromatic realities chromatic subjectivities Cioran collage collage poem constellations crayon cropped cut-ups Dada Darius Jones delta blues Denise Levertov derangement desemantized desemantized handwriting desemantized writing destabilized handwriting dialectic dirty vispo Diter Rot dreams dripping ego poems

Dubuffet ecdysiasemic ecosemics Emily Dickinson emprientes emptier signified energy everyday life everything else is you experiential found frenetic romanticism Gertrude Stein gestural gestural & letteral gestural photography gnosis handprints handwriting mutations handwriting variations Hannah Höch Hannah Weiner Henri Michaux holograph Howl imagining language improvisation improvisational improvisational epistemology improvisations against propaganda improvisatory improvised In Praise of Nonsense index cards inkblots intaglios Isidore Isou jack kerouac Jackson Mac Low Jean Arp jim leftwich Jim Morrison John Hoffman Kamasi Washington Lascaux letteral Lettrist light sculpture lightwriting logophagia lunic panzemes magickal absurdities magickal contradictions magickal fallacies magickal non sequiturs map Marion Brown Mary Halvorson's Code Girl memories NCV neoasemic Nicole Mitchell no commercial value oceanic poetics Okkyung Lee ongoing research ordinary mind organic form outsider art pansemic pareidolia participatory economics pensemic petroglyphs Philip Lamantia photograph pictographs play poem collage poetry political poetry polysemic polysemous polysemous selflessness Post Croaker Norge post-alphabetical post-lettrist post-neoasemic doodling post-penmanship Post-Raphesemics post-staceal pre-alphabetical prepared pen psychic automatism puzzles are worse than stories quantum nonlocality quasi-calligraphic alphabet improvisations quasi-calligraphic drawing quasi-intentional quotidian mind Ralph Waldo Emerson raphesemic recombination reflections regardless of what you think Rimbaud roadsigns Robert Creeley schizmogenesis scraps scratchings scrawls scribblepoems scribbles sdvig semisemic lesssenseness senseless shadows Shakespeare shaky camera Six Gallery smears smudges smushes songs spirit writing splotch squiggles stamp dance stamps stencilworks sub-semic particles sub-semic writing subsemic Sun Ra surrealism syncretic tafonic tape transfer tear-ups textimagepoem that's not what they meant The October Revolution In Jazz The October Revolution In Poetry things rescued from eternal non-existence TISM | Tom Rainey / Ingrid Laubrock / Sylvie Courvoisier / Mark Feldman trashpo tzeruf otiyot useless writing varieties of asemous experience vernacular mind vispo visual poems visual poetry visual writing what makes you think so? wild form William Blake William Carlos Williams word sculptures wordmush Wordsworth writing against itself xyzemic zensemic zerufe otiot

Monday, December 13, 2021

workspace wall pansemic playhouse 513-12.04.12

jim leftwich

workspace wall 

pansemic playhouse 513


Jim Leftwich -- On Marian Zazeela

Jim Leftwich, from an email to John M. Bennett
On Marian Zazeela, THE SOUL OF THE WORD, 
published in Aspen no. 9 (1971)


Her description, poetical (lyrical) as it is, is interesting to me. She is thinking about the relationship of the letter to the word, like Isou, but her disintegration process, or deformation process, seems unique to her (particularly in 1963 -- written in 1963, published in 1971). Her idea that the letters can (should) have a life outside of their confinement in words reminds me a bit of some of the prose that Nico Vassilakis has written.

Words, neologisms, vocables, and other letterstrings and letter-aggregates exist because of the infinitely recombinative nature of the letters. Her handwriting improvisations and quasi-calligraphic drawings make the polysemous word a unit of composition, much as a line or even a stanza has been in the writing of traditional poems.

What is perhaps most interesting about this page of Zazeela (longtime collaborator and partner of La Monte Young, actress and performer in early-60s experimental films and events (Warhol, Jack Smith), creator of the light shows -- light sculptures -- for The Plastic Exploding Inevitable)), is that she begins with the intact word, works backwards to the letter, then to the component parts (lines, shapes, full and partial enclosures...) of the letters, on to a kind of desemantized field of sub-letteral marks and spaces, and then, at least as a proposal, back towards words and word-like letter combinations.

To my way of thinking, this kind of work has a lot to do with how and why any of us might arrive at considerations of something we are willing to call asemic writing.


examples of a certain kind of thinking #4

​​Jim Leftwich: I am looking for examples of a certain kind of thinking about poetry which, if pursued to its logical extremes, would eventually include considerations of asemic and/or desemantized writing.

Charles Olson

Andre Breton

William Wordsworth

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Denise Levertov

Emily Dickinson (Thomas Wentworth Higginson)

Gertrude Stein

Arthur Rimbaud

Hannah Weiner

Jan Arp 

Adrienne Rich

Sun Ra

Isidore Isou

Antonin Artaud

Hugo Ball

Diane di Prima

Lorine Niedecker

Nicanor Parra

John Wieners

Thomas Meyer

Dmitry Prigov

​​Varvara Stepanova 


Robert Creeley

Richard Brautigan

Bob Dylan

Bob Cobbing

Henri Chopin

William Burroughs

Velimir Khlebnikov

David Burliuk, Alexander Kruchenykh, Vladmir Mayakovsky, Victor Khlebnikov

​Mirtha Dermisache

​Hanne Darboven

​Marcel Broodthaers

​Irma Blank

​​Mira Schendel

Charles Olson, "Projective Verse" (1950)

A poem is energy transferred from where the poet got it (he will have some several causations), by way of the poem itself to, all the way over to, the reader. Okay. Then the poem itself must, at all points, be a high-energy construct and, at all points, an energy-discharge. So: how is the poet to accomplish same energy, how is he, what is the process by which a poet gets in, at all points energy at least the equivalent of the energy which propelled him in the first place, yet an energy which is peculiar to verse alone and which will be, obviously, also different from the energy which the reader, because he is the third term, will take away?

This is the problem which any poet who departs from closed form is specially confronted by.

Andre Breton, Surrealist Manifesto (1924)

Those who might dispute our right to employ the term SURREALISM in the very special sense that we understand it are being extremely dishonest, for there can be no doubt that this word had no currency before we came along. Therefore, I am defining it once and for all:

Surrealism, n. Psychic automatism in its pure state, by which one proposes to express ― verbally, by means of the written word, or in any other manner ― the actual functioning of thought. Dictated by the thought, in the absence of any control exercised by reason, exempt from any aesthetic or moral concern.

William Wordsworth, Preface to Lyrical Ballads (1800)

I cannot, however, be insensible to the present outcry against the triviality and meanness, both of thought and language, which some of my contemporaries have occasionally introduced into their metrical compositions; and I acknowledge that this defect, where it exists, is more dishonourable to the Writer’s own character than false refinement or arbitrary innovation, though I should contend at the same time, that it is far less pernicious in the sum of its consequences. From such verses the Poems in these volumes will be found distinguished at least by one mark of difference, that each of them has a worthy purpose. Not that I always began to write with a distinct purpose formerly conceived; but habits of meditation have, I trust, so prompted and regulated my feelings, that my descriptions of such objects as strongly excite those feelings, will be found to carry along with them a purpose. If this opinion be erroneous, I can have little right to the name of a Poet. For all good poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: and though this be true, Poems to which any value can be attached were never produced on any variety of subjects but by a man who, being possessed of more than usual organic sensibility, had also thought long and deeply.


I have said that poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquillity: the emotion is contemplated till, by a species of reaction, the tranquillity gradually disappears, and an emotion, kindred to that which was before the subject of contemplation, is gradually produced, and does itself actually exist in the mind.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Poet (1842):

The poorest experience is rich enough for all the purposes of expressing thought. Why covet a knowledge of new facts? Day and night, house and garden, a few books, a few actions, serve us as well as would all trades and all spectacles. We are far from having exhausted the significance of the few symbols we use. We can come to use them yet with a terrible simplicity. It does not need that a poem should be long. Every word was once a poem. Every new relation is a new word. Also, we use defects and deformities to a sacred purpose, so expressing our sense that the evils of the world are such only to the evil eye.

Denise Levertov, Some Notes on Organic Form (1965)

Form is never more than a revelation of content.

“The law—one perception must immediately and directly lead to a further perception” (Edward Dahlberg, as quoted by Charles Olson in “Projective Verse,” Selected Writings). I’ve always taken this to mean, “no loading of the rifts with ore,” because there are to be no rifts. Yet alongside this truth is another truth (that I’ve learned from Duncan more than from anyone else)—that there must be a place in the poem for rifts too—(never to be stuffed with imported ore). Great gaps be­tween perception and perception which must be leapt across if they are to be crossed at all.

The X-factor, the magic, is when we come to those rifts and make those leaps. A religious devotion to the truth, to the splendor of the authentic, involves the writer in a process re­warding in itself; but when that devotion brings us to un­dreamed abysses and we find ourselves sailing slowly over them and landing on the other side—that’s ecstasy.

Thomas Wentworth Higginson

April 16, 1862: I took [Emily Dickinson's letter of the previous day] from the post office in Worcester, Mass., where I was then living. It was postmarked "Amherst," and it was in a handwriting so peculiar that it seemed as if the writer might have taken her first lessons by studying the famous fossil bird-tracks in the museum of that college town. 

                     Dickinson envelope circa 1877

Gertrude Stein, In a conversation with John Hyde Preston which appeared in The Atlantic Monthly in 1935

You will write if you will write without thinking of the result in terms of a result, but think of the writing in terms of discovery, which is to say that creation must take place between the pen and the paper, not before in a thought or afterwards in a recasting. Yes, before in a thought, but not in careful thinking. It will come if it is there and if you will let it come, and if you have anything you will get a sudden creative recognition. You won't know how it was, even what it is, but it will be creation if it came out of the pen and out of you and not out of an architectural drawing of the thing you are doing.

Arthur Rimbaud,  Letter To Georges Izambard (13 May 1871)

I'll be a worker: that is the idea that holds me back when mad rage drives me toward the battle of Paris where so many workers are still dying while I write to you. As for my working now, never, never; I'm on strike. 

Now I am going in for debauch.Why? I want to be a poet, and I am working to make myself a visionary: you won't possibly understand, and I don't know how to explain it to you. To arrive at the unknown through the disordering of all the senses, that's the point. The sufferings will be tremendous, but one must be strong, be born a poet: it is in no way my fault. It is wrong to say: I think. One should say: I am thought.

I is someone else. So much the worse for the wood that discovers it's a violin, and to hell with the heedless who cavil about something they know nothing about!

Arthur Rimbaud, letter to Paul Demeny, Charleville (15 May 1871)

I say one must be a seer, make oneself a seer. The Poet makes himself a seer by a long, gigantic and rational derangement of all the senses. All forms of love, suffering, and madness. He searches himself. He exhausts all poisons in himself and keeps only their quintessences. Unspeakable torture where he needs all his faith, all his super-human strength, where he becomes among all men the great patient, the great criminal, the one accursed– and the supreme Scholar!–Because he reaches the unknown!

Hannah Weiner,  "If Workshop", Poetry Project Newsletter, February-March 1990

If you are a poet would you have the three obligations: work on yourself to become more conscious, work in the world to change it free and equal, include ecological survival, and work in poetic forms that themselves alter consciousness.


techniques of disjunctive, non-sequential, non-referential, writing can directly alter consciousness, whether by destroying long habits of rationality, by surprise tactics to which the brain responds differently, or by forcing a change to alpha level by engaging both hemispheres of the brain, choose your science.

Jean Arp, Dadaland (1948)

In 1915 Sophie Taeuber and I painted, embroidered, and did collages; all these works were drawn from the simplest forms and were probably the first examples of "concrete art."  These works are Realities, pure and independent, with no meaning or cerebral intention.  We rejected all mimesis and description, giving free rein to the Elementary and the Spontaneous.  Since the arrangement of planes and their proportions and colors seemed to hinge solely on chance, I declared that these works were arranged "according to the law of chance," as in the order of nature, chance being for me simply a part of an inexplicable reason, of an inaccessible order.

Jean Arp, Dadaland (1948)

I would meet with Tzara and Serner at the Odéon and in Zurich's Café de la Terrasse to work on a cycle of poems: The Hyperbola of the Crocodile-Hairdresser and the Cane.  This kind of verse was subsequently dubbed "Automatic Poetry" by the surrealists.  Automatic poetry emerges directly from the poet's guts or any other organ that has stored up reserves.  Neither the Postilion of Longjumeau, nor the Alex- andrine, nor grammar, nor aesthetics, nor Buddha, nor the Sixth Commandment could interfere.  The poet crows, curses, sighs, stutters, yodels at will.  His poems are like nature: they stink, laugh, and rhyme like nature.  Trivia, or at least what people call trivia, are as precious to him as sublime rhetoric, for in nature a broken twig is as beautiful and as important as a star, and it is men who arrogate for themselves the right to judge what is beautiful or ugly.

Adrienne Rich, Poetry and Experience (1964)

Today I have to say that what I know I know through making poems. Like the novelist who finds that his characters begin to have a life of their own and to demand certain experiences, I find that I can no longer go to write a poem with a neat handful of materials and express those materials according to a prior plan: the poem itself engenders new sensations, new awareness in me as it progresses. Without for one moment turning my back on conscious choice and selection, I have been increasingly willing to let the unconscious offer its materials, to listen to more than one voice of a single idea. Perhaps a simple way of putting it would be to say that instead of poems about experiences I am getting poems that are experiences, that contribute to my knowledge and my emotional life even while they reflect and assimilate it. In my earlier poems I told you, as precisely and eloquently as I knew how, about something; in the more recent poems something is happening, something has happened to me and, if I have been a good parent to the poem, something will happen to you who read it. 


Sun Ra, Words and The Impossible

The elasticity of words

The phonetic-dimension of words

The multi-self of words

Is energy for thought -- If it is a reality.

The idea that words

Can form themselves into the impossible

Then the way to the impossible

Is through the words.


ISIDORE ISOU    Shows another way out between WORDS and RENUNCIATION:

                   LETTERS. He will create emotions against language, for the

                   pleasure of the tongue.

          It consists of teaching that letters have a destination

  other than words.

ISOU            Will unmake words into their letters.

                Each poet will integrate everything into Everything

                Everything must be revealed by letters.




           Anyone who can not leave words behind can stay back with them!

Antonin Artaud, from Ten Years That Language is Gone, Cahier 285 (April 1947)

Translated by Clayton Eshleman (published in 2004)

I am it seems a writer.

But am I writing?

I make sentences.

Without subject, verb attribute or complement.

I have learned words,

They taught me things.

In my turn I teach them a manner of new behaviour.

May the pommel of your tuve patten

entrumene you a red ani bivilt,

at the lumestin of the utrin cadastre.

This means that maybe the woman’s uterus turns red, when Van Gogh the

     mad protester of man dabbles with finding their march for the

     heavenly bodies of a too superb destiny.

And it means that its is time for writer to close shop, and to leave the written

    letter for the letter”

Hugo Ball, Dada Manifesto (1916)

I let the vowels fool around. I let the vowels quite simply occur, as a cat miaows... Words emerge, shoulders of words, legs, arms, hands of words. Au, oi, uh. One shouldn't let too many words out. A line of poetry is a chance to get rid of all the filth that clings to this accursed language, as if put there by stockbrokers' hands, hands worn smooth by coins. I want the word where it ends and begins.

Diane di Prima, from  November 6, 2013, a conversation with Hilton Obenzinger at Stanford University for  a series called “How I Write, published by The Los Angeles Review of Books in January, 2021

And then I took a class with James Waring in composition. He was a choreographer, but I wanted to take his composition class. I was taking dance, and I was doing some performing with him. “Tonight we’re going to talk about form. Everything has a form.” He said nothing else. After about 10 minutes, we all started to go out the door. We were looking at everything. Oh, that has a form. That has a form. What he was telling us was all forms are okay. Leave your mind alone. Don’t mess with everything all the time. And I started to write and tried to follow my mind wherever it went, what [poet] Philip [Whalen] calls the graph of the moving mind. Write exactly what’s happening as closely as you can.

And one of the things that came out of that was Calculus of Variations. One of the things I learned from Jimmy’s class was taking a structure and then hanging absolute freedom on the structure.

Lorine Niedecker, The Poetry of Louis Zukofsky (1956)

Technically, a recurring thing, for all but the apathetic student, is never the same -- though the idea of recurrence is useful to establish relationships, to reveal kinship.

Poet’s work


     advised me:

          learn a trade

I learned

     to sit at desk

          and condense

No layoff

     from this




Young poets

Say whatever you want

Pick your own style

Too much blood has gone under the bridge

To still believe -I believe-

That there's only one way to cross the road:

You can do anything in poetry.

John Wieners, from The Journal of John Wieners is to be Called 707 Scott Street for Billie Holiday 1959

I must forget how to write. I must unlearn what has been taught me.


I must learn how not to write. I must watch with my 5 senses  


All I am interested in is charting the progress of my own soul. And my poetics consist of marking down how each action unrolls. Without my will. It moves. So that each man has his own poetic.


Thomas Meyer, from ISIS' MEMORY (Caterpillar 5/6, 1970)

The most astonishing fact on which poetry thrives is that every sentence (or projected unit of utterance) CAN stop, not complete itself & begin again as a new sentence related or unrelated to its own initial impulse or sound. No where else in the cosmos is this aspect of will & magic so clearly & precisely manifest.

Dmitry Prigov, from an interview with Philip Metres (1996)

You know, the thing is that no great myth exists now in which a hero could appear. I have written other discourses-the liberal-democratic, the national-patriotic, the contemporary homosexual, the mass metaphysical—these are big discourses—but it’s not necessary to write about heroes. One could just describe a kind of writing. Then there’s the very complex problem of self-presentation-as poet not existing in quantity of poems but as “manipulator.” I have a big project which is about images—I have to write 2,000 poems per year, 24,000 poems overall. It’s also a project that is a type of poetic conduct, more than anything. So I don’t have any problem finding material—some people just don’t understand the structure of this work.

(In 2005 he estimated that he had written 35,000 poems. He died of a heart attack in 2007.)

​​Varvara Stepanova (1919)

I connect the new movement of non-objective poetry as sound and letter with painterly perception, and this imbues the sound of poetry with a new and vital visual impression. By blowing up the deadly monotony of fused printed letters by means of painterly graphics, I am approaching a new type of creativity. On the other hand, by using painterly graphics to reproduce the non-objective poetry of the two books Zigra ar and Riny chomle, I am introducing the graphics of sound as a new quality into painting, thereby augmenting its quantitative possibilities. 

d.a.levy, from Suburban Monastery Death Poem (1968)

its so easy to convince poets

what poetry is

and what it isnt

& everyone knows

sleeping with the muse

is only for young poets

after you've been kept impotent

by style & form & words like "art"

after being published by the RIGHT publishers

and having all the right answers

after youve earned the right to call yrself

a poet      yr dead

& lying on yr back

drinking ceremonial wine, while

the muse, who is always a young girl

with old eyes into the universe

suddenly remembers necrophilia

is an experience shes had before

& shes not interrested

in straddling corpses anymore

Robert Creeley, from Pieces (1969)


The pen,

the lines it

leaves, forms

divine -- nor

laugh nor giggle.

This prescription

is true.

Truth is a scrawl,

all told

in all.


Each moment constitutes reality,

or rather may constitute

reality, or may have done

so, or perhaps will.


So that's what you do:

ask the same question

and keep answering.

​​Richard Brautigan, Trout Fishing In America, page 100 (written in 1961, published in 1967)

Under the grand totals, there was a little Trout Fishing in America epitaph by Alonso Hagen.

It said something like:

I've had it.

I've gone fishing now for seven years and I haven't caught a single trout.

I've lost every trout I ever hooked.

They either jump off or twist off. or squirm off or break my leader or flop off or fuck off.

I have never even gotten my hands on a trout.

Bob Dylan, from Tarantula (written in 1966, published in 1971)

Claudette, the sandman's pupil, wounded in her fifth year in the business & she's only 15 & go ahead ask her what she thinks of married men & governors & shriner conventions go ahead ask her & Delia, who's called Debra when she walks around in her nurse uniform, she casts off pure light in the cellar & has principles / ask her for a paper favor & she gives you a geranium poem. . .chicago? the hogbutcher! meatpacker! whatever! who cares? it's also like cleveland! like Cincinnati! i gave my love a cherry, sure you did, did she tell you how it tasted? what? you also gave her a chicken? fool! no wonder you want to start a revolution

Bob Cobbing  (1969)

Gone is the word as the word, though the word may still be used as sound or shape. Poetry now resides in other elements.

Bob Cobbing

We Aspire to Bird Song

We are aided in our search by sophisticated instruments, the microphone and the tape-recorder. Our human voices extend the range of the tape-recorder's abilities by their demands upon it. Conversely, the tape-recorder's treatment of the voice teaches the human new tricks of rhythm and tone, power and subtlety. We are in a position to claim a poetry which is musical and abstract; but however hard we try to do so can we escape our intellect? In the poetry of pure sound, yes.... Materials are the micro-particles of the human voice which amplified, possibly transposed in speed or pitch, superimposed one, two or many times, treated perhaps with a filter, echo or chopper, shaped maybe by editing, result in a piece no naked voice could achieve.

Henri Chopin, ("vocal microparticles")

unpublished interview, ABC Television, Sydney 1992

When I put the microphone into the mouth I have simultaneously five sounds: the air and the liquid in the mouth, the respiration in the nose, the air between each tooth and the respiration in the lungs … In 1974 I put into my stomach a very small microphone and it was a discovery – the body is always like a factory! It never stops – there’s no silence!”

William Burroughs -- “Introduction,” in Henri Chopin, Poésie sonore internationale, (Paris: J.-M. Place, 1979) The lines separating music and poetry, writing and painting, are purely arbitrary, and sound poetry is precisely designed to break down these categories and to free poetry from the printed page without dogmatically ruling out the convenience of the printed page.

Velimir Khlebnikov

Scrape the surface of language, and you will behold interstellar space and the skin that encloses it.

David Burliuk, Alexander Kruchenykh, Vladmir Mayakovsky, Victor Khlebnikov -- A Slap in the Face of Public Taste (1917)

The past is too tight. The Academy and Pushkin are less intelligible than hieroglyphics.

​​Mirtha Dermisache (2011)

The only time I made reference to the political situation in my country in my work was in Diario: the column on the left on the last page alludes to those killed in Trelew. That was in 1972. Except for that massacre, which affected me—and many others—a great deal, I never wanted my work to be read in political terms. What I was doing, and still do, is develop graphic ideas on writing which, in the end, have little to do with political events but muc​​h to do with the structures and forms of language.

​​Hanne Darboven

I see myself as a writer, which I am, regardless of what other visual materials I may use. I am a writer first and a visual artist second.

Hanne Darboven

I only use numbers because it is a way of writing without describing. […] It has nothing to do with mathematics, nothing! I choose numbers because they are so constant, confined and artificial.

​​Marcel Broodthaers (1974)

I am now able to express myself on the edge of things, where the world of visual arts and the world of poetry might eventually, I wouldn’t say meet, but at the very frontier where they part.

​​Irma Blank

I save writing from its enslavement to sense: writing purified of sense. I return to the zero point, the semantic zero, the semantic void: silence as a germinating source.

Irma Blank

There is no such thing as the right word.

​​Mira Schendel

​My concern is with capturing the transfer of the instant living experience, full of empirical vigour, onto the symbol imbued with memorability and relative eternity.