Rain Press, 2005. 5 x 9, 24 pages. Limited Edition of 40 copies. $5.
Haiku breaks out of its cage and goes for a walk in the free air, with a jokebook in its pocket and a painter’s eye. I write these things as part of my creative process. I find that they help clarify the boundary between image and meaning. With these poems, the word is the world, and the senses of sight and hearing become one. Instead of a narrative of meaning, there is only an event. It’s very liberating.
For years I have been fascinated with the relationship between images and words, especially with how humans create artificial languages, use them for a short period of time until they appear natural, then create yet further levels of artiificiality or complexity. I love to watch poems working on the same principle, continually transforming themselves from their openings to their closings, which are also, of course, further openings. For decades, I concentrated my interest in this area into creating lush imagery from the natural world. Around 1990, I started playing with visual poetry, as a means of looking at those images without the clouding screen of meaning which language always insists on throwing into the brew. I have found it liberating, and one means of moving my poetry more deeply into mythical worlds and into understanding trickster work. The pieces in (eye)pokes are just recent little pokes in the eye, little pieces of fun, haikus bent around memory. Letters are used for their shape and often the poems work on the correspondence between visual suggestion and cognitive expectation. With them I have tried to duplicate the moments of their creation. It is that moment I find myself drawn to more and more. Writing is seeing.