Saturday, January 28, 2012


Bill DiMichele

This year will be the 30th anniversary of Score, magazine of visual poetry, and my introduction to the vispo world.  I’d been working on my own in Pennsylvania  for years, assuming I was the Only (no internet, no virtual world or connections, no efficient way to know what others are doing).  Moving to San Francisco, I met Laurie Schneider and Crag Hill (more on him in the next chapbook).  We put a magazine together using a very small number of artists/poets so each had space to breathe.  One of the four was mIEKAL aND.  He submitted selections from his concept piece Bagdad: A Guide for the Deaf.  It was very exciting.  I had never seen a piece of work that had such a beautiful balance of word and image.  The cut-ups were like exotic flowers with missing petals, the flow from one cut-up to the next was one of those things about which I smacked myself on the head and said “Of course!  Why didn’t I think of that?”
Every page is a chapter, every chapter is a page.  The titles were built of letters gathered by a butterfly collector, with precious  precision.  They hover over the body of the poem, reaching down, protecting it, embracing it.  This suggests a word in Greek, EPISKANH, ‘to cover like a tent’.

How carefully all of this happens: dependent/independent, coherent/incoherent, letter/word, word/phrase, large type/small type.  It’s like they belong together- like they’ve always belonged together, under the tent.

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