Saturday, May 26, 2012

Crag Hill

Digivis Poems 2005-2010

Crag Hill’s work inspires all who experience it.  I use the word ‘experience’, not ‘see’ or ‘read’, because that is exactly what it is, a personal encounter that changes us on the inside, gives us a new understanding of language, letter, syllable and word.  A single sentence or image cluster can speak in multiple ways; he gives us the freedom to interpret, and leads us into an alternate reality forged with fire and glowing iron.

Crag and I worked together all through the 1980s, both professionally and artistically.  We used Crag’s knowledge of cameras and photographic techniques to create our shared oeuvre.  I still remember discussing visual poetry in a cramped cluttered dirty little room underneath Mission Street, south of Market, San Francisco.  Directly over our heads, while we babbled at one another, there were the sounds of walking feet, car tires, bus exhaust, camera vacuum and everything else you would find in a throbbing metropolitan center.  It was all totally electric.

So, on to this series:  diversity in unity, unity in diversity.  This work makes me go up and down on my computer screen, stopping here and there to contemplate, even to laugh with giddy delight.  What’s it made of?  Primordial stew.  Tomorrow’s neural nets.  Conscious bacteria.  Flaming future alphabets. Beautiful tendrils.  New death.  Everything flowing, reaching, sprouting. ‘Shih shih wu ai’- between things no obstructions.  One of my favorite pieces is #14 Maw.  White becomes the major focus, drawing your eyes, bursting over the space/tan background.  The black, with just the right amount of visual weight, serves to ground it all.  There’s rain, there are creatures raising their chins in both defiance and joy.

That’s Crag- defiance and joy.  You see the defiance in his work, how he refuses to follow any fad or fashion, how he bends his materials to his own end, how he makes them laugh and cry.   You see the joy in- well, everything.  So check this out; all will become clear, and you will be the better for it.        
Bill DiMichele


# 1 Dumb Pastoral  

# 2 God Would Have Managed

# 3 Prime Ordinal

# 4 Fact 

# 5 Host the Pit

# 6 Union

# 7 Last Words

# 8 Woman Smoking

# 9 Guttural

 # 10 Sonnet 

 # 11 Self-Portrait Bling

 # 12 writer

 # 13 Alphabet Wheel, Graveyard Shift

 # 14 Maw

 # 15 Sprawl

Some of these poems first appeared in Bee's Wax, Word/ For Word, Mad Hatter's Review, Whitewalls, Poet's Corner, and in exhibits in the United States and Mexico. 

Watch for The Last Vispo, a sprawling anthology, a Herculean effort, a mighty collection of postmodern visual poets from editors Crag Hill and Nico Vassilakis, out the chute November, 2012.

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