January 27, 2009

When Words Collide

by Nick Montfort · , 4:17 pm

Let me tell you about two curious collections of words that engage digital media in intriguing, different ways: “Love Poem for Natalie ‘Tusja’ Beridze” and Hollis Frampton Comes Alive.

I’m just back from a reading by Don Paterson. He obliged us at about the midpoint of the reading with his prize-winning “Love Poem for Natalie ‘Tusja’ Beridze,” which has been discussed in The Times. In the poem, Paterson sings as an audiophiliac way, praising technology and the Internet in passing as he lauds this Georgian musician, a laptop artist with “unruly Slavic eyebrows / ranged like two duelling pistols”:

may you be blessed
with the wonderful instrument you deserve, with a 2 Ghz
dual-core Intel chip and enough double-pumped DDR2 RAM
for the most CPU-intensive processes;
for I would have all your plug-ins run in real-time, in the
blameless zero-latency heaven of the 32-bit floating-point
environment, with no buffer-glitch or freeze or dropout or lag;
I would also grant you a MIDI controller of such responsiveness …

The Internet has returned the favor by ripping most of the poem for interested readers.

Just as outrageous, and almost entirely different, is Benjamin Sprout’s Hollis Frampton Comes Alive, an online array of texts produced by different verbal games. It includes a link to Things that rhyme with dot com and this piece:

Status Update

I just might be the only girl in the room,
wearing sunglasses and listening
to Sisters of Mercy.

I am allowing the divinity
of the universe
to flow through me.

I am leaving for Vermont soon.

I hope the police don’t get involved.

One Response to “When Words Collide”

  1. B. Sprouts Says:

    Thank you for the mention, Nick.

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