Joke (1.) from Mercurial Articulations, by Steve Willey


I’ve been meaning to post this for a while but just haven’t had time. Steve Willey recently posted up a poem on the Openned site. From the site, to sum up:

This poem, Joke (1.) is the beginning of a new sequence provisionally entitled Mercurial Articulations. It is part of a larger sequence entitled Opera of which the sequence Venus & Other Noises is part. […]

I saw Steve read this at the Openned night on 25th March, and enjoyed it very much. It’s interesting to see the visual layout though, and I wish I’d had an opportunity to take a look before hearing it read.

Clearly, there are a gazillion visual devices at play here: the three-pronged texts shooting out from a base text, which at seem to invite several spatial options as to the direction of reading; loose ‘bubbles’ of text which are removed but are menacingly apparent and influential throughout; text alignments reinforced as visual carvings; mixed fonts; text sizes; the angle and shape of the poem as a whole.

My personal preference here was to ‘mis-read’ by sweeping right the way across what appear to be the masts of some kind of grotesque text-ship, spanning across horizontally where possible. But then, my other preference was to mess with it in Photoshop by turning it upside-down, duplicating it and showing how it might also look like a bunch of space invaders. Steve, in every possible way, this is textual excitement. I hope you’re not offended by the header image, Steve…

To see the poem in high-quality image, as well as background info and more on where this has been read recently, go on over to his place, he’s having a Wimpy.

Did I mention it’s a good READ, too?

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