Jed Rasula and Steve McCaffery define literature as ‘the exploration and
exercise of tolerable linguistic deviance’. My work, both creative and
theoretical, investigates the relation between tolerable and intolerable
linguistic deviance. To this end the present series of concrete poems
enlarges, inverts, fragments and layers original poetic phrases to
disrupt the communication of semantic meaning and emphasise the graphic
nature of text.
Letters and numerals become the basis for
pattern-making, facilitated and influenced by the material
characteristics of the transparencies on which they are printed and the
natural loss of definition effected through repeated photocopying.
My creative practice is influenced by my theoretical studies into
the Outsider writing of art-makers who have experienced schizophrenia.
Here, the shared grammatical and denotative rules of language are often
traduced so that conventional meaning is distorted towards the ambiguity
of ‘noise’; such ambiguity doesn’t represent meaninglessness, but is
rather the linguistic expression of idiosyncratic world-views. These
linguistic explorations are less an exercise in experimentation and more
an attempt to express or quell the lived experience of language as an
animate and often unstable medium for interacting with the world. It is
the power of written and spoken language to interact with and influence
physical, social and psychic landscapes that most fascinates me,
directing both my theoretical and creative practices.