Friday, April 15, 2011

Poem: Tan Lin

Lest we forget that in the digital age new kinds of poems are possible, and that writers are creating them, here is one by Tan Lin (19_?-), my former colleague and one of the most original creative people I know. I'll just say that this piece, from 2002, mirrors several that he discussed, displayed and performed during a brief visit to the university around that period.  One of his aims, he argued, was to create poetry that mirrored early 20th century Modernist French composer Erik Satie's (1866-1925) concept of "musique d'ameublement," or "furniture music." The pieces he showed did not have musical accompaniment, but this piece does, matching an ambient soundworld to (semi-)ambient language. If you're so inclined and have the technological means, you might hook the piece up to your speakers and let it play as you go about your business.

I'll just add that one of Tan's most recent works, Seven Controlled Vocabularies and Obituary. The Joy of Cooking [AIRPORT NOVEL MUSICAL POEM PAINTING FILM PHOTO HALLUCINATION LANDSCAPE], from Wesleyan University Press (2010), is actually a multiplatform, multi-concept(ual) creation, that keeps proliferating, like a (capitalistic) rhizome (which is, in part perhaps, what he's after).  It manages to send up numerous forms by embodying what amount to zombie forms of them all.  I posted photos of the book launch a while back, and I recommend the main book, from Wesleyan too. You can, like the ambient audiovisual piece below, dip and out, and even prepare a meal--it has recipes, of a sort--while you're at it. He also has a novel, wildly heralded by the writers and scholars I know who've read it, on the way. I never know what he's going to come up with, but it's never boring (even when that's his ostensible aim).

Click on the image, or the link below, to see the poem play as it should, and about this one, I can say, enjoy!

OR: click on the link below:
Pennsound: Dub Version

© 2009 Tan Lin. Used with permission of Tan Lin. Distributed by PennSound.

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