site specificity by Zane Koss is a single poem spanning 108 pages. Each page of the book contains one word (or permutation of letters). Bound with a self-adhesive fastener, site specificity measures 4.25″ x 5.5″ and has been produced in an edition of 20.
What is a site? Where is language located? Beginning with a specific site—the four letters of the word “site” on an otherwise blank page—this poem slowly transforms, shifting between the permutations suggested by the letters of the word “site” to track new possibilities through the visual and aural resemblances of the different configurations of letters and sound. With each new combination, site specificity explores the interconnectedness of language, inhabiting the spaces between words and forging new pathways as each letter blurs into the next, generating new sites for the appearance of language. As a material object, the book creates new mobile sites for exploring the presence of language as a material object in the world. Lay the pages on the ground and explore the new sites the book delineates, each page its own site and a node in the larger web of relations that constitute a given space—the page as a site nested within larger geospatial and social sites. How does a word shift in relation to a different location? How does the location shift in response to a different word? How does our language construct the world we live in
Last year Simulacrum Press published a wonderful series of minimalist letraset concrete poems by Kingston based poet Michael e. Casteels under the title & Jetsam. The title might have prompted readers to wonder where the initial word Flotsam had got to which makes up the phrase Flotsam & Jetsam. Was it simply that it sounded nice? Was that absence of Flotsam at all significant or was it just an off hand choice of Casteels’? To know Casteels’ work is to be quite certain that it was not without a reason. He is an always careful, intentional poet which is what gives so much power to his work, both minimal and otherwise—that concentration. Happily, a very concrete answer has risen out of Malmo, Sweden where Joakim Norling runs the visual poetry press Timglaset. The answer comes in the form of a publication by Casteels titled—you guessed it—flotsam.
You’ll notice in the above photo that both chapbooks are the same size. This is without a doubt an intentional move by Timglaset publisher and designer Joakim Norling linking the publications not only by name but also in the echo of dimensions.
flotsam can be purchased on the Timglaset website here.
& Jetsom can be purchased through Simulacrum Press here.
Found Words From Olivetti by hiromi suzuki is an 8.5″x8.5″ 12 page chapbook which consists of 10 typewriter poems. It has been produced in an edition of 40 chapbooks.
The 10 typewriter poems which make up Found Words From Olivetti find hiromi suzuki extracting moods and situations from the typewriter with the same seeming naturalness and ease as we have seen in her collages and gifs. That the typed concrete poems have been photographed lends them an atmosphere evocative of film noir–and indeed, a cinematic narrative does seem to surface as the reader moves through the sequence of poems.
‘Found Words From Olivetti’ by hiromi suzuki (Domestic/Canada)
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‘Found Words From Olivetti’ by hiromi suzuki (International)
Reading from Underneath took place at The Printed Word in Dundas, Ontario on May 23rd, 2019. The reading was organized around a visit by Sam Roxas-Chua who had made his way up from Portland and stopped for a few days in Hamilton so that friends formerly acquainted only via social media could meet (and read) in the flesh. The Readers that night were Franco Cortese (whose beautiful chapbook Teksker I’d just published and copies of which that night handed to him,) Jericha Shepai, Gavin Le Ber, myself, Sacha Archer, and of course, Sam Roxas-Chua. It was a truly wonderful night of readings and as such I felt it would be good to make the recording available here. Thanks again to all the readers and to James McDonald for opening the space to us–and apologies to Franco as the recording was only started near the end of his reading.
Franco Cortese’s ‘teksker‘, is an 8.5″x8.5″ chapbook of 18 pages. Produced in an edition of 45.
A chapbook of intense humanity, of the naked body, Franco Cortese’s teksker (a blend of the Proto-Indo-European root *teks- (“to weave; to fabricate; to make wicker or wattle fabric for mud-covered house walls”), *sker-(1) (“to cut”) and *sker-(2) (“to turn, bend”), presents the reader with multilingual lipograms that eschew the use of all vowels entirely; line-unit anagrams and multilingual lipogramatic palindromes to name but a few of the constraints which Cortese wields. If the tower of Babel was a frustration in its flood of languages, Cortese revels in that same noise, conducting it into raw beauty.
mother wretched egg skin divination water stream wither a hole in the ground from which water can be obtained the hollow where a limb joins the trunk of an animal or tree wetnurse to believe that something will happen groping form of address to any man who is elder than you the altar stone where they hunt absent soil soul bruise wing wind to point wood old wives’ tale to egg on thought any altar for sacrifices elder brother a bad smell a collection of things associated with a person or place with love to breed well to fade what period of time half continual up to rim
aba aĉa āda afa aga aha aja aka ala ama ana apa aqa ara asa ata ava awa axa aya aza aza aya axa awa ava ata asa ara aqa apa ana ama ala aka aja aha aga afã ada acá aba
ancestors rotten leather dust to discipline river time within a winglike bone a toxic by-product of improper or incomplete digestion in a direction analogous to up but along the additional axis added by the fourth dimension to devour elder brother blood scepter shadow hole hour to align on an axis palm birthmark a section of a village I to orientate distant opening a hunting deliberately interim uncle stolen to be old ruin to give birth to root cut river to lack effort to be as of fathers
Edward Kulemin’s Cash Register Poems are presented in a simple 3×5.5″ single stapled bundle. 9 pages, full colour, printed on one side–replicating the common sight of end of the night receipts collected and stapled at our favourite stores.
This collection of asemic writing brings us into the heart of our purchasing centered lives where our movements leave a paper trail. Kulemin, having picked up this paper we accumulate, has reengaged these non-creative sites of record with invigorating graffiti–in this case the language of exasperation, and hope.
‘Cash Register Poems’ by Edward Kulemin (Domestic/Canada)
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‘Cash Register Poems’ by Edward Kulemin (International)
May Bery’s work Confinement/Trespass has been published in an edition of 30 broadsides (18×24″). Following the signs, the work has been folded similarly to a road map.
Using a map of Richmond, Quebec as a starting point and canvas/page, May Bery has intervened in and interrupted the placid function of the map with her asemic paragraphs and bold borders. The paragraphs create isolated language zones which in turn echo Arabic, mathematical signs (the universal language), and noise. Confinement/Trespass does more than suggest the tie of language to identity and identity to belonging–it asserts the presence of peoples, the feeling of trespass and the fact of diversity.
waterlight by andrew brenza is a 17×6.5″ chapbook of 10 pages printed in an edition of 45 copies.
Coupling a more traditional lyric poem with lavish spreads of concrete poetry, andrew brenza has written a sequence, a poem, that delivers you back to the natural world, the surface of a body of water, where we can gaze down and lose ourselves in the light of language, or be engulfed by its noise. Landing somewhere between the serenity of isolated nature and the white noise of a TV screen, this is a reading experience of body in place.
Andrew Brenza’s waterlight is $20.00 (CAD) before shipping.
To purchase a copy of waterlight please contact Simulacrum editor Sacha Archer at email@example.com to determine shipping costs.
derek beaulieu’s Fragmentum is a 5×7″chapbook of 6 pages printed in an edition of 55 copies. A sturdy little chapbook printed entirely on cardstock and bound with a round head fastener for a slightly different navigational process.
In Fragmentum, beaulieu continues to probe the possibilities of his favorite medium, letraset. Moving away from his signature compositions consisting of recognizable letters which spread across the page like topographical landscapes, the pieces in Fragmentum embrace the broken, fragmented inevitability of the aging medium to present abstract forms where letter fragments combine to build a sculptural asemic language.
Gary Barwin’s translating translating apollinaire is an 8.5″ x 11″ chapbook of 12 pages printed in an edition of 50 numbered copies.
The title translating translating apollinaire should be a little bit too familiar. Of course, bpNichol published his translation experiments, focusing on a single poem of Guillaume Apollinaire, with just this title in 1979. In fact, bpNichol’s first published poem was titled Translating Apollinaire.
Gary Barwin is one of those people lucky enough to have had the opportunity to study under Nichol. It is no surprise then that Barwin has, without masking it in any way, continued Nichol’s project of translating Apollinaire, a project which Nichol himself said was “an open-ended, probably unpublishable in its entirety, piece“. This seems about right. It is as if the concept in and of itself is a seed to an infinite number of books. Here is one of them–a great one.