Book ReviewsDatacide 6

Loose Watch:

a Lost And Found Times anthology [Invisible Books]
An excellent compendium of poetry drawn from the Ohio based magazine Lost And Found Times that neatly presents over twenty years of international writing activity in a well designed journal sized book.
What is immediately enticing is the way that the editors have chosen to present much of the material in its original format and so we have a play of type-face, handwriting, graphics and word collages that locate this ‘poetry’ as a developing off-shoot of fluxus, mail art and l=a=n=g=u=a=g=e. In keeping with such antecedents the ‘poetry’ on offer here not only dispenses with narrative and the usual syntactical modelisations, but in many cases seems to be allowing language to flow to the degree that it makes common experiences delirious and unstable. Just as the graphic poems subvert our expectation of how words should appear on the page (and they appear as an overlaid ‘weaving’ of words, as comics, as graffix, as unshapely blocks, as glyphs, as doodles and sketches…) so too the ‘meaning’ of these poems arrives more in the guise of evocations and as examples of ‘writing-away’ from what is immediately knowable. Poem as text. In this way Loose Watch profiles a use of words as tools in a process of de-specialisation: words are here the accompaniments of daily activity that are shaped into loose structures and accessible forms that, being ‘open’ in proportion to our desire to ‘enter’ them, tend towards auto-transformations. Such reader-centric work as is collected here, reflected in the many collaborative poems, seems to re-sign the death-certificate of the entity known as ‘poet’: we are not asked to align ourselves to a projected and publicised subjectivity, a persona, but, as readers, we are offered a chance to experiment with our own various personae. Such is the network of activity, the “productive area of engagement”, that gave rise to this anthology. To de-narrate yourself send a tenner or cheque to Invisible Books, BM Invisible, London WC1N 3XX.

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