Nail Gun Poem in 2 Volumes:
It has been quite a while since I heard from Les, but as with his Encyclopedia of Nothings, it was all worth the wait. The two volumes of Nail Gun Poems are solidly constructed from sturdy card stock and feature aleatory poetry composed this way – I am quoting from a letter received with the books: “For quite some time now I have been doing something I call Nail gun Poetry. It started out as a homage to John cage and his chance operations. Whereas his operations were quite complex… mine are simpler than his. I use a pneumatic nail gun to shoot a nail through a text. The words that are touched by the nail become the words of my poems. I used a variety of texts and for this project I chose Finnegan’s Wake by James Joyce because Cage once subjected it to one of his chance operations and I felt it would be fitting”. (See http://www.themodernword.com/joyce/music/cage_roaratorio.html )
Ceasar-in-Chief of Schweden
queen is guardia.
Beate microchasm tears
he Like causes most Prismic bathboites,
they through You my the him
selling yet hellpelhullpulthebell,
array blong him.
Interspersed with collaged mechanical drawings old and new, I think Les is making reference to The Mechanics of Language. Pistons rise, wheels turn and energy is produced – “hesitance, workman, person, with sacred cover” – how we wield the instruments of our own making. (Aside: – One of the forms of poetry Cage made extensive use of was mesostic – a poem /typography where a vertical phrase intersects lines of horizontal text. He also used index words to select pieces from a preexisiting text – this was developed by Jackson Mac Low and is known as “diastics”). The action of selection by nail gun has all the elements of a John Cage performance and I’m still thinking on all this Les. I’ll tell you what it DID make me do – I watched a movie and took verbal phrases juxtaposed with visual adjectives to create a ‘poem’. A hugely interesting experiment as a direct result of your chance operation. I’ll be sending it to you.