Afton Wilky, The Philosophy of Decomposition, Language Folds
I’m looking at some of Afton Wilky’s beautiful text-image compositions that are available for viewing on her blog; the piece above comes from a project called Clarity Speaks of a Crystal Sea. This certainly looks like something to look out for.
Wilky also has a really thoughtful review of my long poem The Philosophy of Decomposition/Re-Composition as Explanation: A Poe and Stein Mash-Up that Delete Press published last year as a limited-edition chapbook. Wilky’s piece is not only a sharp example of close reading but close thinking as well. Here’s a portion that I especially appreciated:
Throughout the text…I get the sense that language is actually folding over and over itself, and the repetition of the word and punctuation with its morphemes are enacting their very own mash-up, which becomes so gorgeously audible. Thus the mash-up process of the text and composition as “decomposition” and “re-composition” reveal POD / RAE’s very own original and contemporary understanding of language. It is from the midst of language as unoriginal, from someone-else’s page that language is seen clearly for what it is: a system of parts recycled and re-inscribed as needed in an infinite number of contexts.
I am certainly interested in (perhaps obsessed with) language’s multiple pleats and folds. After I read a new poem at an event at Rutgers University last week, someone from the audience had emailed me that night to say that the piece made her “think about the way words never stop unfolding.” And this is Estela Lamat’s blurb of my first book: “Leong…anticipates language, he folds it, he breaks it into pieces of infinite and impeccable meanings as a wise child making figures of origami.”
Language folding over and over itself. Language unfolding. Poetry as linguistic origami.