Markovian Parallax Generate: On digital writing and poetics

Gnoetry Project Update, Thoughts

Posted in Gnoetry, Poetics by Eric Goddard-Scovel on October 17, 2008

My Gnoetry chapbook, a light heart, it’s black thoughts, which is a sonnet cycle using only Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness as input, is coming along, and will likely figure prominently in my M.F.A. thesis.

Lately it has turned to darker territory than before, and I’m finding that violent scenes of rape and exploitation are becoming the norm.  It may be partially a consequence of my teaching postcolonial theory along with Heart of Darkness and Things Fall Apart to my English 106 students.  I’m sure it has turned away from the love poem focus it had before because I am no longer separated from my girlfriend like I was when many of the other obsession-driven sonnets were written.  It is becoming much more obviously a postcolonial text itself of sorts, although the positive sexual reversal of the cunnilingus poem (my favorite still) remains the center piece of the whole sequence.

I’m trying to not make the work conform to any one focus, but for the work to be a diverse collection of disparate happenings.  Phillip Whalen’s idea of the poem as a “sitting” is on my mind now, along with Kenneth Goldsmith’s assertion that truly contemporary poets are essential “word processors,” working with language and data and constructing them into new works.

The chapbook won’t be ready for several months then, it seems.  I’m working on four large scale poetic works (three of them computational, one somewhat visual) and an assortment of scattered individual poems, so work on all of them has slowed down.  They will get done.

Wish me luck!


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