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Conceptual Poetry Conference: a poem w/constraint pt 1 (Days 1&2)

June 2, 2008

Here therefore is The Constraint (known in publication practice as “the note”): type up word for word appropriated text as recorded in daybook at the Conceptual Poetry & Its Others gathering in Tucson May 28-31, 2008.

Tracie Morris

dream within a dream Be

if you’re an Artia Am poet
do you have to sing?

The day was brighter
than teeth

Gees Us Saves Us

It all started when
we were brought here
as slaves from Africa


Charles Bernstein

Poetry & social & ideological

social poetics

nuances and nooks

crooked and beet prose

<by your hump>

abnormal poetry techniques
unnatural constraints
of any kind


in the books of
the accessible poet

substitution of the
plagiarized & the
manufactured fo the

improper employs
bad gramma desery at I

Bent Studies

I loved language more than the truth


Marjorie Perloff genious

Walter Benjamin

“Wizardess of Oz” behind the screen

Silliman’s In the Am Tree

poetry made of language itself SF & NYC

WCW A poem is a small valve

21st Century Poetics

submission to a chosen pole

Ja Batens restraint

I am a poem be done better (workshop)
or differently?

who’s death

the new sentence


Craig Dworkin

Rob’t Metropolis 16

recycling words ala Bush
also poest



tax records list by bizness
in certain streets

what you want to do is

Moon Ear reading America

remove every 7 word > a list poem
on the road
across country I 10


64 ampersands > Am Mac

our need to make sense (cents)


K. Gold
life aft tent the continous preschooler

how much did you say that
paragraph weighed?

method of disorientation

is the procedure well articulated
& executed

III Information Management

/ change all words to homophones



you don’t need to read my
books you just need to
know my concept

unboring boring that’s fascinating

downright sexy

boring boring have to endure
someone’s self indulgent
poetry reading

being somewhere we don’t want
to be

because I had value tearall
to be bored it was the
most fascinating thing I’d

here we are ready to be bored
once more


engage in a durational sense

you didn’t write a word of what you said

but w/on my introduction
these works wdn’t have found
their way into the world as lit

I hate comedy

humour is there if only we have ears
to hear it

we’re so limited by what we
possess between our 2 ears

> manual?
what is the difference between retyping
cut & paste & format?

why being an author if
everything is literature?

Vanessa-where our form?

K where the artist puts it

Maj a gesture can one make
the materiality does matter


Cole The I wanders unguarded

<better but different>

9-11-00> Ken new project

Chas B The Attack of the Difficult

news is always social, polici abu
& culturally situated

poems take a theory
through these particulars

<process not product> Chas

Does it work is ca
better question than
is it good> Vanessa

Push to the border of discomfort

(June 28, 2008)
walk Main & transcribe

Carlos Students are looking for a point

Chas If you read a poem
as an ambient room
poetry is a clickable environment

Puritans meaning shold be recuperated

an ideal

Carlos (Worsdworth walking/working

(June 28 1958)

remove the I/i from

—– (June 28, 1908)

remove the you/u (June 28, 1858)


homonyms (June 28 1808)

which sounds the
same 2 meanings










from the
river to
my office (house)

Cole Swenson

rhythm repetition ll & juxtoposition

<These are our friends
we should be on time> Charles B

<What gives conceptual poets
permission to make poetry
that makes fun of others
laughs cynically priveledges at their problems?
makes us laugh at them?
how is that different from “accessible poets” who make
us care or face?>

(2010 Eco Poetics)

note from the Art Predator: come back tomorrow for part 2, Day 3! And for some completely different and more likely more “expressive” poetry bound by the constraints of traditional forms more likely than not, head over to readwritepoem or jump aboard the poetry train! Or even read other poems on this site, like last week’s “These Brothers They” or “spring poem” which is the most read poem on this site (about 225 reads).

One idea that came up repeatedly at the conference was not could a poem be done better (the question of the workshop), but different. I am thinking this text might be different: a prose poem one word laid out after the next, an onslaught…hmmn

7 Comments leave one →
  1. June 2, 2008 10:43 pm

    That actually gave me a feel for what a poetry conference must be like. Some of my favorite lines:

    ‘Gees Us Saves Us’

    ‘I loved language more than the truth’

    ‘WCW A poem is a small valve’

    ‘Chas B The Attack of the Difficult

  2. June 3, 2008 12:42 am

    Cool. My favorites are

    The day was brighter than teeth
    social poetics
    nuances and nooks/
    crooked and beet prose (even if I don’t like beets) :)

  3. Jason permalink
    June 3, 2008 3:16 pm

    This reminds me of “post-it note” poetry I was doing a few years back. My desk and office were always becoming cluttered by all the to-dos, to-knows, and what-nots that I had jotted down on post-it notes. I found that an easy way to clear the post-it note clutter was to transfer it all to my journal, so I’d have it all down for reference – minus the mess. I realized early-on that these brief transcribed ramblings quite resembled poetry.

    I need to re-visit that theme.

  4. June 3, 2008 7:13 pm

    It was a really fun conference since it had such a wonderful play between the academic (papers) and poetry–quite a mix! And we talked a lot about both–the poetry and the ideas behind the poetry.

    I look forward to see what happens when you revisit this theme, Jason!

    Thanks for stopping by, everyone! I hope to get part 2 up this afternoon–soon…

  5. June 5, 2008 5:24 am

    Great stuffs here:

    “how much did you say that
    paragraph weighed?

    method of disorientation

    is the procedure well articulated
    & executed”

    “unboring boring that’s fascinating

    downright sexy”

    This seriously reminds me of how I used to take notes during Summer Writing Program at Naropa.

  6. June 5, 2008 5:25 am

    P.S. Thanks for that jolt, needa break my constraints like the old days… help, I’ve gotten soft and narrative!

  7. June 5, 2008 5:30 am

    you’re welcome, Danika!

    it wasn’t at all like Taos Poetry Circus (ahh the good old days) but it was stellar for an “academic” conference, and certainly stimluating and thought provoking!

    thanks for stopping by! there are some fun moments but overall, the constraint i think is not that successful…i want to try it “different” as a prose poem as i think the juxtopositions could be revealing

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