this is one of the poems "made" within some procedural experiments I was doing for a seminar paper for a class on Black Mountain Extensions, taught by Hank Lazer at University of Alabama in Spring 2013. the governing principle is the notion of "productive misunderstanding" and the repeated human tendency for mishearing speech, rendered as essentially paronomasic. at the time of writing I was thinking about Susan Howe's notion of “Cries open to the words
inside them” along with
John Taggart's fascination with Rothko's Old Glass method, "applying thin washes of paint, one over another, and often allowing some of the colors in the bottom layers to appear through the top coat of pigment." precedents include Louis Zukofsky's Catullus homophonic translations (1969), Caroline Bergvall's "A Cat in the Throat" (2009) and Kenneth Goldsmith's "Head Citations" (2002). taking Spicer's Cocteauean radio literally, I manipulated pop radio lyrics using voice-to-text transmission software––a technology so precise that several deliberate muffling effects were necessary to produce any distortion whatever (it seems humans are still better than machines at mishearing speech––good job, humans).