kickstart my chapbook : no experiences

You’ve heard of kickstarter, right? It is popularly known as a funding source for films, for software development, for funding gadgets. Erin Watson used it to fund something different. She used Kickstarter to publish a poetry chapbook.

The work arrived in response to her experience reading @Horse_ebooks on twitter. Jotting down favored sentence fragments from the twitter feed, she built poems around them line by line, “allowing the @Horse_ebooks style of uncanny abstraction to creep into these poems”, as she wrote in the author’s note.

Words splayed
Like sick things, yawning in disregard
along a chasm

I’m no stranger to the @Horse_ebooks twitter phenomenon; several of my friends on twitter are enamored of it. The lovely fragments of language-idea floats past as retweets every few days. Of course she wrote poems from this oracle, as she calls it. The best kind of tweets are potent seeds for the others reading that content. Twitter is the medium for poets, the best way to dispose of unused lines of poetry in public.

She named the chapbook “no experiences”. For me, this is clear. The poems are created via slow accumulation of language, testing one word after another. Ms Watson’s poems become word mobiles to read, consider, read again. The shorter poems dense with reference become rich toffees to chew and savor.

That fatal flaw,
the earnest flame
that’s blistering my feet.

The language-aggregates consciously created from the experience of other language, the tweets Ms Watson collected from twitter. These are not the plainsong of story, the authentic voice emerging to manage the deep emotion provoked by the harder expereinces made by living (though at least one poem points to the capacaty for poetry to perform that function). These woody little structures are the joy of a tasteable, touchable language, a writer making for the joy of making in response to some abstract synchronicity of language-based experience.

Sized to fit your hand with ASCII art re-making the @Horse_ebooks twitter avatar. Buy in person for $10 at Uncharted Books, Logan Square, Chicago IL. Also see noexperiences.com.  Book designed and typeset by Nick Disabato in Chicago, IL. Printed by Scout Books in Portland, OR. Funded by you on Kickstarter.