Poet, artist, composer and publisher Dick Higgins’ culminating work might be his 1987 study, Pattern Poetry: Guide to an Unknown Literature. The categories he draws up, and the drawing up of them, are as fascinating as the examples in this profusely illustrated book. Categories that replace received notions of prosody in visual terms call for new units of measure. Why replace? Because we equate poetry with verse, using the old would make the term “pattern poetry” redundant, short-circuiting its explanatory power.
Performance, reading, embodiment, translation. Time to turn back to Foucault, or forward to him, because Foucault is always ahead of me in his Archaeology and the way it forms and unforms Knowledge.
A discursive formation does not occupy all the possible volume that the systems that form its objects, enunciations, and concepts legitimately open to it. It is essentially full of gaps, due to the systems that form its strategic choices. From this comes the fact that a given discursive formation, when taken up again, placed, and interpreted in a new constellation, may reveal new possibilities… There is a modification in the principle of exclusion and possibility of choices that results from the insertion into a new discursive constellation.