Visual poetry is an odd egg: it never seems to extinguish. It continues at the periphery, way back in the corner of our literary eye. Possibly surprising is that many poets around the world have a thriving fascination with text as visual material. Perhaps vispoets stare at words longer than most, but their work is enmeshed in the design elements found in the alphabet and in symbols generally.
Pleasure in viewing is a pleasure to think freely, visually, without destroying it with interior chatter. (from Notes 3: for Martín Gubbins)
What can you say about seeing? It’s wonderful, well, that’s not nearly enough. Try as you might, and thousands have, to describe the joyous nature of seeing...It’s a passage from the thing through the eye into the brain. Seems like a fantastically long journey where anything can happen. And it does. And no one ever seems to really be there. No one ever gets it right, so we continue to look, to stare. (fromStaring Poetics Appendix One.)
A conversation with Nico Vassilakis about reading, looking, and visual poetry where my questions are invisible.
Perhaps I state the obvious when I write of staring at the alphabet and watching letters dislocate. Few vispoets write about what they do, even fewer about how they see.
The alphabet has a tendency to transmogrify when stared at long enough. It unravels and informs the viewer/reader of its simultaneous realities, that is, the housing of both visual and verbal elements.