Susan Bee, "Design Elements in Nude Formalism and Fool's Gold": pdf from Talking the Boundless Book: Art, Language, and the Books Arts, ed. Charles Alexander (Minneapolis: Minnesota Center for Book Arts, 1995) •••• pdf of The Nude Formalism (Sun & Moon, 1989) (recommended that you read pdf in facing pages, 2-up)
If a poem could exist on a rocket ship traveling at the speed of light where, in Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity, space compresses, mass increases, and time slows, what kind of poem might it be? According to Einstein’s theory of general relativity, which applies at cosmological scales in contrast to his earlier theory of special relativity that applies at local scales such as the solar system, profound distortions of spacetime would have to occur in a universe where the speed of light is constant.
In M. NourbeSe Philip’s Zong! (Wesleyan University Press, 2008), created from the legal decision about the African slave ship named Zong where some 150 slaves were murdered by drowning so that the ship’s owners could collect the insurance money, the arrangements of text units in many sections of the book-length poem seem to inhabit aspects of Einstein’s conceptions of the universe.
Susan Briscoe has been shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Award and the CBC Literary Awards, and has won the Lina Chartrand Award. She teaches English at Dawson College in Montreal and divides her time between the city and Quebec's Eastern Townships.
Time. It seems always in deficiency when we catch up with friends. We speak colloquially of needing more of it — “Where has the time gone?” It runs off when we aren’t looking. But what if we were to look at it, relentlessly, with nearly unblinking attention? Could we hold onto it then?
Lawrence Giffin’s Ex Tempore (TROLLTHREAD 2011) seeks to attend to time by capturing the constantly transient instant of composition. The book begins with a short preface, allegedly identifying the exact moment that Giffin began writing his text.