Nick Montfort's phonetical fanaticism
Back in 2006, when the Modern Language Association conference was held in Philadelphia, Nick Montfort joined twenty-seven other poets for the annual “MLA Offsite Series” reading. Each poet read very briefly, typically just one poem. Nick chose to perform “I Icing Sing.” The constraint is a phonetic one. Each stanza consists of many pairs of syllables that sound very alike, as in “eye eye sing sing.” So the beginning reads:
eye eye sing sing but but er er up up right right in in joy joy
— and here is how those sounds become words in the first two lines:
I icing sing — but butter her up
upright, right in. Enjoy joy.
The poem was published in CrossConnect magazine and can be found here. And here is the recording of the poem made at the MLA reading. The recording of the entire event can be found here.